A new kind of hawker franchise model/ mentorship model has emerged, in the form of Mr Niven Leong, owner of Uncle Chicken Rice in this article "Two paid $42,800 each for chicken rice recipe".
In exchange for $42,800 (per person), Mr Leong will teach you "the A to Z of running a chicken rice stall": cooking the everything from the chicken to the chilli according to his late father's Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice recipe, chopping up chicken, managing inventory, etc. Two people have paid up to learn; they are allowed to associate their own eateries with Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice and Uncle Chicken Rice (Mr Leong's own brand).
Restaurant sales for the first half of 2016 were bad. Almost every month was worse than last year's.
Cafés, canteens, and foodcourts are performing better though – takings have increased by 0.2 - 7%. Not really surprising news as people are wary about the economy, but bleak nonetheless.
The Government has come up with a Food Services Transformation Map to raise productivity and reduce reliance on manpower. Hint: it involves Ready-to-Eat meals, manpower-lean technologies, training, and expanding to overseas markets.
New services/ innovations
Have you heard of the Makan Bus? It's a hop-on hop-off bus service that takes you into the heartlands to sample good ol' hawker food. It costs $28 per person, not including the food (you buy your own, according to your preference). The Makan Bus launched a couple of weeks ago and comes with Singaporean tour guides.
Interesting list of famous chefs' favourite ingredients. Any guesses which is the most popular? Fun to read, and perhaps you'll find some inspiration too.
Insights into a food critic's life
The New York Times' restaurant critic, Pete Wells, has the clout to make or break restaurants. This article details his struggles with the heavy responsibility, from how he tries to retain anonymity to what gets him excited about a restaurant. For instance, did you know he visits a restaurant three times before publishing a review? Read only when you have time – this is a long article.
Bonus: Agree with the government's view that F&B needs to do something about its manpower problem? We made a 5-part series on HR for F&B and here's our first – Stop Hiring the Wrong Waiters!