Singaporeans Highest Spenders On Makan..Really?

By KF Seetoh - Thursday, May 09, 2013

A typical makan day: you drag yourself out of bed, wake the system up and then have a cuppa milk, chocolate, Horlicks, coffee or tea (perhaps a glass of juice for the soldiers of longevity). You pop in a bread smeared with jam or peanut butter or perhaps head down to the kopitiam downstairs or nearby and have your fix of kopi and toast for $2.


Lunch: a plate of wanton mee, chap chye or chicken rice, fish ball noodle, porridge, a sandwich or burger from the chain outlets or maybe a plate of nasi biryani or Padang (these things aren’t that cheap no more).


Dinner: you head home because mum says so, otherwise it’s a trip with the gang you miss (had not seen them for three days) and tear into some cze cha meal at your fave hawker centre. You let it all hang and even wash it down with a cold beer or sugar cane with a wedge of lemon. $10 each.


(file photo: Makansutra)


Now there is a revelation on what you already know all along – that we are spending US$262 a month on makan, which makes us the highest spenders on makan in the Asia Pacific region, ahead of even Japan. It’s as if they discovered the wheel…again.


US$262 works out to be about S$10 a day and if you look at the meals above, that’s what you would normally spend a year. And if you throw in a fancy pasta here, and a decent steak and beer there, each month, you would blow that daily budget, which means you have to give in to mom’s call to makan back home more often than you would like. This makes the world think we are richer than we really are. This Mastercard survey which had about 500 surveyed does us no favour. Now everyone who cooks or who think they can, will want to set shop here and reach into your U$262 monthly makan budget. While it can make for more exciting makan culture, it also gives you more reason to spend what you don’t have more of… money.


So what does it mean- they will egg you to spend more on their fancier food as they have you believe that their organic or imported whatever justifies it. Which also means that the US$262 figure will rise. Which also means we will hit new record high as perhaps – the biggest dollar spenders on makan, in the world. Which also means, (loop to top of this paragraph and enter vicious cycle, for part two).


(file photo: Makansutra)


Then you realise that this information is released by the credit card people (they are always giving us discounts, bravo), and they mentioned something about the influence of bloggers, although they said the blogger ratio in Singapore is half that of those in Thailand, China and Malaysia. You suddenly question the link between the release of these figures and bloggers, as if they suddenly influenced your $10 spend on makan each day. So it’s the dance of the blogger and the tunes of the credit card dining programs.


Didn’t someone tell them there’s a flock out there who’s trying to lower that US$262 figure? Didn’t they also hear their orchestrated cries and jeers over rising cost of fish ball noodles and chicken rice (from $2 to $2.50), as they blog or read about which Best Restaurant award winner should they blow their next $150 meal at?


Stop crying and go home to mummy for dinner and tell her you love her.