What Singaporeans Say about Hawker price cap?
CH Beh We still could find $2.5 fishball/minced meat noodles at hawker center in Woodlands . If they could do it, why not other food centers?
Jansen Ng First generation hawker still paying less than $1, 000 rental/mth and their foods are at affordable price. But the other thing no is good is rental too cheap they open half day just like Tanglin Halt hawker centre, Bukit Merah Hawker Centre
Terence Tee Kpkb about a dollar more earned by hawkers but quietly accept the $5 latte Starbucks charges. Buy $150k car but kpkb about car park and erp charges. Welcome to Singapore.
Kenny Low It’s good that they are setting a price cap. What’s driving up the food prices sometimes is the exorbitant prices that hawkers pay when they bid for the stalls. By capping the price of the food item, it should hopefully also in some way limit the highest price that hawkers can bid for the stall in order to still profit from it.
Heng Dylan Then the stall rental has to be on par for all of they want to cap the price of foods at hawker centers.
Ng KiatKuan The idea again to “flood” hawker centre everywhere which there only have expensive food court or kopitiam run by rich holding to correct rent .. Slowly the hawkers will be all moving to hawkers centre . Of course with current technologies . You can’t build lousy oily hot old hawker centers . It is in our gahmen hands .. If they really want to help adjusting the price . Those who have been making good $$$ hawkers can remain at their febgshui spot . To allow new hawkers to start n create good food
Emily Thng if quality food is restricted with price constraint… then does it mean people with lower income cannot enjoy quality food like the many of us? only to cap 2 items from your menu of feast, is it too much to ask for? $2.70 and it’s not $2! hmmm..
Bhakt Yap I am sure the committee has reviewed the prices, costs and all before deciding. On top of that the rental charges are reduced. So if any hawkers’ aim is to make big money instead then this hawker centre is definitely not for them. I am sure there are other hawkers who may be interested to tender.
Rich Pan Luckily NTUC put a cap on the price of cook foods.
Terence Tan my house downstair private coffeeshop fishball noodle stall sells at 2.50. so how is selling 2.70 at the hawker center when the rental is cheaper not feasible?
Chee Kin Ng There’s one stall selling at $2 per bowl in AMK, 24 hour also….
Low Yong Sengkang Kopitiam Square selling at $2.80 & after 10% discount for Kopitiam card is $2.52.
News from CNA
Hawker Price Cap – Foodfare to review price caps at hawker centre
TODAY reports: Any reviews would take into account the cost of ingredients and inflation, and stallholders can also submit requests to adjust the price ceilings, NTUC Foodfare says.
- POSTED: 30 Jul 2015 07:47
- UPDATED: 30 Jul 2015 10:22
SINGAPORE: NTUC Foodfare said on Wednesday (Jul 29) that price caps to be imposed at its new Bukit Panjang hawker centre – intended to keep basic meals affordable – would be reviewed from time to time if necessary.
The new hawker centre management model came under the spotlight on Monday, after a hawker who had attended a tender briefing by Foodfare spoke out on Facebook against the price caps.
The hawker, who runs a stall at Golden Mile hawker centre, posted: “Do you actually think that a quality hawker will come out with quality food when they use quality ingredients and if the cost of food is so high … If the basic ingredients are so expensive, how can we expect hawkers to make a living?”
Minister of Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan responded to the Facebook post the hawker. He reiterated the steps that his ministry has taken to reduce rental costs for hawkers. He added that he had “made it clear to Foodfare that they are not to charge high rents”.
On Wednesday, Foodfare said that any price cap review would take into account the cost of ingredients and inflation, adding that stallholders can also submit requests to adjust the price ceilings.
Foodfare was appointed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to operate the Bukit Panjang hawker centre, which is the second of 20 new hawker centres to be managed by social enterprises and cooperatives.
Tender documents for the hawker centre, which is slated to open by the end of this year, state that each stall should offer at least two items that are capped at certain prices. The price of dishes such as fishball noodle, nasi lemak and chicken rice are capped at between S$2.50 and S$2.70. The price ceilings for Western food are higher, such as S$5.80 for pasta.
Responding to TODAY’s queries, Foodfare said: “These caps are not to be held indefinitely and reviews would certainly be made should raw materials price increase or other cost pressures make it necessary for the adjustments.”
It reiterated the rationale for the price caps, saying that it “wants a public hawker centre to have affordable food for everyone”. Interested hawkers would have to submit, in their bids, the amount of rent they can pay – this will make up 40 per cent of the assessment criteria. The remaining 60 per cent involves “(food) pricing, food variety and concept, experience and taste”, Foodfare said.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISES MANAGING HAWKER CENTRES
In 2012, the Hawker Centre Public Consultation Panel proposed having social enterprises manage new hawker centres, and having the operator setting aside stalls for the lower income and special needs persons to set up low cost businesses. Hawker centres are currently managed and run by the NEA.
The first of 20 new hawker centres will open at Ci Yuan Community Club in Hougang Avenue 9 next Thursday. It will also be managed on a not-for-profit basis by Fei Siong Food Management. Stall holders at this hawker centre are required to offer at least two products that are priced at S$2.80 or lower. A Fei Siong spokesperson said all stallholders will pay a total of S$2,200 each month, including rental.
The hawkers are required to operate their stalls for 12 hours a day and “work with the management to ensure their off days do not disrupt the business operations and dining experience”, the spokesperson said. “The stallholders’ commitment is a key fundamental to the success of their operations and the hawker centre,” she added.
HAWKERS UNHAPPY WITH NEW MODEL
Speaking to TODAY, Mr Douglas Ng, 24, whose Facebook post had prompted Mr Balakrshnan’s response, said there is a lack of transparency in how the price ceilings are derived. “Why is it that Western food can be sold at double the price of fishball noodles? It makes all of us want to sell pasta instead … then how do we preserve hawker heritage?”
Makansutra founder and food writer KF Seetoh also took issue with the price caps and the lack of a guideline on rental bids. “When top restaurants raise prices for the rich, not many really cares, but when the hawkers do, the loud and richer ones make noise and cry foul… Please don’t politicise our hawker food and don’t kill our hawker culture,” he said.
Other hawkers also raised concerns such as the required operating hours and higher overhead costs at these new hawker centres.
Ms Li Ruifang, 31, who owns 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles at Tekka Centre, had failed with her bid to run a stall at the hawker centre at Ci Yuan Community Club. She said: “Although we only open for business seven to nine hours a day, we spend another five hours preparing food and washing the stall. I will have to double my manpower or increase my own (working) hours just to make this ruling, and that will increase costs.”
Mr Melvin Chew, who runs Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap at Chinatown Food Complex, added: “Hawkers at the new food centres have to pay plate collection and dishwashing fees, use common utensils and uniforms. They are run like food courts, not hawker centres.”
An NEA spokesperson said that while the respective managing enterprises have the prerogative to decide on the price caps, it will monitor the implementation of the new management model and the concerns that may be raised by hawkers.
It added that it is open to the idea – which has been suggested by some hawkers – of concession passes for seniors and low-income individuals, in place of price caps, should the operators decide to take it up.