With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Singapore, many businesses have been impacted due to the lack of usual customers, as well as the halt in tourist flow.
Singaporean Bak Kut Teh chain, Founder Bak Kut Teh, revealed that its business is on the verge of shutting down due to “bad business”.
On Wednesday (15 July), Nigel Chua, the second-generation owner of the restaurant chain posted an open plea on the business’ Facebook page.
In light of Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening, Founder Bak Kut Teh thought that its usual dine-in customers would return. However, things did not go as planned as there are still “no diners in sight”. Having its sales “drop tremendously” by over 85 per cent for the past five months, the owner is desperate to save his brand.
Expressing that the business has been around for 42 years, Mr Chua was disappointed to reveal that his business will need to shut down if there is no turnover within the next two months.
While hundreds of supporters flooded the comments section under the Facebook post, a handful of netizens noticed that Yahoo Singapore has published a write-up on the open plea, seemingly an advertising for the brand in the article.
Yahoo Singapore’s post garnered a lot of negative comments towards the business, pointing out that Founder Bak Kut Teh has mainly been attracting tourists and relying on them to maintain the chain.
Facebook users Adrian Ng and Alvin Leong questioned if Founder Bak Kut Teh paid Yahoo Singapore for the write-up. Considering that the business has been severely impacted as what Mr Chua has claimed, many other netizens questioned how the business would then be able to afford interviews and advertising.
Facebook users Geri Geri and Clarence Pan noted that Founder Bak Kut Teh is a tourism spot, adding that the business should not rely on local Singaporeans to rekindle its business.
Many others commented that the food served by this chain is “overpriced” and that the owner should consider closing some outlets and lowering the price.
One of them stated that the owner of the business doesn’t seem to have a “good character”, adding that the business didn’t contribute anything to society but merely cater to its own profit.
Meanwhile, Facebook user MengZhen Tay was curious to know how the business was able to run for over 40 years yet unable to survive five months, questioning if the business utilised its assets properly before turning to its customers for lifeline support.