Renowned local food guru KF Seetoh has expressed surprise over how the management of the Jewel Changi made vendors believe that the shopping centre would be crowded and busy round the clock, in a Facebook post published yesterday (11 July).
KF Seetoh is the founder of the long-running Makansutra food network which has produced heritage street food guides, international culinary tv shows and operated food markets over its 21-year history.
Mr Seetoh has also been lauded by international publications like the New York Times and CNN and was recognised as Singapore’s Food Ambassador by former President SR Nathan.
Several vendors at the Jewel Changi initially kept their eateries open 24/7, expecting huge crowds at the multi-million dollar premise connected to the Changi Airport. When crowds dwindled in the nighttime, some stores wished to close early but the management expects the restaurants to remain open until 3am at the very least.
This week, the management finally conceded and allowed eateries to close as early as midnight.
Asserting that the initial attraction to the Jewel Changi is slowly and steadily declining, Mr Seetoh wrote: “24/7 operations is ridiculous in this hair raising manpower climate. So they made it 18hrs (till 3am) and now some till 12 midnight.
“That’s still thin ice they are walking on. I don’t know what spells they placed that made these vendors believe its gonna be a round the clock busy place in the first place. And they opened only in Mid April this year.”
Mr Seetoh added that it is curious that the mall can offer long opening hours when they have to “rely desperately on part timers, students and older folks (that need to stand all day)” and since “work permit holders that have now become the pickiest workers here due to the tight manpower crunch and joyous availability of jobs Singaporeans shun.”
Sharing that the eateries at the Jewel Changi are desperate for long lines of patrons, Mr Seetoh said, tongue-in-cheek: “Meanwhile…Joo Chiat still more happening than Jewel.” -/TISG