Machines to return your trays at this centre

Customers who visit the new two-storey hawker centre and market in Jurong West Street 61 when it opens in October will not have to worry about returning their trays.

There will be three smart tray-return machines that can move autonomously around seats and tables to take the trays to a centralised dishwashing area.

However, each time customers return their own trays, they will get 20 cents - a small incentive to encourage them to pick up the habit.

Other smart technology features at the hawker centre include self-payment kiosks, which will accept cash and cashless payments.

And there will be 34 cooked food stalls, 14 market stalls and about 500 seats, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.

NEA said Hawker Management is the managing agent for the hawker centre and market, which will be run on a not-for-profit basis. Hawker Management is a subsidiary of Koufu.

Among the requirements for the hawker centre are that each cooked food stall must sell two "basic meals" of regular-sized portions, at $2.80 each or less, and provide at least two healthier food choices.

Under a Happy Hawkerpreneur Programme, between six and 10 cooked food stalls at the centre will be set aside as incubator stalls to groom aspiring hawkers.

Aspiring hawkers will go through a year of hands-on training, and Hawker Management will later allocate to them stalls in the hawker centre, or place them at an outlet in the Koufu network.

The hawkers might also get the chance to operate stalls that feature franchises of heritage brands and recipes.

Rental subsidies will be provided by Hawker Management on a case-by-case basis, either to underprivileged applicants or those applying to operate cooked food stalls that aim to "preserve Singapore's heritage food", NEA said in a statement.

Hawker Management also plans to organise activities such as music performances and cooking competitions at the hawker centre.

Samantha Boh