Source: TripAdvisor website

The high rental costs are “killing” food and beverages (F&B) businesses in Singapore amid the pandemic, said netizens, following the recent closing of a patisserie-café chain Bakerzin.

Bakerzin had closed all its five outlets islandwide after 22 years of operation, as reported by The Business Times on 9 October.

The eatery, which formerly known as Baker’s Inn, had given notice of a creditors’ meeting on 5 October for the purpose of winding up.

Bakerzin did not issue any notice about the closure on its Facebook page and its website has since been taken down.

Pastry chef Daniel Tay, who founded the company in 1998, told The Straits Times that he was informed about the impending closure three months ago from his former staff at Bakerzin.

Mr Tay had sold Bakerzin in 2007 but continued to run it as the chief executive officer until 2013. He currently owns cheesecake store Cat & The Fiddle, and traditional pastry brand Old Seng Choong.

According to him, the reason behind his decision to sell off the business in 2007 was because of the high rental cost.

“I was a small player and thought I would let someone else take over instead,” said Mr Tay.

“Similarly, I wish the current owners had chosen not to close but to pass the business on to someone else.”

He added that many of the staff in Bakerzin have been retrenched and some of them have joined his company.

“I feel very sad. If I have the chance, I would like to buy it back and open a small shop. The cost of operating a chain of eateries is very high, but it can still work as a single-shop concept. I would like to bring back the old-style cakes.”

Meanwhile, some netizens speculated that the closing of Bakerzin was due to the high rental cost amid the pandemic.

Penning their thoughts under the comment section of Vulcan Post‘s report on the closing of Bakerzin, the netizens claimed that F&B business owners are “suffered” due to the high rental cost.

 

While others opined that the city-state’s retail spaces are monopolised by the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), adding that the Government is “killing” business owners.

 

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