Founder Bak Kut Teh is a homegrown heritage brand with 42 years of history.
It announced yesterday night (30 September) on Facebook that it will be closing its Bugis outlet with effect from 1 October.
“Singapore food business is suffering and we continue to struggle like many other local F&B businesses. This is a reality and continues to be so,” it wrote in a post.
It also went on to clarify a news article that have been circulating about its recent opening in Chengdu, China following its open letter about its struggling business.
Founder Bak Kut Teh clarified that the Chengdu outlet is a “franchise model” and has been decided upon in 2019 before COVID-19 happened.
“The opening was slated to be early this year but due to COVID, the plan was deferred till recently,” it explained.
“We hope to clarify that this franchise model is fully supported by our Chinese partners. We greatly appreciate that our franchisee is still willing to go ahead with the commitment and we do wish our brand can find success as it expands into China.”
Founder BKT Previously Warned Of Possible Closure
Back in July, second-generation owner Nigel Chua posted an open plea on Founder Bak Kut Teh’s Facebook page to save the business from shutting down.
In the Facebook post, he shared that “sales have dropped tremendously by over 85 per cent”, and the business is facing the crisis of possible closure in the next two months “if the situation doesn’t get better.”
“We sincerely seek your support to not let our 42 years of hard work go in vain. Please save our brand, the jobs of our numerous employees and our heritage,” he added.
Open Plea Masked As A Plot For Sympathy?
However, the online post drew a lot of flak among netizens. Some claimed that Chua lived a lavish lifestyle, owning three private properties, posh cars and expensive watches, and called his plea a publicity stunt.
Chua later clarified in an interview that 8days that he lives “in a five-room HDB flat in Hougang“.
The three private properties netizens alleged he owns are jointly owned by him, his father and his older sister. Additionally, his car is a second-hand Toyota Vellfire.
His watch, identified by netizens as a model from Audemars Pigeut, was also purchased second-hand.
Following the closure of its Bugis outlet, Founder Bak Kut Teh has three remaining outlets in Singapore at Downtown East, Jalan Sultan and Balestier Road.
Featured Image Credit: Founder Bak Kut Teh / Miss Tam Chiak