Thoughts on Optimisim and Pessimism

Sometimes i wonder which of the following is a good thing when you are planning to start up a business.

Been optismistic definitely make it easier as you it gives you the motivation to keep going. But then you might at times suffer badly for unrealistic expectations.

Been pessimistic on the other hand keeps you down to earth but maybe bad as it stops you from taking the first step which is crucial. As the saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begin with taking the first step". Who say this?

I think a good balance of both is important. When we first decided to start Pitstop Cafe, one of the most important thing we do was kinda of try to look into the crystal ball and wonder if the whole idea was feasible practically.

It is tough considering that there are so many unknowns such as how many customers would we have, are we able to pay all our overheads, etc. It can be quite tough as i think more often than not, most people tends to be too optimistic instead of pessimistic. That is why i enjoyed working in a team because everyone has different perspectives and each one at time acts as the devil's advocate. This kinda of help to keep things in check.

Anyway what prompted me to write this entry is because of a really interesting article that i read in Sunday Times.

Does such an estimation really make sense or was it just to grab attention?

Basically the article is trying to find out how much the hawker earns. So they did some plate counting at various stores. So if one of the store average selling 50 plates per minute. Using their formula,

Maximum income = 50 plates/hr x 12 hrs/day x $4 per plate x 30 days = $72,000/mth!

Shoik right? In fact the article mentioned a hawker store that can earn a maximum of $120,000/mth! I personally find it super ultra optmistic even though in theory that might be possible. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely possible for some hawkers that really make it big and earn tons of $$$. My point is mainly trying to figure out if using the formula actually helps to paint a realistic picture. Is the intention of the article just to grab the readers' attention? I do not know.

But than again looking at the past recent events, perhaps we are genuinely at a loss when it comes to formulating formulas and numbers.

Sorry for digressing. So what are your thoughts? Which of the following do you think is an important trait of entrepreneurs? Optimisim or Pessimisim?


Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun


Bad service equals good service?

It feel great to be back home after a week stint at the states. Anyway was reading through the blogs and come across some folk who has a bad experience at Pitstop Cafe.

"Then after that, since we forever have no-sense-of-urgency, we turned up super late for dinner and got horribly lost on the way too. Dinner was at this place called Pitstop Cafe, which is quite lame actually. And the people there had the audacity to chase us out after we had the birthday cake." - details

Of course we don't feel good about such negative feedbacks but i guess sometime things like this just happens and I feel that it is good to share with you guys some thoughts as well as challenges that we face in the area of service.

You see the above scenario is quite a tricky issue. What happen is that this group was late by an hour of their allocated reservation. Normally if there is not much people then not much of an issue. For this case, there is a reservation by another group who turn up on time and was waiting the table. So either way, you are likely to piss off either side. It seem unfair to me to make a group wait too long especially if they turn up on time. Hence in this case i think that one side has to be the receiving end for "bad service" in exchange for good service to other side. Anyone has any good suggestions on handling such situations?

I have some thoughts on service. I think good service is like tango, it kinda of need 2 sides to make it happen. There was this incident on Christmas Eve which we were recognized for good service by DK. Someone even go to provide an academic explanation on how it is a marketing technique because it is easier to retain customer than getting new customer, etc.

Are we the ones that made it happen? I don't think so, we were able to provide good service because DK gave us a chance to do so. We made a mistake and we try to make up for it and DK was gracious to accept it and there you go, good service.

Maybe sometime we might appear abit attitude. Perhaps due to abit of rush or perhaps just tired out after a long day at the cafe. But believe me, don't judge by our appearance......

IMG_9831 copy
A squash mumu

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Pity him, still sucking thumb at this age

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Definitely a gold digger, not a saboteur

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see so sweet! who called her evilyn huh?

we are really friendly folks. So do smile say hi to the crew on your next visit and you be surprise at the diffence you made. And don't be late for your reservations!


Pitstop Cafe, love us and we love you even more


Trivial Detour of the Day

Greetings from Washington DC. It has been a tiring week out here and it will be over soon! phew! Overseas business trips sure has its perks like exposure to business in different cultures, free flyer miles and of course good wine and steak!

Doing trade shows can be really demanding physically due to standing for long hours and late night dinner. Lunch on the other hand is a quick affair, basically just grab a bite and off to work again.

So normally i just grab a bite from the food carts that are available nearby. I do not like bread and hence seldom grab sandwiches. They are more expensive too. I rather take asian food, sound crazy right?

So today lunch i got the following. Fried rice, overcooked broccoli, some pieces of chicken and a nice bottle of coke.


The question is:

How much do you think the above meal cost?

Ok, see you guys soon!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



5 cool things about board games

Since we run a board game café, most folks assume that all of us must be hardcore board gamers. Actually this isn’t the case. For me, I still enjoy other stuff like sports, pool, bowling and video games on my PS2.

However board games do have some very interesting aspects. I am going to share with you my top 5 reasons why I find board games amazing. By the way when I say board games, I do not refer to only games like Monopoly or Risk but rather it includes a wide range of Euro games, or what some term as designer games.

