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Winding-up order seals demise of Banquet

Halal foodcourt chain owes $15m, with $10m due to stallholders

Published on Feb 22, 2014 8:15 AM
 
Banquet collected daily takings and kept 20 per cent as rent. The rest was returned to stallholders in the next 14 days after the end of each month. At its peak, it ran 46 outlets across the island. It closed its last five branches three months ago. -- ST FILE PHOTO

A winding-up order has been served on Banquet Holdings, putting the final nail in the coffin of the beleaguered foodcourt chain.

Once Singapore's largest halal foodcourt operator, it now owes creditors about $15 million. Of this, $10 million is due to stallholders, a source close to the company told The Straits Times.

Banquet, which first opened in 1999, closed its final five outlets, including those at VivoCity, HarbourFront Centre and Jurong Point, three months ago. At its peak, it ran 46 outlets across the island.

But rising rentals and wages led to cash flow problems in 2010.

 
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Background story

Rise and fall of halal foodcourt chain

  • 1999: Opens first outlet in Jurong Point mall.
  • 2005: Foodcourt No. 16 opens in Clifford Centre.

At 2,400 sq m, it is Banquet's largest outlet and is double the size of typical foodcourts.

  • 2006: The $2.3 million Kopitiam/Banquet foodcourt, covering 2,230 sq m, opens at VivoCity.
  • 2012: From a high of 46 outlets, Banquet cuts back to just 14.
  • 2012: Kopitiam, which owns half of Banquet, divests its shares to Banquet Holdings.
  • 2013: In June, only five Banquet outlets are left.

By the end of November, they have been closed, with Kopitiam taking over the outlets at VivoCity, HarbourFront Centre and Jurong Point.