Pasar Malam Burger Stall Owner Wants to Escape Crazy Rental Prices by Opening Up Restaurant
by Safiah Alias Aug 24, 2016
Mr Mohd Shahrin, owner of Fiery Benjo Burger started renting out a stall at pasar malams at $100 per day. Over the past twelve months, the pasar malam operators increased their rental fees twenty times, due to the popularity of their burgers. For pasar malam operators their logic is simple- The more customers you get, the higher you can pay your rent. His rent charges quickly rose to $2,333 per day.
Shahrin, who likes to be known as Shah, saw the same old Ramly burger at every pasar malam. Noticing there was a lack of variety sold at the night markets, he and his wife wanted to add a twist to such burgers. Using his homemade sambal sauce recipe, together with mushroom, black pepper and rendang sauce, Shahrin created a range of burgers to suit the local taste and this proved a hit to locals.
He sold two types of burgers- gourmet burgers, where the meat patty is handmade, and standard burgers using patty from suppliers, Fiery Benjo Burgers started selling in pasar malams across Singapore- Chua Chu Kang, Tampines, Woodlands and Geylang Bazaar. ”We worked every day throughout the year, resting only on Hari Raya,” said Shah, who has had about 20 years of experience in the F&B sector. He is assisted by his wife, who also has several years of F&B experience in the day-to-day operation of the business.
Pasar malam rental did not make sense
Queue for Fiery Benjo Burgers
The numbers eventually could not add up for Fiery Benjo Burgers to continue to be a pasar malam stall. ”The operators increased the rental irregularly. Over the past year they increased rent 20 times, from $100 to $2,333 per day. This adds up to $70, 000 per month. With this amount, I can cover rent at a permanent location for 2 years. It did not make sense for us to stay as a pasar malam stall,” said Shah.
In April this year, MyPaper ran a story on the high rentals of night markets. A vendor they contacted noted that “rental for night-market stalls (had) gone up along with bidding prices by contractors”. The vendor had given up selling in pasar malam in 2014 since he started in 2006 as he could not cope with the rent. After looking at the accounts of Fiery Benjo Burger, Shah decided that it would be more stable and profitable for him to sell his burgers at a restaurant instead. Monthly rentals at a restaurant would be a constant $5,000 per month. While foot traffic at a restaurant may not be as high as pasar malams, Shah is banking on his loyal customers and unique burgers. He also plans to use the restaurant as a headquarters to deliver orders so that customers all over Singapore are able to order.
A mouth-watering crowdfunding campaign
The long queue at Fiery Benjo Burger stall at a Pasar Malam.
To raise funds, he has embarked on a crowdfunding campaign with KapitalBoost, a Singapore-based crowdfunding platform which allows members to invest or donate in a way that is ethical and Shariah-focused. Shah wants to invite members of the public to collectively invest $45,000 in his business to cover rental cost of the new location, and to purchase new furniture and raw materials. ”Crowdfunding allows me to tap my followers. If they like my burgers, and trust me, this is an opportunity for them to show support, ” said Shah.
Besides that, Shah is diversifying his business by doing deliveries and serving burger buffets at events in corporate settings and weddings.
Here's how the $45,000 will be used:
Rental deposit (3 months): $15,000 ($5,000 / month) Advance rental (1 month): $5,000 Purchase of new furniture and renovation: $20,000 Purchase of supplies and raw materials: $5,000
What’s in it for investors
Minimum investment: SGD200
Expected return: 10% + 20% discount voucher
Investment period: 12 months (semi-annual payments - months 6 and 12)
Funding structure: Wakalah bi Al-Istithmar (Agency for investment)
Fiery Benjo Burger is expecting sales of $500,000 and net profit of $178,000 in the first 12 months of operations. These figures are expected to increase by 30-40% in the second year driven by increased public awareness and the elimination of start-up costs. Fiery Benjo Burger is a Muslim-owned business. To find out more about the crowdfunding drive, click here.
Edits as of 25th August 2016, 9.22am
1. In an earlier version, it was reported that Mr Shahrin said that his rent increased from $100 to $2,333 per month. His rent increased from $100 to $2,333, per day.
Image credits: Facebook/ Fiery Benjo Burger
They are giving free delivery to whole of Singapore for purchase above $40 as a promotion. To order, contact Shah @ 9135 7374. To ensure you get your meal on time, please pre-order atleast 1 day in advance as last min order will be balance slots. Have a look and like their page to get updates www.facebook.com/fierybenjoburger
Disclaimer: Fiery Benjo Burger is a affiliate merchant with halalfoodhunt.com
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