Alvinology previously reported on Founder Bak Kut Teh owner Nigel Chua, whose plea for support to save his restaurant business from closure was met with disdain. In an interview with 8Days, he belied some of the claims and reasons that netizens accused him and his family of, in a bid to shore up what the plea did to the restaurant’s image.
What did the owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh say?
Chua put up a social media post on Instagram saying that he and his father were struggling very hard to preserve their business through the pandemic, even with pivoting to delivery and making other changes. With sales dropping by 85%, they said they were two months away from closure.
He then offered a 30% discount on special family sets that customers may order.
What did netizens say?
Netizens responded with their usual disdain for businesses who leveraged the pandemic to ask for more support. Much like how they initially responded to Daniel Ong’s plea that said he needed tens and thousands of dollars to support his workers and overhead expenses, netizens didn’t mince words.
Some said that Chua could close his other branches and sell his watches and cars. Others said that Chua’s offerings were overpriced to begin with, and that his market consisted mainly of tourists.
Nigel Chua responds
In an interview with 8Days, Nigel said that his own father, the original owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh, did not want to post the plea, so as to save face for the business. Chua went against 75-year-old Chua Chwee Whatt’s wishes, and when the negative comments started rolling in, made sure not to defend himself online.
According to the interview, he said, “I wanted to cry when I was writing this letter. I thought — will people attack me? Will they say this is a ploy for sympathy? But for my business, I put my pride aside. It takes courage to write a letter like that.”
Nigel Chua belies their lavish lifestyle
The interview also mentioned that Chua belied all the allegations of wealth that his family enjoyed. His father allegedly lived at a 5-room HDB flat, and he himself did not buy brand new cars or watches.
When people mentioned an Audemars Piguet watch made by a Swiss luxury watch company, Chua said that he used some money he had saved over the years working for the business to treat himself to a second-hand item. He alleged the price of the watch was $14,000 when it would have been $30,000 in brand new condition.
Chua also said that he did not own luxury cars, and only drove a second-hand Toyota Vellfire. Netizens have accused him of driving a Ferrari.
Netizens still skeptical
While Chua has indeed not answered any of the criticism himself online, the interview still made netizens doubtful of him. They also mentioned how he was not wearing the offending watch in the interview photos with the online publication.
Would you support Nigel Chua and Founder Bak Kut Teh after what he has said? Let us know in the comments!