When food is served with a bucket – NBCNEWS

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If it’s crowded in the morning because I’m ready to sell at five in the morning, I sell fried foods. Project workers, hotel employees come to buy in a row

Jakarta (NBCNEWS) – Warung kerek ember, maybe these words sound quite strange to our ears. But not for workers and employees of luxury hotels in Gatot Subroto area, Kuningan, Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta.

Unique and unusual, this is what most people might think when they see the transaction process at the kerek shop on the banks of the Mampang River. Because to do a buy and sell, the traders at the stalls on the edge of the river actually use ropes and plastic buckets as transaction media.

Many call it “warung kerek” because vendors have to deliver food to buyers using ropes and hoisted plastic buckets. The distance between the seller and the buyer is separated by a river about four meters wide.

Unlike other food stalls in general, food at a church stall is ordered by shouting because the distance is quite far between the shop owner and the buyer.

“Mpok, buy one gado-gado,” shouted the shopper opposite the church shop seen on Friday (29/07) afternoon. This is how shoppers order food.

Not long ago a woman came out of the house that was also used as a restaurant, that woman was Mpok Neneng. He rushed to serve the customer by shouting again and asking for the menu of the food ordered before it was finally made and placed in a black bucket.

With a rope stretching from one side of the river to the other, he drags a bucket of food orders to shoppers.

“If the food here is quite full, there is geprek chicken, chicken penyet, chicken pesel, chicken creams, rice frames, gado-gado, soto also available,” Mpok Neneng said. The 40-year-old woman is one of six kerek shop owners at the location.

He said the buyers were mostly hotel, cleaning and project employees.

Usually, subscription buyers rarely shout when ordering food, they have already ordered via the Whatsapp (WA) application.

“They (subscribers) usually order via WA, if you don’t have my WA number or new customers, shout if you want to order,” said Mpok Neneng.

Shoppers wait for their food orders to arrive in buckets at Warung Kerek Ember in Kuningan Barat, Jakarta on Friday (29/7/2022). NBCNEWS/Hendri Sukma Indrawan

The beginning

Mpok Neneng said that the origin of these kerek stalls appeared in 2014 or seven years ago when the bridge connecting the two areas was destroyed in conjunction with a river dredging project. The bridge was previously used by shoppers coming to the restaurant.

“At first there was a bridge, then it was cut off, finally with an alternative rope and bucket. At that time, many customers were confused about what to eat because the bridge did not exist, they walked some distance away,” said Mpok. Neneng.

At that time, Ms. Mpok Neneng, Irma, moved across the river to sell, but it was only for a short time because the rent was expensive and in the end chose to return home while with a mine and sold a bucket.

Meanwhile, another windshield shop owner, Dartini, said her husband was the originator of the windlass shop at this location. “Yes, my late husband made it first. People who used to be workers who wanted to eat have all gone down, now it’s hard. We also have to eat, eventually making a hoop like this,” said Dartini.

Even though the transaction method is not close to the buyer, Dartini’s stall is still crowded with consumers every day. Especially in the morning because he served food early.

“If it’s crowded in the morning because I’m ready to sell at five in the morning, I sell fried foods. Project workers, hotel employees come to buy in lines,” said Dartini.

In terms of prices, these windshield stalls are quite cheap like restaurants or coffee in general. The pocket-friendly price is also the main attraction for the employees of the luxury hotel in the Gatot Subroto area.

“I also sell coffee and soft drinks. But the buyers that afternoon were not as busy as in the morning,” said Dartini.

As for the rice menu, for example. Dartini sells rice with three side dishes for Rp 10 thousand to Rp 13 thousand. Meanwhile, the geprek chicken at the Mpok Neneng stall is also not more than 30 thousand.

Also read: Seven recipes for building a chicken business

Windshaft stall owner Mpok Neneng places the food ordered by shoppers into a bucket before it is hoisted over the Mampang River in West Kuningan, Jakarta, Friday (7/29/2022). NBCNEWS/Hendri Sukma Indrawan


Another owner of the windshield stall, Mrs. Khatirah, admitted that she mistakenly heard orders from buyers from across the river.

“Yes, because my husband and I are old, our hearing is already failing. It’s near the river where the water is hard when it flows,” he said. When the buyer yells, the seller sometimes says yes.

Mrs. Khatirah ended up replacing the wrong buyer’s order.

“Yes, it will be replaced later. You don’t want to lose. That’s a trade person’s risk,” he added with a laugh.

It’s a different story with Mpok Neneng, who said that the food he made and the money from buyers fell into the river. However, he calls these things a risk to sell in a unique way like this. He once experienced that 10 packets of rice fell into the river because he was not careful to arrange the piles of rice packets.

A shopper (left) orders a drink at Warung Kerek Ember in Kuningan Barat, Jakarta, Friday (7/29/2022). NBCNEWS/Hendri Sukma Indrawan


Even though the shop looks simple, the owners of this kerek shop can earn a turnover of up to millions of rupiah per day.

Kerek stalls are attractive to employees because the prices of food and drinks are cheap according to their pockets.

Mpok Neneng said before the COVID-19 pandemic, his stall’s daily income could earn about 1.5 to two million rupiah. That’s because he and the other stall owners don’t have to pay the rent.

It is certainly different if he opens a canteen in a high-rise building whose rental price alone can reach 3.3 million per month and he can practically only sell for 20 days because Saturday and Sunday are holidays.

Dartini said the income from the windlass stall he runs is two million a day. This income is said to have decreased drastically over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I reopened this pass after two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For now the turnover is one million, unlike before (there was) COVID-19, it could be 2.5 million,” said Dartini.

Also read: Deputy Governor of DKI: Construction of Mampang River dam wall through planning
Also read: DPD members appreciate that the dredging of Mampang River is 100 percent complete

Reporter: Hendri Sukma Indrawan
Editor: Santoso

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