Famous 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodle hawker stall at Tekka Centre is on the lookout to employ a hardworking chef at S$2,500 to S$3,400, a salary that is above the market rate, with reasonable working hours from 5am to 2pm (9 hours, including meal breaks) for
five days a week, instead of the typical six day work week for service industry.
Advertising this vacancy on their Facebook page, the owner of the stall is Li Ruifang, also known as “Hae Mee Soh”, is a third generation hawker who had been taking charge of the stall in Tekka Food Centre since 2014.
As her parents are aging, Ms Li said that she needs more people to join her team so she will be able to whip up delicious prawn noodles for more people and continue the business for decades to come.
Ms Li is a university graduate who left her job in a multinational corporation to take over the family business as she did not want to see her family recipe die. It all started by her grandfather in the 1950s as he sold prawn noodles in Whampoa. Her father took over in the 1970s and refined the recipe that is still used to date.
In October 2018, the hawker had vetted her feelings on Facebook after customers complained that S$4 for a bowl of prawn noodles is expensive.
In her post, she explained that being a hawker is a lot of hard work and requires working long hours. She starts work every day at 2.30am peeling and boiling prawns to make the broth. She added that it takes 2.5 hours of cooking and preparation before the stall is ready for business.
As such, she said the businesswoman does not see why charging S$4 is expensive. Besides that, she also noted that food cost and cost of living has increased tremendously over the year, resulting to them charging a certain price for their food.
As someone who works 15 hours a day, Ms Li ventured into the hawker scene with zero experience and had to learn everything from scratch. In fact, it took her a year to finally get the groove of make prawn noodles.
Today, her stall is one of the renowned stalls at Tekka Centre, and was visited by the late Anthony Bourdain and three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura and his wife, as well as two-Michellin-star chef Julien Royer.
If that’s not all, Ms Li is also a firm believer of paying the right amount of salary for her employees, which explains why she is now looking to hire a chef for a wage that is reasonably high in the hawker industry.