It’s hard enough to sustain a successful F&B business in Singapore, let alone in one of the most competitive states in the world. The Singaporean hawker chain, AshesBurnnit, has permanently closed its outlet in New York City after just 1 year of operations.
AshesBurnnit is a Muslim-owned gourmet burger chain with 6 outlets within hawker centres in Singapore. They are most well-known for their charcoal burgers, featuring black buns filled with an assortment of ingredients. After successful ventures in Singapore, the business expanded into overseas markets by opening its first American outlet within Urban Hawker in New York, a food centre housing 11 Singaporean F&B businesses.
The stall’s closure was reported in Berita Harian, in which the stall’s owner, Lee Syafiq Muhd Ridzuan Lee, cited high operational costs and difficulty in obtaining work visas as the reason for them shuttering. He stated that while his Singaporean staff were able to obtain temporary work visas, they were unable to get permanent ones.
Additionally, he explained that the cost of running a stall in New York versus Singapore was about 1.5 times more expensive— the average salary of a cook is over 2 times more in New York versus Singapore.
The New York outlet of AshesBurnnit served Singapore-inspired burgers, plus assorted roti johns, bringing a taste of Singapore to the Big Apple. Diners would be able to enjoy an Asian Style Cheeseburger from USD9.45 (S$12.66), with the most expensive à la carte burger option, the Impossible Double Truffle Mushroom Cheeseburger, coming in at USD17.97 (S$24.07).
The Roti Johns, on the other hand, cost from USD11.99 (S$16.06) to USD14.99 (S$20.07).
Though the stall may have closed its only outlet in the United States, those of us in Singapore can feel relieved since their 6 local outlets remain unaffected and are operating as usual.
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