BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Business have been going well for vendors at the Gerai Ramadhan Stadium as most of them managed to secure at least four-digit profits towards the end of the fasting month.
Most of the 400 participating businesses were able to cover their rents in less than a week after starting out their sales. Rental fees go at $350 per booth, with youth entrepreneurs given a $100 discount as per government initiative.
Some of the vendors also secured bookings for services like live-cooking and catering for the upcoming Raya festivities.
Owner of Gerai Nasi Ayam Afsah Noor, Hjh Asmah Hj Matnoor said her sales have been encouraging since the start of the fasting month, allowing her to cover rental fees for four booths two days after opening up her booth at the Stadium.
Hjh Asmah’s stall featured live-cooked noodles and her specialty chicken rice, along with traditional Malays kuehs to delight clients and all others who passed by her booths.
“I have been joining the Gerai Ramadhan Stadium as a vendor since its inception. Most of the time, I would be selling food at Pasar Malam in Gadong,” said the 56-year-old businessowner.
“Nothing much has changed in these several years, profit has been good, we have been getting four-digit profit, business has been well-maintained…. but we definitely want to move forward. So perhaps in the next Ramadhan, we may be introducing new dishes and kuehs, and hopefully people will like them,” she added.
Echoing the same was Mohd Nabil Iskandar, 31-year-old owner of the Hillside Kitchen who said his earnings may have gone to a gross amount of $7,000 towards the end of Ramadhan.
“We may have started out late, but business have been well and we were able to pay out rent for our booths,” he said.
Hillside Kitchen’s signature dish was Ayam Gepuk, which is a delicacy featuring a deep-fried chicken leg pasted with special condiments and spices and sidelined with rice – a dish which, according to the owner, appeals to both the younger and older generation of food lovers.
“Two years ago, I joined Gerai Ramadhan Stadium as a vendor selling Burritos. Although the sale was good, I feel like I needed to sell something that does not just appeal to the younger population,” he said.
“The Ayam Gepuk then came to thought – and true enough, not only the younger people go to us to buy our dish, the elderlies too were interested to try. There is also potential clients who wanted us to do live-cooking at their premises this Raya,”
“With such reception, we are definitely looking forward to participate again next year,” he added.