Nic & Tom Eatery is closing down on June 10, 2022.
The F&B business announced its impending closure in social media posts on May 2.
Run by the second generation of Bai Nian Niang Dou Foo, the eatery has grown to become a popular fixture in Serangoon Gardens in the past three years.
It sells both local and western dishes at affordable prices, with its signature Long Jiang Pig Leg Rice going at only S$4.90, in addition to mains and pasta that are under S$10.
Despite—or perhaps because of—their thriving business, Nic & Tom's owners can no longer afford to keep the business going, as the landlord has decided to increase the rental.
According to one half of the duo, Tommy Pang, the affordable menu also equates to low margins. This typically equates to a volume-dependent business.
And it has been a struggle to reach this point too, as the eatery recalls in their post.
"We still remember the night before our grand opening day on 27 August 2019. We were preparing for the next day till 5am, cleaning chicken skins by hand, cooking pig trotters and preparing all the necessary ingredients expecting a big crowd the next day.
However, like every other new F&B establishments, the crowd only lasted for three days."
A period of helplessness and desperation followed, as the team would get up at 6am to prepare for their 10:30am opening, only to have their first customer walk in in the late afternoon.
To draw diners in, the eatery gave 50 per cent discount coupons to neighbouring homes, and even hundreds of free bowls of mains daily, but nothing seemed to work.
The first time they had a small crowd, it was after a media report, and things gradually improved after nine long months.
However, Covid-19 struck, and the team was faced with another hurdle.
"Having 200 delivery orders daily was no joke when you don’t have the support of Grab and foodpanda doing islandwide deliveries.
But we didn’t give up, the kitchen didn’t give up, regardless how far the location we insisted on driving out there and delivering the food at break even cost and we took that as a way to let new customers try our food and in hopes of them dining in when Covid gets better."
When dine-in resumed, business started picking up again, but after all the highs and lows, Nic & Tom will soon be handing over the keys to the next tenant.
Pang added that they are looking for a new location, but have yet to find one.
Nic & Tom Eatery
Address: 55 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555951
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm, daily
Last day on June 10, 2022.
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Top image via Nic & Tom Eatery