Amoy Street Food Centre stall charges S$1 for empty bowl, customer ‘stunned’

Oh no.

Mandy How | July 1, 06:34 pm


A lor mee stall in Amoy Street Food Centre has made the news for charging a customer S$1 to use an empty bowl.

Does not charge for takeaways

Speaking to Shinmin Daily (SMDN), 47-year-old Chen Yaozong said he was stunned when the stall owner asked him for the S$1 payment.

On June 30, at least one SMDN reporter visited the stall and did not find any signs regarding the charge, but was similarly asked to pay S$1 when they requested for an empty bowl.

The 60-year-old stall owner, known as Xu, explained that the charges for washing dishes were calculated by quantity, which is the reason for the additional charge.

However, he does not charge for takeaways or extra noodles.

Xu told SMDN:

“I’m running the stall alone, it’s difficult to juggle the washing and cooking, so the washing is outsourced, but that also means higher cost.

I don’t accept change (i.e lose coins) as it’s too troublesome, so if customers are unwilling to pay the S$1, they can choose not to take an additional bowl.”

Xu added that he did not ask for additional plates when he used to bring his children out for meals.

“The additional plates will require more detergent and water to clean, it’s actually a waste of resources and not environmentally friendly at all.”

S$800 a month for dishwashing

When interviewed by SMDN, president of the hawker’s association Xiao Bingxian, 46, said that he did not know about the S$1 charge.

Xiao said:

“More than 10 stall owners in the hawker centre outsource their dishwashing, which costs about S$800 per month.

That amounts to one to two cents per bowl, and although the cost is high, the additional S$1 charge is too expensive. I might meet with the stall owner to discuss the matter.”

Xiao added that due to space constraints, it could be challenging for the hawker to take care of both the washing and cooking, which is why the stall owner decided to outsource the washing.

It is unclear if the customer ultimately paid the S$1.

Top image via Google Maps


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About Mandy How

Mandy is a pantry rat. She eats everything in the pantry (except other people's food).

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