Hawkers Pivot to Become Drinks Stall Owners As Profit Margins Plummet
awkers islandwide have come up with a solution to both allay their financial worries and cement their places in SEHCs.
In a unified move, they will be pivoting away from their specialty cooked items and towards becoming drinks stall owners. This is due to rising costs of operations and ingredients, which has led to profit margins dropping to as low as 20 to 30 cents per serving sold.
Mr Chye Tow Kay, a hawker at Tampines Round Market, will be giving up his carrot cake stall for a drinks stall.
“Nowadays really tang bo jiak (difficult to earn a living), I sell how many thousand plate of Chye Tow Kway also not enough la. Last time 1 carrot can buy 10 cents, now 1 carrot almost $2, then I sell at $2.50 you tell me how I earn?” he lamented.
“You see that bloody Ah Seng,” he gestured towards the drinks stall adjacent to his shop.
“Everyday he just come in during lunch hour still can wear Rolex and drive his Mercedes that he zhng until the motor louder than tong tong qiang, really damn easy life!”
Of course, with hawker centres proving to have an unsustainable business model, Mr Chye and the other hawkers have their sights set on renting a shop in a SEHC (Social Enterprise Hawker Centres). In order to stand out from the wide diversity of options available in SEHCs, they will be carving out their own niches by only offering one drink option.
“I will sell sugar cane juice only, my brother-in-law selling wanton mee next time will only sell bandung. You see that auntie sell youtiao one? I think she got mid-life crisis, going to specialise in Mango Lassi!”
While the prospect of having only specialised drinks stalls in SEHCs is particularly worrying for most, Keto diet enthusiast Agnes Chua, a Management Associate in a local bank, is thankful that she can once again enter a hawker centre without being tempted by carbohydrates.
“This is great … ” she whispered, mustering just enough energy to murmur lifelessly under her breath.
Top image credit: Eatbook.sg