Rojak Seller Allegedly Closes Telok Blangah Stall Due To Low Earnings
Complaints about rising prices due to inflation are in abundance, but we rarely see its effects on business owners. Well, the phenomenon has apparently taken a toll on a rojak seller, who used to run a stall in Telok Blangah.
50-year-old Zhong Caifa, who goes by Andrew, had to shut down his stall on the eve of Chinese New Year after earning peanuts over the past six months.
To make up for his losses, the single father took on a part-time job as a hotel security guard.
The routine eventually became unsustainable, and Andrew had no choice but to let go of his stall.
Earned as low as S$12 in a day
Andrew told Shin Min Daily News that the costs of running the stall had increased by at least 20%.
In order to ensure that he didn’t lose regular customers, he refrained from increasing the prices of the food he sold.
Unfortunately, this only caused him to suffer. Over a period of two months, Andrew allegedly earned just S$400.
At times, he would take home as low as S$12 in a day. The most he reaped in one day was only S$65.
Considering the poor sales, Andrew even considered relocating. However, the rental costs at other locations were reportedly too high for him to afford.
He noted how he had found another location at a coffee shop in Toa Payoh, but the rent was S$3,000 a month, a price he “[didn’t] even dare to think about”.
Life as a single father makes things harder
Apart from keeping his business afloat, the single father also has to support his 9-year-old son, who lives in Thailand with his ex-wife.
According to Shin Min Daily News, Andrew has to remit S$1,000 to Thailand every month to pay for his son’s living expenses.
Since he wasn’t earning enough money from his rojak stall, Andrew took on a part-time job as a hotel security guard.
He would work from 8pm to 8am the next day at the hotel, take a short nap, and then head out to open his stall.
While it helped him to earn roughly S$100 more each day, this lifestyle became unsustainable as it tired him out too much. Andrew mentioned how he would end up dozing off at his stall due to lack of sleep.
Took over rojak stall after an injury
Before becoming a rojak seller, Andrew was actually a food delivery rider, Shin Min Daily News noted.
However, he suffered an accident in 2021 and broke his arm, which allegedly cost him his job.
Thankfully, the previous owner of the rojak stall taught him the tricks of the trade and eventually passed the stall on to Andrew. The stall became his main mode of income since.
To lose his bread and butter in such an unfortunate manner is thus very heartbreaking. We wish Andrew the best and hope that he’ll find an alternative, stable source of income soon.
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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News and Catherine Ling on Flickr.
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