I was at Maxwell Food Market located at Chinatown for lunch yesterday.
And I was there specially to eat at a particular stall, Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice.
This famous dish is synonymous with Singapore as one of it's food heritage. Everyone knows about this dish, have at least eaten once in their lifetime (probably many hundred times over) and one of the MUST EAT item on most tourists' itinerary. It is what Ramen is to Japan, pasta is to Italy and fast food is to US.
There are thousands of stall selling this dish all over Singapore. Yet, there is only one Tian Tian.
It was sometimes back when I last dine there.
This time round I was surprised at not only the queue, the number of tables of people sharing the dish, but also the number of tourists there just to eat from this stall. Apart from another two more popular stalls selling fish noodle and porridge, I suspected this stall could have easily commanded 60% of all the sales in this hawker center in a day. And there are 106 stalls.
Of course it helps that the owner of this stall was invited to serve his signature dish at the President's office and overseas food events, as well as promotion by the National Tourism Board and being tried and mentioned by the famous Anthony Bourdain.
Tourists in the queue were taking photos of the stall and of themselves standing in front of the stall. They were standing at various point taking photos of the stall, moving here and there to make sure they got the best shot. Be it taking photos or video, it's like a pilgrimage and they're doing everything they could as proof that they've done it.
When someone carried a whole plate of nicely chopped and garnished chicken walked past others passerby and those seated waiting for their friends to buy the dish, you could see their eyes glued to the plate of chicken and heads followed.
You could see the excitement on the face of a Japanese couple as they carried their food and hurried to find an empty table to savor the food. The long queue and waiting time must have made the food tastier.
Like an acquired habit, most tourists were taking photos of the food before they tuck in the delicious meal.
I'm 100% sure they are going to share these photos and their experiences with friends and families back home.
And this stall spends zero dollar on advertising and marketing.
- A scene from a movie.
- A song.
- Falling down.
- Wiping the cream from the face.
- Someone helping to close the car's door.
Serve customers pissed off by their products and services.
- Preparing the product or service.
- Selling and marketing.
- Creating the experience.
It was reported in the news today that StarHub, a telecommunication service provider in Singapore is implementing a one minute minimum charge for local calls.
Calls lasting less than one minute will be charged a flat fee of 16.05 cents.
StarHub was the company that revolutionized the local telecommunication industry by being the first to introduce per second billing and free incoming calls.
The reason cited by them was they decided against increasing their call rates amid rising costs of network maintenance, upgrade and expansion.
This is the same company that has announced their plan to develop an application similar to Whatsapp in a bid to fight off competition and revenue loss as SMS usage rate drops.
The latest decision seems to be another plan to mitigate their loss of revenue as less people are making calls nowadays.
Instead of encouraging people to make calls, they are now punishing people for doing it. Do you think more people will use Whatsapp more often?
Will they ban Whatsapp totally?