But amidst the rising cost of living, there are food stalls that choose to maintain their prices.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, a caifan stallholder in Hougang, which sells three vegetable dishes for S$2, shared that they do not have plans to raise prices.
They are willing to absorb the costs for now as many customers do not have the luxury of a salary increase.
Just like many Singaporeans, business owners are currently feeling the pinch of rising costs.
According to Shin Min Daily News, they’re currently struggling with a hike in ingredient prices, utility bills and rent.
But some stalls, like the caifan stall at Block 6 Hougang Avenue 3, are fighting to keep their prices the same.
For the past three years, the stall has maintained its prices. For one vegetable and one meat, or three types of vegetables, it would only cost S$2.
The stall proudly displays their prices with a sign that reads, “WE FIGHT COVID-19 TOGETHER”.
Mr Guo, the 53-year-old stallholder, elaborated that the stall also classifies certain types of meats like luncheon meat, sardines, and otah under ‘vegetables’.
But they also offer customers other meats like chicken wings, curry chicken, and sweet and sour pork.
Mr Guo said that despite the recent rise in prices, they want to maintain prices so their regular customers can continue to afford their food.
He shared that many of the stall’s customers are regulars whose salaries have not increased. Life for them isn’t easy, Mr Guo said.
So in the meantime, the stall is doing its best to absorb all the extra costs.
And the Hougang eatery is not alone in trying to keep prices unchanged. Over at Block 262 Serangoon Central’s Song Le Coffee Shop, the caifan stall has not changed its prices in the past ten years.
Shin Min Daily News reported that buying rice with three vegetables would also cost S$2 there. One meat and one vegetable, or two types of meat, costs S$2.50.
Another caifan stall at Toa Payoh’s Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre does the same. But the stallholder said maintaining prices is not as easy as it sounds.
Ms Tan, 71, said prices of food supplies have been continually increasing.
Nonetheless, she tries to keep price increases at a minimum. One meat and two vegetables cost customers S$2.30 while two types of meat and two vegetables only cost S$3.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, she said she only raised prices by a few cents in hopes that everyone could continue enjoying their food without much worry.
Inflation is pushing up the prices of many essential items, which is understandably not easy for many to grapple with.
Despite enduring price increases, it’s heartening to see how some stallholders put their customers’ interests at the forefront of their decisions.
Hopefully, with the public’s support, their businesses will continue to flourish during this trying time.
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