Fans who flocked to last year’s pop-up Monocle store at Books Actually, may have to wait a while to see a Monocle café in Singapore. In an interview in today’s Straits Times (sadly it’s behind their paywall), the hipster-everyone-loves-to-hate said that, although they’re exploring adding to their Tokyo and London branches here, “it’s hard to find Singaporeans who are committed [to being part of their brand].” The founding father of Wallpaper* goes on to say that “Singapore is very different from Japan, where there’s a growing culture of young people who are assertive about their choices. It’s a respectable option if you want to run a café… Singaporeans see it a little differently…such jobs are for the labor classes.”
This isn’t the first time Brûlé has called Singapore out for not delivering the goods. In 2011 and again last year he bemoaned the lack of exciting hotel options here in his FT column. Nor is the dreadful standard of service in so many Singapore establishments anything new. (Check out our story from way back in 2010 for more.)
But there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Dough&Grains won last year’s inaugural Happiness Served campaign in Tiong Bahru, in which F&B outlets vied for social media love from happy customers. And we have it on good authority that the campaign will be returning this year, with the possibility of different districts of Singapore competing against one another to see whose service standards are up to scratch.