Breweries have been asked to withdraw their beer promoters from the 107 markets and hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Promoters have stopped working at hawker centres for about two weeks.

Letters were sent out to hawker drink stall operators earlier this month reminding them of the ban.

In a letter, Ms Yew Meng Yet, assistant director (tenancy management) of NEA’s hawker centres division, said NEA does not allow beer promoters at hawker centres as this could lead to touting amongst the various drink stalls.

She reiterated that non-Singaporeans are also not allowed to operate or assist at hawker stalls.

In response to queries, the NEA said it does not allow any beer promotion in hawker centres as beer promoters are not stallholders or registered stall assistants.

Furthermore, said its spokesman, “stallholders or registered stall assistants are also not allowed to carry out beer promotion nor engage beer promoters as such activities may give rise to disamenities, such as touting and possible harassment of patrons when promoters compete for business.”

The NEA spokesman noted: “Hawker centres are essential social infrastructure and important communal spaces – they provide a family friendly, clean and hygienic environment for patrons and families to enjoy good food at affordable prices.”

Drink stall owners had mixed reactions to NEA’s move but most said business had been affected since the beer promoters stopped working.

One stall helper in Chinatown said the move had dampened beer sales by 80 per cent.

“We used to sell five to six cartons of beer a day but now we sell less than one carton a day,” said 55-year-old Madam Huang Yan Chu. “I guess people like beer girls pouring drinks for them.”

Another drinks stall owner in his 50s who only wanted to be known as Mr Tang said that beer sales have dropped 25 to 30 per cent since they left.

“With the beer girls around, they help us to take the beer to customers. Without them, we have to do it ourselves or customers have to self-service,” he said. “If you want to stop them from touting then there should be some guidelines. Being a beer girl is not an easy job.”

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