Models For Running Hawker Centres

by Patrick Liew on August 16, 2019

Models For Running Hawker Centres

In recent times, different models have been proposed to run hawker centres effectively and efficiently.

1. Social Enterprise Model

The social enterprise model is a relatively new business model and it has not been widely-adopted in the food and beverage industry.

Many social entrepreneurs have their hearts in the right places in terms of wanting to meet social and environmental needs.

However, they may not have adequate focus, capacity and capability to capitalize on business opportunities locally as well as overseas to grow their profits in order to improve their social contributions.

Other than social enterprises that are backed by governments, trade unions, and major enterprises, there’re not many success stories in the marketplace.

Suffice to say we are experiencing many downsides of the social enterprise model and its inherent risks, trade-offs, and both intended and unintended consequences.

2. Government-Managed Model

I believe that free market forces in a globalized economy are some of the most effective arbiters of productivity, service, competitiveness, and sustainable results.

In this regard, I’m not so sure that the government will be in the best position to run hawker centres effectively and efficiently.

It may also be hard pressed for civil servants to get the best bang for the bucks in providing a combination of public and commercial services.

They may not have the necessary and up-to-date experience, expertise and other requisite resources to run hawker centres.

3. Private Enterprise Model

If private enterprises run hawker centres, they may be more focused on achieving profits or preventing losses.

They may fail to provide adequate attention to serving a greater good, helping hawkers offer an ever-improving range of food and services, and enhancing quality and standards in the long run.

4. Public-Private Partnership Model

After looking at various options, it may be better to run hawker centres as a public-private partnership.

The government should look after development, maintenance and improvement of the hawker centres, and private companies should compete to manage the hawker centers and improve its offerings to the public.

As a hybrid model, appropriate agencies can ensure that hawker centres are more comfortable, appealing and conducive to not only eat but also for families and communities to bridge relationships and bond with one another.

Pricing for running hawker centres and their stalls can be controlled and calibrated to ensure that an appropriate range of quality food and beverage are affordable, available and accessible.

Private enterprises can help hawkers improve their food offerings, improve their services, and achieve cost effectiveness so as to achieve an equitable level of returns for their labor and grow their businesses.

For example, private enterprises can help to facilitate bulk purchase of ingredients, organise training, coaching and guidance, and automate back-up support and services to reduce costs and improve productivity.

At the same time, private enterprises can also look into enhancing their experience and expertise to export our unique model of running hawker centres and open up new markets overseas.

In doing so, they can achieve economy of scale to further improve our hawker centres.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Powered by Facebook Comments

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: