Another restaurant chain seems to be going the way of Daniel Ong’s business, as Founder Bak Kut Teh’s second-generation owner published a letter pleading for help to save the restaurant.
In this difficulty period for all businesses and with the F&B and retail sector hit particularly hard, the call for help is understandable. However, netizens seem to be unsympathetic and reacting badly to it.
Founder Bak Kut Teh pleads for help
In a series of posts on their Instagram account, the restaurant mentioned that they are in dire straits and would need more support from their patrons to make it through the next few months.
The Founder Bak Kut Teh brand’s signature garlicky, pork rib broth has become beloved by many Singaporeans and tourists, while its odd opening hours made it a hit with the sleepless, late shift crowd.
But Circuit Breaker measures and the pandemic also hit this beloved brand hard.
Nigel Chua, the son of the first-generation owner of the brand, however, said that “If we don’t turn around in the next two months, we will need to shut down.
He then continued, “We sincerely seek your support to save our brand, the jobs of our employees and our heritage.”
According to the post above, their sales have dropped 85%. They also offered a 30% discount on family set menus for one month (July 17 to August 17).
His other posts detailed how his father was so happy that they could re-open their restaurant, but experienced further disappointment when foot traffic did not return to their shop.
Netizens slam Nigel Chua, owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh
But in a similar experience with Daniel Ong and his pleas for help for his own Rookery restaurants, netizens have gone on to bash the owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh.
Alvinology previously reported on how netizens called out Daniel Ong’s alleged lavish lifestyle being posted on Instagram. Netizens had called back on the former Mediacorp talent to cut back on his personal expenses to save his business instead of calling for help from the public.
Netizens on popular Singaporean forum HardwareZone had this to say about Founder Bak Kut Teh’s plea for help:
Some netizens pointed out that the main customers of the restaurant are tourists, and that for the menu, their offerings are overpriced. Some went as far as to want them to close because:
Other commenters agreed, saying that locals do not like their offerings because of the price.
This commenter said that a strategy of closing their other branches could result in a better outcome for their overall business. Mark Lee employed this tactic so he could save his employees’ jobs, and pushed very hard for a delivery service model for the meantime.
This one said the same things that netizens told Daniel Ong weeks ago when he complained about his business closing.
Other netizens even went so far as to give a scathing review of the restaurant, saying that the food is overpriced even if they liked it.
Their Founder Bak Kut Teh is sold at $9, and Premium Ribs are priced at $10.
According to their website, you can also purchase canned baby abalone, their spices, and their dark sauce.
While Daniel Ong used his celebrity status to plead for his business, Nigel Chua seems to be using his elderly father’s founder status and the longevity of this restaurant as leverage for support.
Their brand has been in operation for 42 years. Pop singer Jay Chou was also said to be a supporter of the brand, as he allegedly visits regularly.
Would you support Founder Bak Kut Teh? Let us know in the comments!