Singapore – With Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) regulations still in place until Jun 13, hawkers have continued to experience a decline in sales, some noting they are “barely surviving.”
Since the start of more stringent measures to curb the transmission of Covid-19 within the community, dining in at food and beverage has been banned.
Hawker centres and food courts are among those affected by the limitations and, as a result, have experienced a steep decline in sales.
On May 24, about a week after the stricter restrictions were implemented, a member of the public took to Facebook to appeal for support for an elderly couple’s Fried Kuay Teaw Mee stall at Seah Im Food Centre.
The concerned individual noted that the couple did not know how to use delivery apps or other platforms, leaving them to rely on takeaway orders only.
As his post gained traction on social media, patrons were soon spotted queueing at the couple’s stall.
An Instagram page @wheretodapao was also established to “help other elderly hawkers get more business during these tough times.”
Despite being lunchtime, the venue was relatively empty, reported Mothership on Jun 5.
The tables and chairs were cordoned off, and only a few customers were seen ordering from various stalls.
The publication noted that some of the hawkers were spotted sitting at the tables with nothing to do while several stalls were closed, even on a weekday.
Hawkers confirmed the common trend of declining sales, with some experiencing up to 50 per cent drop.
“The business definitely drop now, but I have three outlets in Singapore. Luckily, this outlet is doing slightly better than the rest. One of my other outlets had to close down because it was doing so bad. This one is still okay lah, but it’s still not good, you know?
It’s like…We don’t lose money, but we’re barely surviving,” one hawker owner shared.
Stalls that sell beverages have been hit extra hard as customers doing takeaway don’t often buy an accompanying drink. As a result, a few have seen a 70 per cent decline in sales, reported Mothership.
On May 22, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor announced that the National Environment Agency (NEA) would be offering support initiatives to help hawker centres tide through the challenging period.
NEA will waive stall rentals by half in May and Jun for around 6,000 cooked food stallholders in the hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-approved operators.
Furthermore, new cooked food stallholders with tenancies starting on Jun 1 this year will also get the half-month rental waiver, said Dr Khor.
NEA will also subsidise 100 per cent of fees for table-cleaning and centralised dishwashing services for cooked food stallholders during the no dine-in period./TISG
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