Chapter 11: Life as a hawker – Tiring, sweltering & long working hours 【小贩的生活 – 疲惫,闷热,偏长工作时间】

Before starting the life as a hawker, we were undeterred by our friends and families who cautioned against the potential tolling works that are associated with F&B industry. It is when we came on board and realized that it is true that working in F&B industry is taxing. Further aggravating the situation would be the relatively constrained space and sweltering environment. From the outsider point of view, it may looked easy for a vendor to operate a stall.

It is not.

After deducting all the operating, food and miscellaneous cost, majority of an average hawker will incur losses, and only a small percentage of them can generate net income that is indifferent with a blue-collar worker. The net income of a ‘long queue’ hawker would be indifferent with a white-collar professional, but at the expense of much higher time and labor to earn it. And it may well explain why the turnover of new hawker stall is high, and it is regrettable that some quality stalls just could not sustain over the time and close shutter.

It does make sense for one to eat over at hawker eateries, if the hawker stall delivers great food, if you counted all the efforts in crafting out the recipe + preparation time + logistic of getting all the ingredients + time and effort of clearing up the crockery after the operating hours.

This is hereby giving our highest salute to all the hawkers, who commit their life to produce great food to the public, and for those who recognize the inside value of each served meal.

 

在还没踏入小贩的生活之前,父母朋友们都曾告诫过我们关于做餐饮业将会有很多工。我们从事其中后,才深深地了解到做餐饮业真的会是非常地累。雪上加霜的是,我们必需在相对小的空间运营,及炎热的环境下操作。

对于一个外来者而言,像经营这样一个小档口看似简单。

其实不然。

在扣除完所有的营运成本,食物成本等等,多数的普通小贩都还是将陷入亏损,而只有小部分的小贩还能赚取跟蓝领阶级人士不相上下的收入。而排长龙的小贩所赚的收入与白领阶级的人士是不相上下,但必须费上更多的时间及精力来赚取。这或许可解释为何许多新开的档口很快就支撑不下,而更有一些好吃的档口也是支持不下而选择关门。

身为消费者,如果一个摊主所呈现的食物是属于很好吃,他(她)应该考虑在那里品尝。原因是若要做出一个好吃的独有秘方已是件极难的事了,再加上准备食材,运输,清理餐具的一切时间精力,这所有一切对于消费者所得到的价值将远超于所付出的价格。

在这里,我们向所有为大众尽心尽力的呈现好食物的摊主们致敬,也向体认到一个好食物里面价值的消费者们致敬。