Hawkers Left With Excess Food After Seletar Food Court Abruptly Closes

For many Singaporeans, the neighbourhood food court or kopitiam is the most convenient and reliable option to get our meals.

Hawkers also diligently prepare food ingredients beforehand, ensuring everything is in order.

However, for hawkers at Greenwich V food court at Seletar, they found themselves left with tons of pre-ordered ingredients as the food court abruptly closed on 7 Apr.

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Hawkers had to deal with large amounts of stock food like chickens and rice. One even had up to 100kg of prawns.

Hawkers informed of closure 1 day before

On 7 Apr at 11am, hawkers at the Food Scholar food court at Greenwich V were notified that the food court will be closed.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, hawkers had to immediately move out a day later.

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This caught many hawkers off guard as they usually order their ingredients a day in advance. Now, they were left with excess stock.

Hawkers left with pre-ordered stock

News of the sudden closure came as a big blow to hawkers.

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Amongst them was the owner of a prawn noodle stall that just opened 2 days before the closure notice. Workers were then forced to move over 100kg of frozen prawns back to the owner’s home.

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They had to use 4 refrigerators to keep all the stock.

Speaking to Lianhe Wanbao, the chicken rice stall hawker said when they were notified of the closure, they had just made their orders for the next day.

Left with 50kg of rice and 8 chickens, they were left with no choice but to sell all they can till late at night before distributing the leftovers to others.

The stall owner revealed that they still owed their supplier around $2,000 to $3,000.

Other stall owners echoed similar predicaments. The yong tau foo stall owner said they too had pre-ordered plenty of stock.

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They lamented that the food court should have at least given them 3 days’ notice before the closure.

Food court operator & mall in rental dispute

The food court had been at Greenwich V for 5 years but the business was hard hit by the pandemic outbreak, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

The operator felt that the mall should have provided greater rental subsidies to them and refused to pay rent for several months.

Negotiations between the mall and the food court operator started back in Nov 2020 but both parties failed to reach a compromise.

The mall later issued a notice of termination to the food court operator in February and the final reminder came a week before.

Speaking to Lianhe Wanbao, the food court operator said he had a good relationship with the hawkers and will compensate them for their losses.

Hope hawkers will be compensated

Even though the worst may be over, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have far-reaching impact on businesses.

It is unfortunate that things had to come to such an end for the Seletar food court and their hawkers.

Hopefully, the food court operator will be able to reimburse the hawkers and staff for the sudden closure.

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Featured image adapted from Lianhe Wanbao and Google Maps.