15 hawkers presented award for efforts in sustaining hawker culture

SINGAPORE – Fifteen hawkers have been awarded for their efforts in sustaining Singapore’s prized hawker culture on the SG Hawker Seminar on Monday (April 11).

Awards got out in three classes – the Promising New Hawker Award, the Hawker Heritage Award and the Enterprising Hawker Award – in the occasion organised by the Federation of Merchants’ (*15*) (FMAS) and supported by the National Environment Agency.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, presented the awards in the course of the ceremony held at Our Tampines Hub.

She stated: “Covid-19 has greatly impacted the lives of our hawkers… Our hawkers, who are our frontline heroes, have managed to emerge stronger, showing great tenacity and resilience.”

There have been 5 recipients of the Hawker Heritage Award, which recognises multi-generational manufacturers for their contributions to the continuation of hawker culture.

Four hawkers have been awarded the Enterprising Hawker Award for their efforts to innovate and implement new instruments and methods to develop their companies, whereas there have been six recipients of the Promising New Hawker Award for exhibiting potential in sustaining their budding companies.

A brand new award, the Progressive Hawker Centre Award, was awarded to 10 hawker centres on the ceremony.

Dr Khor stated making certain cleanliness, driving digitalisation and productiveness and enhancing vibrancy by means of programming are essential elements in future-proofing Singapore’s hawker commerce.

Such efforts are much more pertinent in navigating the Covid-19 endemic, she added.

The winners have been chosen from a pool of 111 hawkers by a panel of 5 judges, which included hawker meals advocates.

Many of the winners had shifted their companies on-line and tapped on meals supply platforms in the course of the pandemic – strikes which might be in line with altering client behaviour.

Currently, about 50 per cent of over 6,000 cooked meals stall holders are on board meals supply providers, and nearly 70 per cent have carried out e-payment strategies, stated Dr Khor.

During his speech on the awards ceremony, Mr Yeo Hiang Meng, president of FMAS, stated hawker culture is integral to the lifetime of Singaporeans.

He stated: “Through the stories of exemplary hawkers, we hope to inspire fellow hawkers to do better and more budding hawkers to join our hawker trade and safeguard our hawker heritage for future generations.”

Mr Ng Poh Hian, 36, a recipient of the Enterprising Hawker Award, is amongst those that have their menus listed on food-delivery platforms.

The proprietor of Lagoon In A Bowl, which sells Japanese-Western fusion rice bowls, additionally began to faucet on social media platforms to obtain supply orders when footfall at his stall fell to zero in the course of the lockdown in mid-2020.

Delivery orders quickly made up 60 per cent of his income, he stated.

Mr Ng stated enterprise is selecting up with the easing of security measures, and site visitors at Amoy Street Food Centre is now at 50 per cent of pre-pandemic ranges.

He stated: “I want to let hawkers know that it is important to have social media presence and (to) bring your business online.”

Mr Roimy Kassim, a recipient of the Promising New Hawker Award, inspired his fellow hawkers to look in direction of digital options resembling advertising their menus and receiving orders on social media platforms.

The 29-year-old, who runs Western fusion delicacies stall Brostern with three associates, turned to social media to promote group-buy collaborations throughout the completely different hawker stalls in Ci Yuan Hawker Centre in Hougang.

Companies, polyclinics, places of work and faculties have positioned orders which combine and match objects from stalls throughout the hawker centre by way of Brostern’s social media accounts, stated Mr Roimy.

The homeowners of Brostern coordinate these orders for the stall holders who’re much less digitally savvy.

Mr Roimy stated: “We’ve been doing this at no additional cost and nil fee. This is out of real ardour to assist each other.

“We are here to help elder hawkers get on board the digital world and help them boost their businesses so we can grow together and maintain harmony like the golden years before.”

Yishun Park Hawker Centre, which received the Progressive Hawker Centre Award, carried out e-payment throughout all stalls, and configured an in-house software that gives patrons with reductions.

Centres have been assessed based mostly on standards resembling their tray and crockery return charges and implementation of hawker productiveness initiatives.

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