#SaveFounderBKT image credit: Nigel Chua, Founder Bak Kut Teh

In a plea to the public, second-generation owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh has released an open letter requesting help from the public to help them with their business, which has been one of the affected businesses from Covid-19 and the Circuit Breaker measures.

Nigel Chua, the owner, released a letter on Wednesday evening where he describes the experience of their business fortunes not turning around since the beginning of Phase 2 of easing Circuit Breaker measures in Singapore.

“For the last 5 months, our sales have dropped tremendously by over 85%. If we don't turn around in the next 2 months, we will need to shut down. We sincerely seek your support to save our brand, the jobs of our employees and our heritage,” he writes at the beginning of the letter.

He details the experience of how he and his family felt after hearing the news of Phase 2 allowing dine-ins, where their initial joy and effort to prepare the broth in the wee hours of the morning to prep for their customers turned into worry and despair when they walked into their  empty restaurants with no diners in sight for the weeks after.

image credit: Nigel Chua, Founder Bak Kut Teh

“In our 42 years of business, these few months are the most tiring, trying and difficult.” Mr Chua laments. “We are reluctant to give up but we are struggling. The decision to write this letter is a heavy one.
“I am appealing to everyone for your support so that Founder Bak Kut Teh can continue to serve you and future generations for many more 42 years to come. We do not wish to close our doors but we desperately need your help.”
 Mr Chua also delves into the history of how his father founded the business himself using pigs he raised and ends off the letter with an appeal to the public to join them as they release
a set of curated family set menus worth over 30% OFF from 17 July to 17 August at Founder Bak Kut Teh Hotel Boss, Bugis and Downtown East 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. Your next meal choice will make a difference to us.
“Save Founder Bak Kut Teh, the jobs of our numerous employees, and our heritage – one meal at a time.” Mr Chua ends the letter by saying. “If you have read this far, thank you. I really appreciate it. Hope to see you enlivening our restaurants soon. #savefounderbkt”
Two days after the release of this campaign, however, some are claiming that the reason for Mr Chua posting the letter seems disingenous. A few responses on Facebook seem dubious of the plea, reasoning that Founder Bak Kut Teh currently has 4 outlets all around Singapore, as well as a few overseas, so they cannot be as badly out of business as claimed, with requests to show background of how badly they are in trouble. Some call it a PR stunt, comparing the business to other smaller businesses that have less resources to pull from. Some have also asked to consider lowering the price points of the menus instead to far lower, and for the owners to, regrettably, close some of the outlets in order to retain consistency as well as save costs.

Let's take the situation at hand, and look at it from the most simplest of viewpoints: if they had to write an open-letter asking us for help, who are we to question their pleas?

During times like these, it becomes more important to help our local businesses get back on their feet, so if you can, drop by Founder Bak Kut Teh!