Food

Tech Illiterate Elderly Hawkers Can’t Take Online Order & Plan To Shut Down Stalls

This world is moving at the speed of light. Regardless of the industry, technology will always play a part, including the food and beverage industry. In F&B, food can be easily delivered via food delivery platforms. But, it does not necessarily mean that everyone is equipped with the knowledge. Hawkers that have been working perfecting their culinary skills for decades are now suffering from the Heightened Alert.

Elderly Hawkers Are Suffering From Heightened Alert

 

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Technology isn’t everyone’s best friend. For heritage hawkers, it is a real struggle to pull Heightened Alert. As they are not able to adapt to food delivery platforms, sales have been highly affected as dine-in is currently not allowed. For the man behind Ah Tee Ko Ko Mee, Sim Ah Tee, 73, is unable to read and write. Hence, he has difficulty keeping up with technology.

 

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In an interview with 8days.sg, his son mentioned that Mr. Sim is only using a Nokia phone. Due to the location of his stall, Mr. Sim is also facing bigger competition as Berseh Food Centre is just a stone’s throw away. In the interview, his son further added that Mr. Sim does not wish to retire as he has been working on the same business for years. However, if the situation prolongs, there seems to be no other choice.

Find Ah Tee Ko Ko Mee at #01-100 Gourmet Street, Blk 27 Kelantan Court, S20027. It is open from Monday to Saturday, from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

In a similar situation, the duo behind 85 乡村古早蚝煎 stated that they have zero income from February to June last year as the spot was undergoing renovation. Located at Fengshan Centre, Goh Peng Huan, 61, and Anne Tan, 59, serve fried oyster omelette, carrot cake, bak chor mee, and ngoh hiang. Now, they have noticed that there is a drastic drop in sales as HA was announced.

Find 85 乡村古早蚝煎 #01-05, 85 Fengshan Centre, Blk 85 Bedok North St 4, S460085. It is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., closed on alternate Tuesdays. 

Photo: SockPeng Ng (Facebook)

There are some elderly hawkers who know how to read and write, but it does not mean that they are tech-savvy. One example is the lady behind 915 Prawn Mee. Operated by an 80-something lady for more than fifty years, the lady mentioned that she faces logistical challenges for food delivery.

Photo: SockPeng Ng (Facebook)

Speaking to Malaysian author SockPeng Ng, the lady said, “If the food spills along the way, I have to make the order again. If the delivery is too slow, people will complain that the food is cold.” Despite the challenges faced, the lady behind 915 Prawn Mee appears to be very determined to run the business.

Find 915 Prawn Mee at 827 Tampines Street 81, S520827.

Photo: Kelly Chong (Google)

In another story, Ah Meng, 78, has been selling traditional kueh for more than 20 years. Famous for handmade sweet potato ondeh ondeh and tapioca kueh, his kueh is usually sold out by noon. Unfortunately, the circumstances have changed during HA. Speaking to 8days.sg, he worries that if he does delivery, there will not be enough to go around for his regular customers.

Photo: hungrygowhere.com (Website)

With a good heart, the leftovers will be distributed to old folk’s home at the end of the day. Apart from hawkers, beverages that are located in food centres are heavily affected by HA. An owner of a beverage stall mentioned that even if they are based on food delivery platforms, no one will make an order. With that said, remember to quench your thirst while making some orders in hawkers!

Find Ah Meng at #02-45 Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, 531A Upper Cross St, S051531. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Remember To Support Elderly Hawkers During Heightened Alert

Apart from these elderly hawkers, there are others out there who require some help. If you have been supporting the same hawkers throughout the years, remember to drop by for takeaways when it is safe. In addition to this, there are many Facebook groups that are aiding these hawkers through promotions. Do you have a hawker that you would like to share? You can drop them in the comments!

This story has been adapted from 8days.sg. 

Cover Photo: @diannensh (Instagram)

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