SINGAPORE: A list of the tender bids received by the National Environment Agency (NEA) during the August 2023 hawker stall bidding exercise shows that a stall at Newton Food Centre drew an eye-watering bid of more than S$6,800 per month in rental fees.

The vacant stall drew five tenders ranging from S$3,288 to SS$6,810 and the highest bid is higher than the S$6,320 monthly rental another stall in the same hawker centre drew in April this year. The highest bid is almost S$2,000 more than the next highest bid, which was just above S$5,000.

Newton Hawker Association said that although the typical late-night crowds have not been the same since the COVID-19 pandemic, the bidders who made such high bids may have their own business tactics to draw patrons.

It is unclear what these sales tactics may be, but the stall owners may be liable to pay more than S$8,000 per month given that stalls at Newton Food Centre command a S$893.16 table cleaning fee and a S$140.00 service and conservancy fee.

Meanwhile, another hawker made an S$8 bid for a stall at the hawker centre at 531A Upper Cross Street. He was the only bidder.

Although the lower-bid stalls are generally not located in the busiest locations, hawkers who spoke to the press have hopes of attracting customers if their fare, prices and service standards are good.