Makansutra founder KF Seetoh, commenting on the S$500 grant to cooked food stall holders to help defray the cost of providing food delivery services to their customers, has asked why it is only for the 6,000 hawkers in hawker centres managed by the NEA or NEA-appointed operators.
He said: “What about the other 24,000 of them?”
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (April 22), he said: “THAT $500 GRANT … I don’t understand why they only hand out all the goodies to the seemingy ‘elite’ hawkers at public NEA hawker centres only. Free rents, maintenance cleaning and now even get S$500 grants to help them with registration fee for those usual suspect food delivery apps.”
Mr Seetoh wrote that the 24,000 or so hawkers who did not receive the grant make up a bigger part of the hawker scene “and many are at the mercy of their landlords on rents and maintenance cost currently with little help to go online for deliveries”.
Hawkers receive S$500 to offset the cost of delivering their food through online platforms. The amount will be available to those who engage food delivery platforms or third-party logistics firms to deliver food between April 7 and May 31.
A ban on eating at hawker centres and restaurants since April 7 means that only takeaways and delivery are allowed.
Mr Seetoh, who pointed out that delivery apps deduct 30 per cent from hawkers, noted that the expensive operation cost and low pricing in the food and beverage industry allows only for under 20 per cent profit, if hawkers manage to keep operating costs low. “Hawkers, as NEA mentioned before, make under 15% profit,” he added.
Sharing photos of a crowded Old Airport Road Hawker Centre and a practically-empty Marine Parade Hawker Centre, he added that “most HCs look like the Marine Parade sitn on most days”.
Mr Seetoh, who is doing his part by helping quieter hawker stalls take photos of their food plates, called for fair-deal delivery platforms to contact him.
“If you can help driving and delivering… pm me and I’ll see how best to place you in these platforms,” he said. /TISG