SINGAPORE — All 11 Flash Coffee outlets across Singapore have closed after its owners told regulators that they were unable to keep operating due to liabilities.
The company has been placed into provisional liquidation. This usually means that an appointed firm is trying to recover money for creditors while sometimes trying to keep running the business.
The move came on the back of suggestions of unrest among workers at the grab-and-go chain of coffee outlets and claims of employees were being paid late.
A TikTok video posted on Thursday evening shows a sign at its Jurong Point outlet asserting that its baristas are “on strike” due to several late salary payouts.
The sign also said that the outlet would be “closed indefinitely”.
As of 1pm on Friday, the sign from the TikTok video had been removed at Jurong Point when TODAY checked.
The TikTok user who posted the video and goes by the username “DR-Review” told TODAY that he had intended to get coffee at the outlet at around 8pm on Thursday when he spotted the sign.
The company told CNA news channel that its staff members were not on strike.
“We ceased operations at our 11 stores and consequently, our baristas are not required to report to work.”
Flash Coffee also told CNA that to build a profitable and sustainable business, it decided to “further consolidate our future efforts and to double down on our most promising markets”.
“To facilitate this renewed focus, we ceased operations in Singapore yesterday, comprising 11 stores out of our (around) 200 global stores,” it added.
The Business Times reported on Friday that Flash Coffee had “filed for a voluntary winding-up due to its liabilities”.
A document seen and verified by TODAY states that Flash Coffee was placed under provisional liquidation on Thursday. The provisional liquidator is BDO Singapore.
During the process, the liquidators, if appointed at a meeting of creditors, would try to get as much money as possible from its assets to pay creditors, the letter stated.
TODAY visited five Flash Coffee outlets across the island on Friday — at Guoco Mall, Paya Lebar Quarter, Jurong Point, 1 George Street, and Keppel Bay Tower — and found that none was in operation.
The Guoco Mall outlet had been shuttered, with a notice posted by mall management TPC commercial indicating that the unit had been repossessed.
TODAY understands that the space Flash Coffee occupied along George Street was shared with another food-and-beverage business.
Flash Coffee employees there had “not turned up for at least 10 or more days” on separate occasions in the past three months, which had hurt the business of its collaborator. This was what an employee from the F&B business on George Street said.