Since its opening in July of 1966, Annette Fung has been with Silver Dragon every step of the way. In fact, it only seemed natural to help out with the family business right when her parents opened up the restaurant. Now, Annette feels like she’s carrying out the family legacy. She says that running a business is the same as raising a child and that for her, she was able to grow alongside Silver Dragon for the past 54 years.
In recent years, Silver Dragon has faced challenges like the flood, economic downturn, and the current pandemic. Those situations impacted the establishment and enabled it to make changes. Now, patrons order off of a set menu with lots of pictures, so they know exactly what they’re ordering as well as knowing that their food is safe and ready to eat. The way of showing and telling has also evolved over time, from having dim sum stockpiled in the carts on wheels, to showcasing food pictures on social media. Through the help of one of her tech-savvy employees, their Instagram and Facebook accounts are able to show off all that they have to offer as well as be able to promote that they are open and accepting customers with added safety precautions!
“The people that come through the door—it feels like they’re a part of your family. I need to take care of them.”
For Annette, a lot of her motivation comes from her customers. When they come in and give good reviews and feedback, it gives her and her staff the drive to continue to do better. “They come because they feel like they’re a part of it,” Annette says earnestly, “and we feel that way too.” Another source of motivation is from her staff. There are many employees that have continued to work at Silver Dragon for many years, so they are not unfamiliar with tackling and overcoming challenges. They all share a familial relationship as well, so Annette comes into work, it’s like being able to see and spend time with her other family. At the end of the day, it isn’t the monetary value that gives her satisfaction, it’s the fact that she and her staff are able to send their customers home with happy, full bellies that really motivates them to strive for excellence.
Photos: Gina Gong
Interviewer: Jeffrey Kung
Author: Rachel Wong
Producer: Brian Wong