Punggol Restaurant House Of Seafood Staff Bow For 30 Seconds To Apologise For Live Crab Claw Machine

If you haven’t heard about the cruel crab claw machine at the House of Seafood in Punggol, here’s a recap of what had happened.

What Happened 

On 30 September, the restaurant announced that it would be launching Singapore’s first crab claw machine. For a fee of $5, patrons can literally catch their own dinner with the claw machine.

$5 is pretty expensive for a claw machine. 

Image: Facebook (Shout)

The crabs caught are sent to the kitchen where their misery would finally be put to an end.

Since then, House of Seafood has faced many backlashes from netizens. SPCA has even advised the public to boycott the crab claw machine.

So, that was what happened. Now you’re ready for the sequel to this big hoo-ha.

No More Crabs To Catch 

CEO Francis Ng headed the press conference and accepted questions from reporters at the restaurant in Punggol Point yesterday evening.

Image: Facebook (Lawrence Hiew)

Ng said that the restaurant is against animal cruelty and they fully support the direction of the SPCA.

It was mentioned that the machine was modified with sponges and rubber-tipped claws to reduce discomfort to the animals.

However, House of Seafood would still be ceasing the catching of live animals in the machine completely in their outlets worldwide.

Worldwide?

Yes. The crab claw machine was actually used in China.

Operating Crab Claw Machine For The First Time In Singapore 

Ng had told the conference that two of his restaurants in China had operated live crab claw machines before with the purpose of educating the public about crabs.

In an apology post on Facebook, he said that they had noticed a lot of children at The Punggol Settlement and had wanted to bring the machine to Singapore to educate the children about the marine life.

They wanted to encourage them to release the crabs back into the ocean after catching them.

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“If it’s in China, I think don’t need approval. But in Singapore, I think need approval. So I needed to consult and I think they were too early in launching it.”

CEO And Staff Sincerely Apologise

The restaurant staff have expressed their utmost remorse in front of the media to apologise to the nation.

On top of the Facebook post, the CEO and three of his staff bowed at  90 degrees for 30 seconds during the press conference.

Mad respect. Admitting to their mistake instead of denying it. Also, nice placement of the crab boxes and his big name there.

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Ng added, “As the CEO, I take full responsibility for causing such unhappiness and I’m sincerely sorry for such an oversight.”

Ng said he should have received approval first before the launch of the machine. However, he did not know who to approach to seek approval.


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The decision to launch the machine was a “misunderstanding” as the staff assumed approval was already given and went ahead with it.

Restaurant Staff Worried About Losing Their Jobs 

The staff were worried that the backlash would cause the restaurant to close down.

So worried that they even cried.

I’m pretty sure if Goody Feed is going to close down, the staff would all be very happy, but that’s for another article.

House of Seafood’s marketing consultant William Soh assured that the staff will not be fired or have their pay deducted as a result.


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SPCA said on 23 October that a report has been made to the Animal and Veterinary Service, a unit under the National Parks Board (NParks). Ng had cut short a business trip to China to meet with the NParks officials on 25 October.

However, in a weird twist of event, the restaurant actually saw a 20% increase in business after the backlash.

Wow. One would have predicted the business to slow down after a huge backlash. 

Any publicity is good publicity, eh?

Crab Claw Machine Has Been Replaced 

Instead of crabs, the claw machine now has vacuum pack crab boxes.


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Image: Facebook (Lawrence Hiew)

Local artiste Lawrence Hiew graced the re-launch of the new claw machine.

Image: Facebook (Lawrence Hiew)

I’m craving for some good chilli crab now. Not gonna lie but I’m actually pretty tempted and curious to try their chilli crab.

How about you? Will you be willing to give them another chance and head down to try their food?

Or do you think it’s a well-planned “publicity event”?


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