With the increase in the cost of living in Singapore lately, it might seem reasonable for rent prices for coffee shop stalls to increase.
However, it seems like even inflation isn’t a good enough reason for this coffeeshop at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Block 233, as most of its stall owners have left or are leaving their businesses behind after what they feel is an unreasonable hike in rent.
Based on reports by Shin Min Daily News, out of the ten stalls at the coffee shop, only four are currently open. Apart from the drinks stall, there were three other stallholders who decided to discontinue their business at the start of the year due to various reasons.
With an upcoming one-month long renovation of the coffeeshop that is set to begin on 1 June this year, the remaining six stallholders have all decided to not continue renting their stalls as well.
The reason? Their rent will be almost twice the amount after the renovations are completed.
Shin Min interviewed a few stallholders at the coffee shop to better understand their plight.
Xu Zhilong, who has run the economy bee hoon stall at the coffee shop for the past 30, is the stallholder who has worked at the coffee shop for the longest period of time.
The 60-year-old revealed that the management told him two weeks ago that his monthly rent will be increased from $3,000 to $6,000. Along with that, his stall will be smaller in size after the renovation works.
Hence, he has decided to wrap up business at the end of this month (May 2022) and take a break afterwards.
Another stallholder, Peng Shuqing, 72, also received similar rates from the management.
The mixed vegetable store stall owner said that the management increased his rent to at least $5,500, much higher than the original $2,800.
In addition to that, stallholders will have to pay a minimum of $1,200 for cutlery and crockery returning services, as well as a few hundred dollars for miscellaneous fees.
When Shin Min contacted the person in charge of the coffee shop, whose surname is Su, he explained that management adjusted the amount of rent accordingly, and that their rates are on par with the market rates.
Additionally, he also brought up how the renovation works will cost the management a hefty sum of money.
Lastly, he also touched on the additional charges such as the cutlery and crockery returning services and cleaning fees that they will be collecting from the stallholders in the future.
He mentioned that the management did not collect these fees in the past. Now that they are doing so since it is the norm, stallholders may find the increase in rent to be much more than it actually is.
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