National Environmental Agency (NEA) published a press release on Thursday (13 Jun) saying that based on a survey conducted last year, a “high majority” of people are satisfied with the hawker centres in Singapore.
It said that its most recent Perception Survey of Hawker Centre Patrons 2018 (PSHCP) found that overall, nine in ten respondents were satisfied or highly satisfied with hawker centres.
PSHCP 2018 was carried out by an external survey company over a 3-month period in the third and fourth quarters of 2018, using a structured questionnaire over face-to-face interviews with Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents at their homes. The survey did not differentiate between existing and new hawker centres. Altogether, a total of 1,103 responses were gathered from the residents.
Highlights of survey findings include:
a. Overall, 91% of the respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied with hawker centres.
b. 99% of the respondents were satisfied with the affordability of food options in hawker centres.
c. On the quality of food (e.g. ingredients, portion, taste) in hawker centres, 98% of the respondents expressed that they were satisfied.
d. 87% of the respondents were satisfied with the dining environment (e.g. ventilation, cleanliness, hygiene) in hawker centres.
e. Hawker centres had been cited as one of the top three most important amenities in a neighbourhood.
f. Overall, 36% of respondents visited hawker centres the most often. By age group, 39% of respondents aged 40 and above visited hawker centres most often, while 28% of respondents aged 30 and below reported visiting hawker centres most often.
g. 83% of respondents eat at or buy takeaways from hawker centres at least once a week.
h. 91% of the respondents agreed that hawker centres promote interactions among people from all walks of life, and are good places to interact with friends, family and neighbours.
i. 47% of respondents in 2018 said they had returned their trays most and all of the time (at least three out of five times). This is an almost 15% point improvement from 33% in 2016.
j. In 2018, 39% of respondents said they had not visited wet markets in the past year. In 2016 and 2014, the corresponding figures were 33% and 23% respectively.
“Hawker centres are well patronised and appreciated by our residents, and they continue to be relevant as the community dining rooms in Singapore,” NEA said.
For many Singaporeans, the hawker centre food would be the only thing they could afford to eat these days.