I think we need to rethink our biases. How come no one question you when your salary jumps from RM8,000 a month to RM12,000 a month? Do people immediately say "he/she is too expensive, not worth it". If we cannot see ourselves saying that, ... WHAT gives us the right to say the same shit about very good hawker food stall price hikes???!!!
When we excel in our "profession" ... you can command whatever you want to charge. Why is hawker food any different? Hawker food IS NOT an essential food group.
You do not wish to pay RM10 for a plate of charkwayteow at Sisters, then forget about 5-star hotels' RM35 a plate of charkwayteow. You cannot say, its just CKT, ingredients cost only RM1.50, how can they charge so much!!?? You no like, go to a stall that sells RM4.00 a plate. So easy!!!
NOBODY DESERVES TO HAVE A FANTASTIC PLATE OF CKT IF THEY ARE NOT WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE or even (callously speaking) that they cannot afford the price. Nobody should be bitching about why they cannot afford to go and dine at Cilantro, ... you can afford, you go la... If cannot, go somewhere else. Its a capitalistic world we live in.
Everyone has the right to determine their RIGHTFUL price for their services or products. Nobody can say it only costs them xxx. Whatever margins I can get away with, thats my prerogative. Its the same in life... if you knew the real margins on those Prada bags or Chanel products, you'd kill yourself!!!
Check our biases, hawker food IS A GREAT INDUSTRY, and a great industry will have some sub par and some excellent players. Pay them whatever they want to charge. You can get RM10,000 or RM15,000 or RM20,000 a month ... if certain hawkers are so damn good at what they do, shouldn't they be making RM20,000 or RM50,000 a month??? Why the bias? Are some of us trying to lock in hawkers' pay scale? Is it that some of us think hawkers SHOULD never get very much compensation as it is considered as low-level work??? Then you should go overseas and see why many brick layers and mechanics make a lot more money than lawyers (esp in Europe and Australia/NZ).
Another bias is that hawker food is supposed to be affordable. Where in hell do we get that idea. You want AFFORDABLE FOOD, cook the bloody thing yourself at home.
What if you cannot afford the RM10 a plate CKT at Sisters... well, work harder and get richer... thats capitalism. In the meantime, go eat somewhere cheaper. Might not taste so nice. It goes for almost everything in life... you cannot afford a Honda, go for a Proton... yes, its not as nice as a Honda, then work harder la. Don't bitch about how/why Honda prices so high - they are high because they can do that.
If I am a very good hawker, I will sell my CKT for RM20... if no one comes, then I die, not you. If I sell at RM12 and still plenty come, then I am pricing it right and maybe can increase my price again very soon. Its all economics, so save your biases and bullshitting complaints - everybody deserves to be thoroughly compensated when they are that good.
Its fine time that we start to recognise great food, great skills that are involved in creating great food, their dedication and passion in their work/processes ... great food is great food, be it hawker or 5-star.