Founder Bak Kut Teh is a local traditional brand with 42 years of history.
It announced on Facebook yesterday evening (September 30th) that it will close its Bugis outlet effective October 1st.
“The Singapore grocery store is suffering and we continue to struggle like many other local F&B companies. This is a reality and it continues to be, ”he wrote in a post.
It also clarified an article that circulated about the recent opening in Chengdu, China, following its open letter about the difficult business.
Founder Bak Kut Teh made it clear that the Chengdu outlet is a "franchise model" and was decided in 2019 before COVID-19.
"It was supposed to open earlier this year, but due to COVID, the plan has been postponed until recently," he said.
“We hope to clarify that this franchise model is fully supported by our Chinese partners. We really appreciate that our franchisee remains ready to continue the engagement and we wish our brand can succeed as it expands into China. "
Founder BKT previously warned of a possible closure
In July, the second-generation owner, Nigel Chua, published an open plea on founder Bak Kut Teh's Facebook page to prevent the company from closing.
Photo credit: founder Bak Kut Teh
In the Facebook post, he said that "sales have plummeted by over 85 percent" and that the company will face the crisis of a possible shutdown in the next two months "if the situation does not improve".
“We sincerely ask for your support so that our 42 years of hard work does not go in vain. Please save our brand, the jobs of our many employees and our legacy, ”he added.
Open plea masked as a plot for sympathy?
However, the online mail attracted a lot of attention from internet users. Some claimed that Chua led a lavish lifestyle, owned three private estates, posh cars, and expensive watches, and called his plea a publicity stunt.
Chua later made it clear in an interview that he was living “in an HDB five-room apartment in Hougang” for 8 days.
The three private real estate users he allegedly owns are jointly owned by him, his father, and his older sister. His car is also a used Toyota Vellfire.
Screenshot from Facebook
His watch, identified by Internet users as the Audemars Pigeut model, was also bought second-hand.
After the closure of his Bugis branch, founder Bak Kut Teh has three remaining branches in Singapore in Downtown East, Jalan Sultan and Balestier Road.
Selected image source: founder Bak Kut Teh / Miss Tam Chiak