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KF Seetoh posts photos of empty Shake Shack and A&W at Jewel Changi, writes, “Joo Chiat more happening than Jewel”

The Independent logo The Independent 22/5/2019 Anna Maria Romero
© Facebook screengrab/ KF Seetoh

Singapore — Has the Jewel lost its shine so quickly? In a country where lining up in queues for popular establishments is a national pastime, food maven and Makansutra Founder KF Seetoh showed photos on his Facebook account of how seemingly empty the much-ballyhooed fast-food restaurants Shake Shack and A&W are.

The food guru even made a joke about A&W, which he said stood for “Anybody Want?”

And to think that these establishments only opened at Jewel Changi on April 17.

The pre opening line at the Shake has slacked to kosong n A&W stands for Anybody Want? The 24 hr food hall is thr to…

Posted by Kf Seetoh on Tuesday, 21 May 2019

On Wednesday morning, May 22, Mr Seetoh wrote on Facebook, “The pre-opening line at the Shake has slacked to kosong n A&W stands for Anybody Want? The 24 hr food hall is there to serve some overpromised kpi n i did not even know there is a food court hidden within the food hall. I think now Joo Chiat more happening than Jewel la. A stall manager said they, like else where get the usual lunch crowd but picks up only on weekends.

Did someone over rara on promises at Jewel.”

Answering some of the commenters who said that perhaps it was too early and the restaurants were not open yet, Mr Seetoh said he took the photos at 9:15 am and was referring to the “pre-opening” queues, which were, surprisingly, absent.

He made the following point, “The pre opening qs (queues) are gone. The usual crowds appear closer to 10+. If nobody at some hrs..why make them open 24/7 in these depressed manpower conditions.”

a screenshot of a cell phone © The Independent Singapore

Many netizens, however, recounted their recent experiences that the lines in these places have still been very long.

a screenshot of a cell phone

© The Independent Singapore

Mr Seetoh said he was glad to hear that crowds still come during peak hours.

a screenshot of a cell phone © The Independent Singapore

Much has been made of the long lines snaking over Jewel Changi since it opened, especially for these two fast-food places. But some netizens pointed out the exceedingly high prices for food stalls at Jewel Changi.

a screenshot of a cell phone

© The Independent Singapore

One netizen, however, posited the possibility that Mr Seetoh may have an agenda for posting photos of the absence of queues at Shake Shack and A&W.

a screenshot of a cell phone © The Independent Singapore

The food guru, a prominent Singaporean food consultant, writer and TV host is a long champion of hawkers and their contribution to the country’s culture and culinary legacy.

He made the news earlier this year for highlighting the woes of hawkers at Chinatown Complex, who stood to lose their livelihood for the two months that saw the complex shut while needed repairs were carried out.

In a Facebook post Mr Seetoh wrote, “These chinatown hawkers have to close for 3 months for renovations with no alternative spots to conduct business. They are just left hanging on in the lurch and running on empty It’s like your boss telling you to take a 2 month no pay leave cause there’s office renovations.”

However, instead of merely airing the hawkers’ gripes, he also provided some possible solutions to the problem.

“I sense some of the older hawkers may lose their rhythm and call it quits after the works. Toa Payoh Lor 7 hawker centre will also close for up to 3 months soon.

My first salvo, to those who want it- offer them a temp slot at the many empty hawker stalls around the island, even if it is a one or two month gig.

One other thing they can do is cook from home and work with delivery companies. Many still wanna eat their stuff out of habit or even necessity. It is allowed under home business schemes with NEA”, he added.

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