While most hawkers are charging higher prices, a handful have managed to keep their prices down while still making profits ("Cheap and good: How some hawkers keep their prices down"; Tuesday).
It is good to study the secrets behind the success of some of these hawkers, who face the same challenges as others, such as the rising cost of ingredients and rentals, manpower shortage and higher wage demands.
I reckon some factors include:
Maintaining the quality of the food; Generating enough volume of sales to mitigate thinner profit margins; Sourcing cheaper ingredients without compromising quality; Raising productivity to cope with the larger customer base; Retention of customer loyalty; and Good stall location. Perhaps some empirical study could be done to fully comprehend how these stalls operate successfully. The results could offer pointers to other hawkers.
Clearly, many hawkers are working long hours and yet are hardly making any money. Any help we can offer them would be helpful.
Raymond Koh Bock Swi
This article was first published on Oct 24, 2014.
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