“We never ask a customer to leave” William told me.
I was absolutely astounded by this. How could you run a business in this way? What about staff costs?
We were doing some work with the Ambassador Chinese restaurant in Cork a number of years back and William Wong the manager and one of the family owners explained some of the business ethos to me.
He told me a story about how a professor who was visiting UCC had arrived late, had his meal and in the early hours of the morning he was still there, enjoying a few cigars (when this was still allowed) and after dinner drinks. He was the only one left in the restaurant but they waited until he was finished before they started tidying up.
Maybe in a family run business you can do this but this incredible work and customer service ethic explains why this restaurant has done so well since William’s parents opened it in 1987.
For as long as I can remember this luxurious Chinese restaurant has maintained incredibly high standards of food and always excellent, friendly service.
In this time I have eaten there so many times, on family occasions, on dates, on special occasions, entertaining clients and for special treats with our own team and I can’t remember ever being disappointed with the experience. Every time you went there you enjoyed the food, the ambiance but also the special welcome and friendliness.
During our short time working with them we got to know the family and in particular William quite well. Without a shadow of doubt he has been one of the very best clients to deal with, always appreciating what was done for him and an absolute pleasure to deal with.
On one occasion William returned from a trip away and brought us back a scroll with ‘Fuzion‘ written on it and a special oriental teapot, which must have been a pain in the backside for him to be carrying around! We treasure both of these gifts and on the odd occasion that you might come across someone that is really unpleasant these remind us that there are special people out there.
I have my own special, if slightly unusual personal connection with William – I was in the middle of a meeting with him one afternoon when the call came through that my granny had passed away. Other than family and close friends I couldn’t think of a better person to be with when that awful news came through.
Sadly the Ambassador restaurant closed its doors last night for the last time (May 10th, 2014) as the building has been bought by Penneys.
Cork will truly miss not only a great restaurant but one that had become a fantastic friend to so many of us.
After 27 hard working years you might wonder what legacy has been left behind by the Wong family?
The very best of luck to Linda, Norman, Jimmy, the other members of the Wong family and in particular our special friend William.
Thank you for all of those special moments – We’ll miss you.