One chicken rice stall in Toa Payoh recently issued a heartfelt apology to customers for removing the cheaper portion of chicken rice from its menu.
The owner of Poh Kee Chicken Rice, Michael Poh, explained that they had no choice but to do so after their rental was increased by S$2,000.
No more S$3.50 chicken rice
Poh was first informed about the upcoming rental hike on May 31.
In a June 1 Facebook post, Poh revealed that he had only a few days to decide whether to continue renting the stall at the current location, Block 206 Toa Payoh North.
He also had to calculate whether the stall could make enough to cover the more expensive rental.
Ultimately, it was decided that the stall would do away with the smaller and cheaper S$3.50 portions of chicken rice, and will continue selling the S$4.50 (medium) and S$5.50 (large) portions.
Poh promised that the stall will maintain its "standards" and quality of chicken rice without decreasing its quantity per portion.
He added that if any customers face difficulties in paying for the higher-priced portions, "we [are] sure we can work something out".
He ended his post by thanking customers for their understanding.
Chicken shortage problems
Many commenters sympathised with Poh's situation, especially in the midst of the current chicken shortage.
Poh Kee Chicken Rice previously shared about their struggles due to the shortage.
They had to increase the prices of their chicken rice, but insisted that the quantity of chicken in their meals is higher as compared to other chicken rice stalls that kept their prices the same.Poh Kee is also adamant about not using frozen chicken for their meals, as they are rather "particular".
As a workaround to the poultry shortfall, the stall will offer wanton noodles and roasted meat rice once the supplies of fresh chicken run out.
On June 2, Poh Kee shared that they had no more fresh chicken.
However, it appears that their wanton noodles were met with enthusiasm from customers, and were sold out by 5pm on that day.
More supplies of chicken coming in soon
Hawker stalls and restaurants will soon see some reprieve with more supplies of chicken being flown in in the coming weeks.
On June 4, Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan shared that Singapore is bringing in more supplies of chilled chicken from Australia and Thailand, as well as frozen chicken from sources such as Brazil and the United States.
Tan assured that Singapore's chicken supply remains stable, and noted that several supermarkets he visited were well stocked with chicken, including whole and parts, to raw and ready-to-eat, frozen and processed, as well as some chilled.
On the same day (June 4), Finance Minister Lawrence Wong shared that he had chicken rice for lunch.
Wong assured the public that as long as Singapore continues to diversify its import sources, Singaporeans will be able to get through the occasional disruptions in its food supply.
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Top photo from Pohboon Yeo / Google Maps