BBQ Chicken shop shut by Hougang 1 mall management

SINGAPORE - They have been working at the restaurant for almost a year.

But when they showed up for work yesterday, the group of six employees found themselves locked out.

When the store manager of BBQ Chicken at Hougang 1 tried to open the shop for business at 9.30am, he found that his key no longer fit.

BBQ Chicken is a Korean chicken restaurant franchise and has 15 outlets here, including the one at Hougang 1 which opened in August last year.

Wanting to be known only as Faizal, the restaurant manager then saw a notice pasted from the inside, saying the unit had been repossessed by Serene Land, a member of the Far East Organisation group.

No idea

"I have no idea what is going on," said Mr Faizal outside the eatery yesterday.

"We closed the shop like we normally did yesterday night, then we came back this morning and it was like this.

"I'm in shock, I wasn't even given any notice."

According to other tenants of the mall, the management had changed the locks.

Mr Kelvin Ling, the chief operating officer of Far East Organisation's retail business group, declined to reveal if there was a rent dispute.

"We value our relationships with all our tenants and as standard business practice, engage closely with them," he said.

"As arrangements with our individual tenants are of a private and confidential matter, we are not at liberty to discuss this specific matter."

The employees of the BBQ Chicken outlet were found outside the shop yesterday at noon, along with two baskets of vegetables and chicken.

The mall's management later came and opened the doors for them to retrieve some of their belongings.

The employees then left.

One of the employees, who declined to be named, said he has been working there for almost two months.

Asked whether he was going to report to work tomorrow, he shook his head and said he was not sure what he was going to do.

BBQ Chicken did not respond by press time.

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2203t>> Photos of BBQ Chicken