Since its return under its rebranded name and store at Depot Lane, popular Western eatery The Original Botak Jones have since expanded to three outlets islandwide.
The boss behind the Muslim-owned eatery, Bernie Utchenik, apologised for the eatery's newly-raised prices and inclusion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was implemented without informing customers in advance.
"Not to increase any profits"
On Jan. 1, Utchenik addressed their patrons and supporters in a Facebook post about the issue.
He shared how a very loyal customer had pointed out that the eatery has raised prices for their items "without prior notice".
Utchenik told Mothership that the price hike mostly involved a S$0.50 increase per item.
After extending his apology to that customer to the other customers, the eatery boss proceeded to explain the price hike.
He shared that the eatery faces challenges caused by the pandemic, which include dining constraints and "breaks and alterations in the supply streams" that caused suppliers to increase their prices.
As a result, they had to revise their prices from Jan. 1, "not to increase any profits" but to avoid losing the business to the challenges that threaten it.
He reiterated his apology and "take responsibility for doing it".
The message concluded with a promise that Original Botak Jones "will continue to offer the best value possible in quality for price" and "always strive to do better".
In addition, Utchenik shared that their prices were not subjected to GST last year as they were "way below the threshold".
Speaking to Mothership, he said,
"With three outlets, we are approaching this threshold and since it takes a while to be liable from the time you submit, we submitted in December with a Jan. 1 date of compliance."
You can read the full post here:
Netizens remain supportive
Netizens were understanding of the eatery's decision to increase prices.
They highlighted the difficulty of keeping an F&B business afloat during a pandemic amidst increasing costs due to the pandemic's impact on the global supply chain.
A few have also said they will continue to support the eatery despite the price hike.
In response to one of the comments, the eatery said they "believe in transparency and honesty" to build lasting relationships.
- 153 Kampong Ampat, #07-05, Singapore 368326
- 328 Clementi Avenue 2, #01-220, Singapore 120328
- 118 Depot Lane #01-01, Singapore 109754
Opening hours: 11:30am to 3pm, 5pm to 9pm
Top images via Original Botak Jones's Facebook page.