More autonomy for restaurant GMs helps Ping Pong sales rise 10%

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ping Pong's head of operations says 2014 was a 'transformational' year for the brand
Ping Pong's head of operations says 2014 was a 'transformational' year for the brand

Related tags: Ping pong, Dim sum

Giving more autonomy to the general managers of its eight restaurants and investing in staff training helped make 2014 a ‘transformational’ year for dim sum restaurant chain Ping Pong, according to head of operations Michael Pearson.

The company, which saw sales rise 10 per cent to £15.25m last year, has ensured all 400 of its staff were trained in all areas of the business, as well as invested in its Management in Training Scheme which develops waiting staff into managers.

“Everybody in our business, including those at head office level, has to do training on the bar, the floor and in the kitchen at different locations, so everybody has the ability to see how difficult everybody’s job is and experience the nuances of the different locations,” said Pearson.

“We’ve taken a root and branch review of all our processes, policies and procedures to ensure they’re aligned – we’ve re-written our mystery shopper programme and our steps to service programme - so there are lots of little things we’ve done over the last year, but the biggest change has been to the way we have treated our GMs.

“We’ve almost made them mini managing directors of their own businesses and it’s really paid off.”


As well as focusing on staffing, the company, which celebrates its 10th birthday this year, has continued to roll out its new design​ - currently present in two sites - to the rest of its estate. It has also introduced new seasonal dishes to its menu, such as shaolin bao and noodle soups for the winter months and salads for the summer.

"We're working on a brighter, fresher Ping Pong," said Pearson. "Our customers may not have seen a big change over the last year, but they would have noticed a new freshness about us." 

Pearson said Ping Pong would continue to innovate its menu with plans to add more dishes, such as bao sliders and new cocktails this year.

Further expansion is also on the cards, with another site due to open in London this summer and another at the end of this year alongside one in Dubai.

"We will then plan to open three in the year 2016/17 and another three in 2017/18," said Pearson. "It's not an aggressive expansion plan, but we know what's good for us and are choosy with our sites, so it's right for us."  

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Venues

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