Hawker centres are something that we can proudly call “uniquely Singapore”, and are hawker food is an integral part of our culture – so much so that two stalls have even won Michelin stars.
Ever wondered how much it costs to rent a hawker stall? The National Environment Agency manages 107 hawker centres and markets islandwide and releases a list of all the available stalls for tender monthly. Aspiring hawkers have to submit bids for the stalls they want and tender is awarded to the highest bidder for each stall. The monthly tender exercise is held from the 13th to 26th of each month. Details on how to apply can be found here.
|Hawker centre||Rent / sqm
|Rent / stall
|Jalan Bukit Merah||$522.93||$2,949.34|
|Amoy Street Food Centre||$345.95||$1954.61|
|Maxwell Food Centre||$304.06||$2,797.35|
|Old Airport Road||$295.10||$1,628.97|
|Newton Food Centre||$280.93||$1,896.26|
|Aljunied Ave 2||$231.8||$1,390.8|
|Upper Boon Keng Road||$194.91||$1,218.16|
|Alexandra Village Food Centre||$183.14||$1,499.95|
|Holland Drive Market||$166.79||$1,501|
|Circuit Road Market & Food Centre||$153.30||$1088.43|
|Upper Cross Street||$145.73||$1005.57|
|Golden Mile Food Centre||$143.44||$932.38|
|Berseh Food Centre||$88.55||$645.52|
|Dunman Food Centre||$77.99||$467.93|
|Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre||$70.87||$610.90|
|Commonwealth Crescent Market||$66.68||$566.78|
There is no minimum bidding amount and a stall has even been tendered for $1! More recently, a hawker stall made the news for the highest tender bid ever awarded – $10,000.
The bidder, however, terminated the tenancy for the stall at Block 32, New Market Road last month before operations commenced. This led us to wonder: how much does hawker stall rental cost on average? Which hawker real estate is the most “expensive”? We’ve collated the bids from March 2012 to November 2016 from the NEA’s list of successful tender bids to show you the trends in hawker stall rental.
Highest tender: $4,888.00
Where: Blk 85 Redhill lane (Redhill Market)
What: Cooked food stall, tendered in 2016
Lowest tender: $1
Where: Commonwealth Crescent Market
What: Halal cooked food stall, tendered in 2014
Trends at some of the bigger hawker centres
Hawker centres are grouped geographically for easier comparison. The graphs are based on the average tender per square metre, each year (for example, in the first graph, the average tender at Maxwell Food Centre in 2013 was $269.10 per square metre). Most stalls are 6 - 9 square metres large. Note that some years have more successful tenders than others.
Outram/ Chinatown Area
Bukit Merah Area
Kallang/ Newton Area
Geylang/ Joo Chiat Area
Although we initially thought that hawker rentals would have risen over the years, this wasn't the case for every hawker centre.
Amoy Street Food Centre, Smith Street, Golden Mile and Taman Jurong Market had the highest number of successful tenders during the time period of March 2012 - November 2016 (and 48 out of 49 tenders at Golden Mile were in 2016). Halal cooked food and Indian cuisine stall tenders were markedly cheaper than those of cooked food stalls, with a couple of exceptions.
So, in a nutshell: how much does it cost to rent a hawker stall? That depends of where the stall is – if it's in a popular area, $1,500 - $2200 would be a decent bet. If it's is a less competitive area, you could try your luck with anywhere from $500 - $1000. This is only a guideline, of course, and it really depends on who you're bidding against!
Cheryl Tay is the editor and marketer at iCHEF Singapore. She also manages iCHEF Club, a growing community of F&B owners in Singapore – organising events, an online newsletter and the F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp, the only regular workshop on opening a new restaurant in the country. In her spare time, she attempts to read every book that’s ever won a literary prize and watches cat videos. Like any proper Singaporean, her love for food runs deep – especially spicy food. Chili is life.