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A branch of the Au Bon Pain bakery and coffee chain in Thailand and the company's chief executive Nadim Xavier Salhani.

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Food Industry

Who stole my pastry? 

Au Bon Pain grumbles about labour woes
7 Feb 2013
Pitsinee Jitpleecheep

ABP Cafe (Thailand), the operator of the Au Bon Pain bakery and coffee chain in Thailand, plans to join with other food and beverage operators to seek assistance from the Labour Ministry in order to solve the current worker shortage.

Mr Salhani wants speedier approval of foreign workers by the government and the ability to include non-compete clauses in contracts.

The company wants the government to speed up the approval process for foreign employees, which normally takes about three to six months... 

If the Thai government gave its full support to the food industry like the Singapore government does, it would ensure restaurants expand further, which would improve the overall economy, he said.

Mr Salhani attributed the staff shortage in the food industry to university graduates' changing attitudes, as they prefer to run their own businesses rather than working for others.

"The daily minimum wage increase throughout the country is causing workers to return to their hometowns," he said. 

Furthermore, an influx of international food and beverage chains in Thailand has stretched the workforce even thinner. 

"Many bakery and coffee firms recruit staff from the same pool as Au Bon Pain, which has been established in Thailand for 15 years," he said

We not only lose experienced staff but also recipe secrets they take with them.

Mr Salhani said a broad discussion with operators in the bakery business will take place before forwarding the issue to the Labour Ministry.

The two priorities for the firm are urging the government to accelerate foreign worker approvals, and imposing a non-compete clause that prohibits a person from working for another firm in the same industry within a year after resignation.

He added the firm would continue its expansion with 10 new Au Bon Pain outlets, bringing the total to 60 this year. The additional outlets will hire between 100-150 new staff and require an investment of 35-40 million baht.

The company will sign a memorandum of understanding with 10 colleges next Thursday to draw graduates to work for Au Bon Pain.

Mr Salhani said although competition is intensifying, he believes the Thai market still has room for growth thanks to changing lifestyles.

Au Bon Pain's sales rose 29% last year, and another 20% growth is expected in 2013.

The company is considering asking its parent firm for the right to open branches in Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Malaysia in the future.


(Source: Bangkok Post, Food Industry, Who stole my pastry, Au Bon Pain grumbles about labour woes, 7 Feb 2013, Pitsinee Jitpleecheep, link

 
Food Industry Vocabulary

shortage - when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
worker shortage - not enough workers

staff - workers, employees พนักงาน
staff shortage  
staff shortage in the food industry

pastry - food like bread made from flour (pies, cakes, cookies)
Who stole my pastry?

woes - great problems or troubles ความเสียใจ, ความทุกข์ร้อน
labour woes - problems with workers, worker problems

grumble - to complain about something (especially continuously about unimportant things)
Au Bon Pain grumbles about labour woes

chain - a group of businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc.) owned by the same company บริษัทต่างๆที่อยู่ในเครือเดียวกัน
a chain of stores
a chain of bakeries
a chain of coffee shops

operator - a company doing some business
ABP Cafe (Thailand), the operator of the Au Bon Pain bakery and coffee chain in Thailand

beverage - a drink of any type เครื่องดื่ม
food and beverage operators

assistance - help (given to someone)
seek assistance - search for help; try to get help from someone
seek assistance from the Labour Ministry

current - of the present time ปัจจุบัน
the current worker shortage

plans to join with other food and beverage operators to seek assistance from the Labour Ministry in order to solve the current worker shortage.

contract - an official written agreement
clause in contract - one item in an agreement

non-compete clauses in contracts - an employment agreement that says that an employee cannot use use what he learns at the company to join another company that competes against it

approval - saying "yes" you can do something,   giving permission for some action การอนุมัต
speedier approval
speedier approval of foreign workers

Mr Salhani wants speedier approval of foreign workers by the government and the ability to include non-compete clauses in contracts.

process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
approval process
speed up the approval process for foreign employees

The company wants the government to speed up the approval process for foreign employees, which normally takes about three to six months... 

support - giving help สนับสนุน
government gives full support to the industry

expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
expand further

ensure - to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน
this would ensure restaurants expand further

improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
improve the overall economy

If the Thai government gave its full support to the food industry like the Singapore government does, it would ensure restaurants expand further, which would improve the overall economy...


