Singapore – The owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh Cafeteria asked for support from the public as the business had been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Netizens, however, advised management to close their other branches to cut costs.
On Wednesday (July 15), the second-generation owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh Cafeteria 发起人肉骨茶餐馆 posted an appeal on their Facebook page stating that “business is bad, really bad.” According to Nigel, the 42-year-old business will be shutting down if things don’t get better in the next two months. “It has been a really good 42 years,” added Nigel. “But the truth is, we might not make it for the many more 42 years to come.”
In their last attempt to save the business, they would be giving over 30 per cent discount on curated sets for dine-in customers from July 17 until August 17 at selected outlets. “This special discount is to thank you for your support during Circuit Breaker (we couldn’t have lasted this long without you) and to encourage you and your family to dine with us,” noted the post.
Founder Bak Kut Teh Cafeteria currently has four branches located in Balestier, Hotel Boss, Bugis, and Downtown East. “Please save our brand, the jobs of our numerous employees, and our heritage,” asked Nigel.
He shared that they initially “heaved sighs of relief” when Phase 2 was announced, and the public was permitted to dine-in given safe distancing measures were followed. “We were hopeful that the situation would turn for the better, but we were wrong,” said Nigel, who would spot their restaurants void of customers. “I am appealing to everyone for your support so that Founder Bak Kut Teh can continue to serve you and future generations,” said Nigel. He mentioned that the decision to write the appeal was a “heavy one,” yet they are reluctant to give up amid the struggle.
Members from the online community were dubious about the company’s intentions, while many provided sound advice to the owner to help tide them through the pandemic. “Sounds like a PR stunt to boost sales in their satellite outlets,” commented Facebook user Nick Yeo. His statement got over 100 likes, as others shared the same sentiments. He wondered if the business wasn’t capable of scaling down or tapping personal savings to make ends meet. “Let’s not forget the many other restaurants going through the same rough patch but with access to much smaller resources.”
Others pitched in that the menu’s overall price point was rather high, making diners look for alternative restaurants. Many also agreed that the quality of dishes would differ across the four outlets and advised management to either address the consistency issue or perhaps close down the other three branches and keep the main one at Balestier. “If you close down the other outlets which are costly in rental but low in quality, and consolidate resources to only operate the main Balestier outlet during this period, I am quite sure the Founder BKT brand can tide through these difficult times,” advised Facebook user Darren Lim.
Read their full post below:
Hi everyone, this is Nigel here. Founder Bak Kut Teh will be shutting down if the situation doesn’t get better in the…