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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Daily Lessons from Life 27 September 2015 - Hawker Centre run by Social Enterprises

"Mixed reactions from stalls at hawker centres run by social enterprises - CNA 27 Sept 2015

There are now two hawker centres run by social enterprises. One is at the Ci Yuan Community Club in Hougang which opened in August and the other is at New Upper Changi Road.

In the hawker centre at the Ci Yuan Community Club in Hougang, each of the 40 stalls has to have at least two items priced below S$2.80.

The hawker centre is run by Fei Siong Food Management's social enterprise subsidiary. Fei Siong also operates two stalls that set a price range for other tenants. Its fishball noodle stall keeps prices at S$2.80, while its drinks stall charges 80 cents for a cup of coffee.

Another social enterprise, NTUC Foodfare, manages a hawker centre in New Upper Changi Road.
The hawker centre replaces an old one near Block 207. And most stallholders have since moved to this one, but almost a year on, reactions to the move have been mixed.

Some say their business has increased by 20 per cent as a result of the centre having a bigger capacity.

But there are some who lament about the rental, which they say is higher than at the previous hawker centre.

"The rental is times two, so we have to manage the price and can't increase them,” said co-owner of the Minhad food stall Suria Davood. “It’s difficult to manage, but price are still affordable for customer to eat."

NTUC Foodfare also offers bulk purchase, but it says no stall has so far taken up the offer."

Aah. That perennial and unique Singapore's creation and favourite of ordinary and rich people alike - Hawker Centre!

Lessons for me are:

1. it is a BOLD experiment. Social enterprise that will STILL make money but NOT maximization of profit running hawker centre is a GOOD IDEA! Worth trying. Like Fei Siong folks said: make it affordable for the heartland folks.  There will be businesses! Fret not!!;

2. Interesting to NOTE the 'comments' by the tenant in the NTUC-run hawker centre that rental is times TWO!! Is it because the previous one was run by the government and at super cheap rental? What was the prices of the food that particular hawker was selling at? IF it is NOT much different from NOW, then that hawker must have MADE tons of money! At least also more by the Rental amount since it will be less One X!! So, is RENT the BIGGEST cost item for hawkers? A question that many retailers and F&B outlets are say: YES. YES. YES! This is especially so when the 'place' had become 'famous' and got GOOD BUSINESSES, the rental will be DOUBLED come New Lease negotiation time!! How true. And How sad that the landlord has inordinate amount of power over the hawker/stall= or shop-owners who had to work doubly hard to make some money!'

3. time to visit these 2 hawker centres to sample the food offering and assess for myself IF the S$2.80 price for selected items are truly good value for money or not! I love hawker foods. Just need to be more mindful and stop over-eating when foods are 'value for money' and delicious!! LOL!!

I hope this type of experiment will succeed as we need to keep cost of eating out for more dual income working family without maids low to incentivize them to pro-create MORE!! A holistic approach with cheap and value-for-money hawker foods being one of the many tactics deployed! YES?

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all.

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