Hawker stall centers are a big part of the Singapore-experience. The food scene in Singapore is grand as the locals love food. To meet this increasing demand, hawker stall businesses are mushrooming up all over the country. If you too want to dive into this very promising market with bright prospects, this guide will help delve into the fascinating venture.
Valid until the end of 2020, the Enterprise Development Grant helps small and medium enterprises such as hawker-stall business build internal capabilities in fields such as core capabilities, innovation and productivity, and market access. Managed by Enterprise Singapore, the grant allows Singapore SMEs to defray up to 90% costs of certain projects. While companies directly affected by COVID-19 will qualify for 90% support, other recipients will obtain 80%. Check out other available grants here.
Singapore aims to establish itself as the Asian region’s gastronomic capital. Governing bodies have recognized the significance of this goal and announced food safety incentives for hawker stall businesses to help maintain food safety. The Singapore government is well-aware of how important hawker stalls are for the local F&B landscape.
The Steps to Owning a Singapore Hawker Stall Business
To operate a hawker stall in Singapore, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore. In addition, you need to be of 21 years of age or more and have a good financial history. You will not be eligible if you have declared bankruptcy, have had licenses suspended, or been de-registered in the past.
You cannot run more than 2 cooked-food stalls in one hawker center. You apply for a hawker license under your personal name but it is recommended to form a Singapore-based company first. The process of running your own hawker stall venture is not complicated but there are a few steps you must follow, they are:
1. Secure a Premise for the Business
First of all, you need to have a premise for your hawker stall. You must secure a premise even before you apply for a Hawker Stall license and start running your business.
2. Get a Hawker Stall License
Anyone hoping to start a hawker stall venture in Singapore needs to get a Hawker Stall License. Especially if you aim to sell food and drinks at your establishment, this license is mandatory. The Hawker Stall License ensures that you are adhering to all the food safety and cleanliness requirements. You will also need this license if you wish to rent a hawker stall from the Government. If you plan on running the food stall in a privately-owned shop instead, you need to apply for a Food Stall License. Note that only citizens or permanent residents of Singapore of 21 years of age or above are eligible to apply for this license.
3. Ensure All the Food Handlers are NEA-Registered
For all F&B stalls, all the food handlers must be registered with the National Environment Agency (NEA) in order to legally work in the stall. As all hawker stalls are considered F&B establishments, this rule applies. You are required to provide details of your stall’s registered food handlers when applying for the hawker stall license. Moreover, before they are allowed to deal with food, designated food handlers must also take the WSQ Follow Food & Beverage Safety and Hygiene Policies course.
There are consequences of having unregistered food handlers at the stall. Your stall could be fined as much as $2,000. You could also be given a certain number of demerit points based on the Points Demerit System developed by the NEA. If you accumulate 12 demerit points or more within one year, your hawker stall will be at risk of getting revoked or suspended.
4. Abide By the Environmental Health Regulations
On top of that, you must not violate any of the environmental health regulations. Otherwise, you will be at risk of accumulating demerit points for failure to comply with environmental health regulations and violation of protocols. The Points Demerit System was developed to ensure that stalls comply with food safety standards at all times.
Costs of Setting Up a Singapore Hawker Stall Business in Singapore
Setting up a hawker stall in Singapore is not a very expensive venture. Perhaps, the biggest costs you may need to consider is the monthly rental and employee wages. Of course, there are several other expenses. Some of the other costs you need to keep in mind are:
- Cost of raw material and goods
- Table cleaning fee (if you run a cooked-food stall)
- Utility expenses
- The Service & Conservancy Charges
The Incubation Stall Programme: Find Out whether the Hawker-Stall Business Is For You
Launched by NEA, the Incubation Stall Programme is an attempt to help aspiring hawker stall businesses get into the industry. NEA assists companies to get into the trade. Successful applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will be granted 50% market rent for the first 9 months. After this period, they will receive 75% of the rent for six more months. As an effort to reduce the upfront investment on set up, the stall will come pre-fitted with some basic equipment as well.
Over these 15 months, you will get the opportunity to learn some business tricks and establish your business. This program is a great scope for you to test run the business and decide if this is really the line of trade for you without investing too much capital.
You do not require any previous experience operating, managing, or working in this field to qualify. However, you are expected to attend a Hawker Business Management course offered by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Alternatively, if you have ever attended a similar course or any other business management course, you will be considered eligible for the Incubation Stall Programme.
Are You Ready? Here’s How to Start!
Are you excited to start already? You can follow our step-by-step guide for Singapore company registration. Furthermore, company incorporation experts at Timcole can help guide you and set up the business of your dreams.