Singapore restaurant chain Ministry of Meals (MOF) is reportedly closing down after failing to settle its S$200,000 debt, which was incurred from an interest-free mortgage that was made in 2019.
The creditor is Chua Ngak Hwee — the co-founder of medical machine firm Healthstats — who had sued MOF final month when the corporate did not repay him.
Chua had utilized to wind up MOF, which was granted by the Excessive Courtroom on April 9.
MOF owns a slew of F&B manufacturers underneath its Group, together with Daessiksin Korean BBQ Buffet, Danro Collagen Hotpot Buffet, Insadong Korea City, Ju Hao, Lenas, MOF My Izakaya, Social Sq., Ssiksin Korean Grill BBQ Buffet Restaurant, and Terminal M.
The Group was first began in Singapore in 2006, however all eating places underneath it have since closed down.
Nonetheless, The Straits Times reported that Daessiksin Korean BBQ Buffet at Orchard Gateway continues to be operational as it’s helmed by Grasp Kitchen Ideas, a separate enterprise entity.
In accordance with Accounting and Company Regulatory Authority (Acra) data, Grasp Kitchen Ideas was integrated in December final yr. It’s owned by Dr Ting Choon Meng, a Ministry of Meals director who served from 2016 to 2018. He’s additionally the co-founder of Healthstats.
In February final yr, MOF saw massive outlet closures in Singapore, shrinking its dimension from 80 to 26 shops.
Significantly, two of its shops — Ju Hao at Bukit Panjang Plaza and MOF My Izakaya at Lot One — had been repossessed by landlord CapitaLand for failure to pay hire.
Founder Going through Monetary Woes
Final yr, The Sunday Times reported that Sim has been dealing with difficulties paying not solely rental, but in addition suppliers and workers.
Her monetary troubles hint again to a failed enterprise deal in 2017, wherein she had supposed to buy a sequence of Korean eating places and resell them to a Thai conglomerate who was in talks to amass MOF.
Sim reportedly had agreed to purchase the Korean restaurant chain for S$5.5 million, however solely paid S$700,000 after the deal fell via.
In consequence, 4 shareholders of the Korean chain — Lee Je-young, Soh Sow Hoon, Huh Suk Kyung and Lee Pil Younger — sued Sim for the excellent S$4.8 million.
In February 2020, they obtained a Mareva injunction towards Sim, which refers to a court docket order that freezes the defendant’s property to forestall them from dissipating the property.
Her property had been frozen as much as a price of S$4.8 million.
Sim additionally advised The Sunday Occasions that she had executed a “main revamp” of MOF after the acquisition had fallen via.
Underneath stress of the “manpower crunch”, she closed all table-service ideas that had been regarded as “not viable in Singapore’s meals and beverage panorama”, chopping down about 40 shops in 2019 alone.
In accordance with Sim, these downsizing measures helped the corporate flip operationally worthwhile by the fourth quarter of 2019.
Nonetheless, the Covid-19 outbreak made a dent within the F&B trade, and MOF noticed a 35 per cent drop in efficiency throughout the group. Whereas some shops might nonetheless get by, eight of them suffered steep falls in gross sales by 80 to 90 per cent.
On high of the pandemic impacts, banks have allegedly been freezing Sim’s accounts, together with her private accounts, after the Mareva injunction. Sim mentioned this has prevented her from paying landlords and suppliers.
She was additionally questioned by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and had her passport impounded as she did not pay workers’ wages.
Featured Picture Credit score: Ministry of Meals