Reason 1: Simply Gorgeous

The artworks of some of the games are simply chio! They are really beautiful and highly detailed. I don’t mean only the cover of the board games, but rather every single aspect, from the board of the game itself to all the individual components like the figurines, cards, checkers and even the rulebook. In this area, games from Days of Wonder definitely win the competitions hands down.

Interesting game of Shadows over Camelot

BattleLore, on the shelf but still have not got the time to give this epic production a try!

Simply stunning artwork from cover to the actual board game itself. Wait till you see some of the rulebooks!

Reason 2: Interesting and Diversify Themes

Most board games have very interesting themes that allows player to transcend into different roles. You could be building tunnels looking for gold in the game of Saboteur, directing the next movie hit in Hollywood Blockbuster, building railway tracks in Ticket to Ride or even growing corn and indigo plantations in Puerto Rico.

Be a monk at the monastery and uncover the murderer in the game of Mystery of the Abbey

Reason 3: Simple and Elegant

This is what I find amazing about board games. By using only simple stuff like cards, tiles or checkers, these ingenious board game designers can create interesting games that are lots of fun, challenging and engaging. If you think board games are just about throwing dice and moving pieces around the board, you really got to try out of some of the more advance board games to truly appreciate the beauty behind these games.

With lots of creativiy, even simple tiles and little bits and pieces can be use to create one of the top board games, Puerto Rico. My favourite!

Reason 4: Various Genres

You could play games that involve dexterity like Jenga or Halli Galli Extreme. You could show off your talking crap skill in games like Apples to Apples or Once upon a Time. For those who want more meat, you could try out games in other genres like negotiating (I'm the Boss), auctioning (Modern Art), resource planning, and many others.

If making animal sounds is what you like, Snorta is definitely the game for you!

For folks who like to sabo people should try out a game of Saboteur!

Reason 5: Engaging and Fun!

While there are many activities that you can do together with your friends, I think board games offer a very interesting alternative. Often most folks come in not knowing what to expect in a board game café. After some introduction, everyone can easily get into the action and start having lots of fun together. There are lots of interactions and laughter as folks start to get the hang of the game and that to me is very satisfactory. Check out the video clip on some of the action in a very funny game called Imaginiff. It is basically a game to see what you think your friends would do in different funny scenarios…

Watch here

There you go, the little things about board games that attracts me. So if Monopoly is the only board game you have tried, do take a look beyond that and you will be surprise by what you find!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun



Quick Announcement

This Thursday, eve of Good Friday we will be opened from 5pm to 1am.

Friday we will operate as usual from 12pm to 1am.

So head down to Pitstop Cafe and have a good time with your friends during this holiday period!

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



Review of Pitstop Cafe at Youth.sg

Running the cafe has always been tough especially when all of us are either working or studying. We know that there are various areas that we need to work on an further improve ourselves such as better service, more variety of food and drinks, more games, how to attract girls in wet tees, and so on...

Believe us, we are not resting on our cushions. We are constantly thinking of what other cool and fun stuffs we could do to make sure you guys had a great time at Pitstop. But sometimes bo bian due to both time and $$$ constraints.

With that said, it is always encouraging when folks blog about us! Today we receive a really nice review from Youth.sg. Check it out!


I like to thank Cassandra and Kai Yan from Youth.sg for their kind review on Pitstop Cafe.

Of course must also thank the hardworking Pitstop crew for all their smiles and laughters and their passion in making Pitstop Cafe a fun and happening place.

As a reward, how about me in wet tees?

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun!



Not for sale

Recently we had some enquiries on how much does one needs to pay for a membership at Pitstop Cafe. I am really happy at the positive response for the Pitstop Mini. Most of you might have realized that the Pitstop Mini isn't exactly for sale. You don't exactly pay money for it. We give out our membership selectively instead.

All you need is to accumulate $100 in reciept within a month and you get it for free. If you think about it, it is pretty easy. Some of the folks get it at their first visit while others get it by their second visit within the month.

A few folks will begin to think that it is some marketing stuff to get people to spend more or perhaps come back again within the next few weeks. Surprisingly this isn't exactly the case. Rather it was meant as a small token of appreciation...

In our early days, we really had a lot of support from friends as well as folks that come to our cafe regularly. Some of them visited us almost weekly, bringing and introducing new friends to the cafe. That support really meant alot to us considering that we are pretty small and new and has really tight constraints in budget to do any advertising.

Hence when we first introduce the Pitstop Mini, the first thought was to send one to all these regulars. Since then our philosophy on the membership card was to give it as a small token of appreciation for all the great support more than anything else.

Yup there you go, some little facts on the Pitstop Mini.

Yeah our cool Pitstop Mini!

It is easy to figure out that the front of the Pitstop Mini is actually the staircase leading up to the cafe.

Interestig back view

So the trivial detour of the day is:

What is the picture at the back of the Pitstop Mini?

Also for some of you folks who has been chalking up serious amount of Pitstop Dollar, why don't you redeem them? The idea is to reward you guys rather than just keep accumulating the points in your Pitstop account. If you have any suggestions on the items that you would like to add to the redeemption list, drop us a comment too!


Yup some of you might guess it. The back picture is actually the ceiling of the staircase leading up to Pitstop Cafe.

Pitstop Cafe, be part of the fun


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