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BudgetMealGoWhere: Accessible Affordable Meals

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) launched a new portal to make it easier and handier for residents to find HDB coffee shops that serve cheap meals. On the BudgetMealGoWhere website, people will be able to look for HDB coffee shops near them that offer cheap meals and drinks.

People can go to https://go.gov.sg/budgetmeal and put their postal code in the search box and hit the ‘GO’ button. The website will have a list of coffee establishments and inexpensive meals, beginning with those within 2 kilometres of the zip code. The people can also use the LifeSG app and website to get to the platform.

At the recently held Committee of Supply meeting of the Ministry of National Development, Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann said that all HDB-leased coffee shops will have to offer cheap meals when their leases are renewed in May 2023. This extension is meant to encourage coffee shop owners to offer cheap food to locals while still looking out for their businesses.

With this move, inexpensive meals will gradually be available at all 374 HDB rental coffee shops by 2026. To begin, approximately 40 coffee shops are now listed on the BudgetMealGoWhere website, with more being added on a regular basis.

HDB will collaborate with GovTech to continuously improve the functionality and listing of the website to make it more useful for Singaporeans, and members of the public can also submit comments on the budget meals.

Also, to make it easier for customers to recognise the budget meals, participating stalls will place budget meal decal stickers on their food display signage, identifying the budget meals on offer.

Since 2018, new HDB coffee shops have been awarded using the Price-Quality Method (PQM). As PQM tenders are examined holistically based on several parameters, rather than just price alone, this approach allows HDB to better satisfy the requirements of residents while ensuring rents stay reasonable for operators.

Tenderers must supply budget meals at six booths and a budget drink as part of their tender bids, which was one of the additional conditions that were put into the PQM tenders.

To give more citizens with cheap meal options, the budget meals criterion has been expanded beyond coffee businesses put out through PQM tenders. As of this month (May 2023), all coffee stores whose leases are up for renewal will be required to offer four budget meals and two budget beverages.

Operators are urged to offer low-cost meals at pricing that are both sustainable and competitive with nearby F&B options. HDB collaborates closely with coffee shop owners to ensure that low-cost meals are continuously accessible.

To help coffee shop operators and stall holders adjust, HDB will offer a 5% rental discount off market valuation-based renewal rents for one year from the time the tenancy is renewed, subject to verification that the new budget meals and drinks have been implemented.

HDB provides a good supply of coffee shops in each HDB town and estate to ensure residents have access to affordable cooked food options. In the previous five years, HDB has finished 37 new coffee shops and continues to build additional ones to serve future HDB developments. To accommodate the requirements of inhabitants, another 34 coffee shops are scheduled to open in the following five years.

The government will continue to collaborate and work in partnership closely with food and beverage enterprises and operators to develop and expand the implementation of budget meals while balancing their commercial interests.


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