Confessions of a beer promoter: Shorter skirts, more business

Confessions of a beer promoter: Shorter skirts, more business

She sashays from table to table, refilling beer mugs and chatting with "regulars".

Dressed in a tight polo shirt and a miniskirt, she easily captures the attention of the many patrons at Ang Mo Kio S-11 foodcourt every evening.

"Do you want to order beer?" she asks, flashing the patrons a seductive smile.

Say "yes" and Xiao Ping, as she is known at the foodcourt, will recommend her company's brand, Dester.

The 23-year-old has been working as a beer promoter since she was 19.

When asked for her real name, she offers only Zhuang, her surname.

The Chinese national says in Mandarin: "I can't count how many regulars I have. I just remember their faces. If they see me, they'll always call me over."

She says that aside from the regulars, beer promoters also keep a mental list of customers that they "try to avoid".

These are the aggressive drunks and those who try to take advantage of the girls.

"We know who they are, and we will still take their orders," says Miss Zhuang.

"But when they start becoming obscenely drunk or frisky, there is no other way but to stay away. Far away."

And you can expect two to three incidents of drunk customers getting into fights every month at the foodcourt, she adds.

"It is normal.

"The worst are the violent types who smash bottles and try to fight with others," she says.

"But I don't feel threatened because someone will call the police, and the police are efficient."

Miss Zhuang, who is from the Fujian province, came here to work as a beer promoter five years ago.

There are six others from China, Malaysia and Singapore who work at the same foodcourt, the youngest is 19.

It is competitive as they come from rival companies - from Tiger to Carlsberg. The prettier ones with the shorter skirts get the most business, she admits.

Miss Zhuang is part of an influx of younger, cheaper-to-hire beer promoters from foreign countries.

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