26-Year-Old Works 15 Hours Daily As Ipoh Curry Mee Hawker & Delivery Driver To Repay Debt
The young towkay behind Wang Cai is double hatting as a hawker and driver to pay for the costs incurred after relocating his stall due to poor footfall.
Last year, Ipoh-born Tay Yee Sheng, 26, and his wife Ruby Thong, 24, quit their supervisor roles at Genki Sushi to become hawkers. They started their stall Wang Cai selling hearty Ipoh curry mee as well as other curry-centric dishes at a Jurong West coffeeshop in June.
Despite rather good reviews, they shut their stall after just four months due to lacklustre business.
“Sales more than doubled after 8days.sg featured our stall last September and we made more than $1K a day. But when the hype died down after three weeks, things were back to how they were before,” laments Yee Sheng.
“We didn’t get much footfall at the coffeeshop ’cos the location is quite ulu. Customers told us that our food is good, but they wouldn’t come if they didn’t have transport.”
The hawkers also didn’t have the best luck and timing. When they were doing market research for the location, the stalls at the coffeeshop were fully occupied and there was a good amount of footfall. But after they signed the lease, several stalls shut and the crowd began to thin.
They made losses every month, only breaking even in September, when 8days.sg visited the stall, hence, the painful decision to shut it in November. They also closed their franchise outlet in an industrial estate in Sembawang “as business wasn’t good”.
“Though we couldn’t bear to let go of our stall, the reality is we were struggling and bleeding every month, so there was really no point holding on,” says Yee Sheng. The couple has since parted ways with their business partner Yap Kang Ling, 31, and relocated their stall to a heartland coffeeshop in Telok Blangah in January.
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