Wendy’s Singapore died a quiet death after closing their last outlet in National University of Singapore (NUS) UTown’s Town Plaza today.
The fast food chain restaurant sold burgers, and was well known for its shakes, as well as sides such as chilli and baked potatoes. It originated from the United States (US) in 1969, and was first brought into Singapore in the 1980s.
Despite its popularity among the people for its square patties, with outlets in Far East Plaza and Parkway Parade, the fast food chain inevitably exited the market not long after. In 2008, however, Lim Bee Huat, Chairman of Kopitiam Group of Companies, managed to bring Wendy’s Singapore back to Singapore.
Back then, in a Channel NewsAsia report, the company declared plans to open a total of 35 Wendy’s outlets in Singapore over the next decade. It started out by opening its first outlet in Lau Pa Sat Festival Market in December 2009, and steadily increasing it to a total of 11 outlets in 2012.
However, the fast-food burger chain had been closing one outlet after another in recent years. Despite its ambitious claims, and extended opening hours over at various outlets, trouble seemed to start brewing last year in August, when it first announced that its Century Square outlet of four years had to close due to a lease expiry.
This was then followed by a series of successive closures which started this year — many were blamed on lease expiry — such as their Holland Village store (of five years) in January and their Liat Towers branch (of five years) just a few weeks later in February. Other branches were closed too without any explanation given, such as their Lavender V Hotel (of four years) last month on March 15 and their Jurong Point branch just a day later on March 16.
From then on, it seemed as though Wendy’s Singapore social media team gave up engaging their customers. This is compared to previously, when the team would at the very least give replies to their users. Queries of late went unanswered, and many people, both on the fast-food chain’s Facebook page, as well as on forums were left confused by the sudden closures of their favourite outlets.
YouTuber New Yi Qing published a video Wednesday regarding the pullout. When Popspoken asked to clarify, Yi Qing said he received multiple confirmations from staffers across different outlets that the brand was indeed pulling out of Singapore.
According to various reports, Wendy’s closure is not unique to Singapore. In the US, media companies such as Heartland Connection reported that the Kirksville outlet had closed without any warning “for remodeling”, with no response from Wendy’s officials as well.
Popspoken reached out to both the Kopitiam Group of Companies as well as The Wendy’s Company, with the former having no comment or statement available on the matter, and the latter giving no reply to us by press time.
With no comments forthcoming from the company, speculation has been rife on the Internet, with people blaming the company’s pullout from our shores once again on manpower issues, increase in rental prices and a failure to compete with other prominent brands in the competitive local fast food market.