Founder Bak Kut Teh's second-generation owner has made an impassioned plea on Instagram to save the family's 42-year-old business.
The bak kut teh restaurant is known for its garlicky, peppery, pork rib broth and its late-night opening hours.
In posts on its social media accounts on Wednesday (July 15), owner Nigel Chua indicated that the popular eatery is facing impending closure "if the situation doesn't get better in the next two months".
In a more detailed "letter" on Instagram, Chua, 45, described how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected business across its four outlets in Singapore.
Sales had "dropped tremendously by over 85 per cent" in the last five months, wrote Chua. This is in spite of promotions put out by the restaurant during this period, such as free islandwide delivery.
"Business is bad; really bad. If this continues, Founder Bak Kut Teh will not tide over the pandemic," he added.
Chua also described how his family was relieved when Singapore moved into phase 2 on June 19 and dining-in was finally allowed.
"My dad was elated, grinning from ear to ear and gleefully headed down to the restaurant in the wee hours to prepare the aromatic bak kut teh broth himself," wrote Chua.
Dad is 75-year-old Chua Chwee Whatt, whose photos with famous celebrities can be found plastered on the walls of his eateries.
Trying and difficult period
Despite going into phase 2, business did not improve. "Even now, we continue to walk into our empty restaurants with no diners in sight", Chua stated, describing it as "the most tiring, trying and difficult period" of their 42 years in the business.
"It has been a really good 42 years... but the truth is, we might not make it for the many more 42 years to come," he wrote.
Chua implored for the support of customers to "save our brand, the jobs of our employees and our heritage".
F&B businesses in Singapore have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed. Restaurants such as one-Michelin-starred Vianney Massot, Antoinette, and Imperial Treasure Nanbei have also recently announced their closures.