How popular is popular?
I’m talking about No Signboard restaurant.
But, relax. It’s their burger chain, Hawker QSR, which is separated from their No Signboard restaurants.
Unless you happen to be a fan of Hawker QSR. In which case feel free to panic all the way, cause they’re shutting down.
All 3 existing chains including one at Jewel which opened less than half a year.
So, what are we losing out on?
Less than a year ago, we did an article about No Signboard opening their fast-food chain selling Nasi Lemak Burgers, Chicken Rice Burgers, Chili Crab Buns and more.
Huh, Nasi Lemak Burger, copy from McDonald’s meh?
Actually, you’d be kind of right about that, cause when they opened, their CEO Sam Lim said, “Our group has observed the success of McDonald’s nasi lemak burger campaign in 2017. Therefore, we are very keen to seize this opportunity and ride on this rising trend of Asian fast food.”
Of course, at that time, the plan was for even more burger flavours to be released later.
Like white pepper crab burger, roasted chicken rice burger, or even a briyani burger. Needless to say, a reality without those dishes converted into burger form is the one we are now living in.
But, why are they closing?
Closing because of losses
Duh, not making money that’s why they’reclosing.
They officially reported a net loss of S$1.4 million in Q3 2019, because of “higher operating expenses incurred for its hotpot and quick service restaurants.”
One day after that announcement, they said they’re closing Hawker QSR. And from closing, they are expecting an impairment loss of S$500,000. They’re also looking for replacement tenants.
Why can’t make money?
The hipster in me laments the loss of burger-fied hawker food. After all, even if it doesn’t taste that good at first, it’s the first step to finding perfection.
Like most people whenever any of these hawker foods turned burgers get introduced in one of the fast foods, I’ll raise an eyebrow while thinking “damn, I feel like trying that”.
In theory, if these new items always sell out, it should be good business, right?
Here’s the menu straight from their website.
It’s pretty obvious in hindsight.
Why would you want to eat Chicken Rice Burger for S$8.90 when you can eat chicken rice for S$3 to S$5…?
What more, the portion’s bigger and speed is almost the same.
I can see that most people will just look at this and think to eat the real deal instead.
But then, on the other hand, McDonald’s, Burger King, etc can afford to churn out hawker food burger-fied with success, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.
There’s probably something else they didn’t do right other than food. Maybe the location, overall business strategy, or media coverage.
The F&B business is harsh in general, so here’s to hoping this wouldn’t discourage other entrepreneurs from entering the F&B scene, and take this as a valuable case study.
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