attitude - someone's feelings or opinion about something (especially as seen in their behaviour) ; opinion, viewpoint, manner, mood, behaviour ทัศนคติ, ความคิดเห็น, ทัศนะ, ความเห็น, ท่าทาง, กิริยาท่าทาง,ท่าท

changing attitudes
university graduates' changing attitudes

prefer -
to like more something (more than other things)
university graduates prefer to run their own businesses rather than working for others

attributed X to Y -
to say that Y is the reason that X happened or exists

Mr Salhani attributed the staff shortage in the food industry to university graduates' changing attitudes, as they prefer to run their own businesses rather than working for others.

wage - an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
daily minimum wage - the smallest of money that can legally be paid for one day of work

daily minimum wage increase
The daily minimum wage increase throughout the country is causing workers to return to their hometowns.

chains
- retail chains, large companies owning stores in many places ร้านค้าในเครือ (คนไทยเรียกทับศัพท์ว่า เชน เช่น 7-Eleven, ลูกชิ้นนายฮั่ง เป็นต้น)
food and beverage chains

international - between countries or in many countries ระหว่างประเทศ
international food and beverage chains

workforce
- all the workers in an economy or a company แรงงาน
stretched the workforce even thinner - even fewer workers that companies can hire to work for them 

influx - people or things coming into a place
Furthermore, an influx of international food and beverage chains in Thailand has stretched the workforce even thinner. 

recruit - to get new workers to work in a company or join an organisation รับคนใหม่, จ้างคนใหม่ จ้างงาน จัดหาเจ้าหน้าที่หรือบุคคลากร
recruit staff

pool - a group of people available for work สมาคม กลุ่มสถาบัน
recruit staff from the same pool

established - has existed for a long time ก่อตั้่ง  
the company has been established in Thailand for 15 years

Many bakery and coffee firms recruit staff from the same pool as Au Bon Pain, which has been established in Thailand for 15 years

experienced -
know how to something well because you have done a lot of work in this area, skillful ซึ่งมีประสบการณ์, เชี่ยวชาญ, ซึ่งได้รับการฝึกฝน

experienced staff
lose experienced staff

recipe - วิธีทำ, วิธีปรุง,วิธีปรุงอาหาร
secret
 - เป็นความลับ

recipe secrets

lose recipe secrets they take with them [when they leave the company]

We not only lose experienced staff but also recipe secrets they take with them.

broad - wide กว้างๆ
broad discussion

issue - an important subject that people are arguing about or discussing ประเด็น
forwarding the issue to the Labour Ministry.

Mr Salhani said a broad discussion with operators in the bakery business will take place before forwarding the issue to the Labour Ministry.


priorities - the most important things that you must do first (before other less important things)
firm - a business or company บริษัท
the priorities for the firm are ...

accelerate - to cause to happen more quickly; go faster and faster , at an increasing rate เร่ง
accelerate approvals
accelerate foreign worker approvals

urge -
tell someone strongly that they should do something
urging the government to accelerate foreign worker approvals

resignation - the act of leaving a job permanently ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

The two priorities for the firm are urging the government to accelerate foreign worker approvals, and imposing a non-compete clause that prohibits a person from working for another firm in the same industry within a year after resignation.

expansion - when something increases in size, number or importance การขยายออก
outlets - stores selling a product, retail outlets ร้านค้า
expansion with 10 new outlets

the firm would continue its expansion with 10 new outlets

He added the firm would continue its expansion with 10 new Au Bon Pain outlets, bringing the total to 60 this year.

additional 
additional outlets

investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)

The additional outlets will hire between 100-150 new staff and require an investment of 35-40 million baht.

memorandum
- an informal legal agreement ข้อตกลง

memorandum of understanding (MOU) -
a temporary written agreement between two companies, organizations or governments that explains how they plan to do business with each other in the future and what their relationship will be (See Wikipedia)

The company will sign a memorandum of understanding with 10 colleges next Thursday to draw graduates to work for Au Bon Pain.

room
- an area or place with nothing in it yet  ที่ว่าง
room for growth
the Thai market still has room for growth

X thanks to Y - X because of Y 
has room for growth thanks to changing lifestyles.

intensifying - more effort is being put into an activity
competition is intensifying

Mr Salhani said although competition is intensifying, he believes the Thai market still has room for growth thanks to changing lifestyles.

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
20% growth is expected in 2013.

parent firm - a larger company that owns a smaller company

branch - one of many locations for a bank, a store, etc สาขา
open branches

The company is considering asking its parent firm for the right to open branches in Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Malaysia in the future.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer