Lee Fun Nam Kee Sees 50% Drop In Biz Since M’sia’s Chicken Export Ban, Likely Won’t Use Fresh Kampong Birds Due To Cost
The boss of the soy sauce chicken joint says the price of fresh kampong chooks — now allowed to be exported to S’pore — will be “sky-high". 8days.sg samples his signature dish cooked with frozen chicken.
Malaysia’s chicken export ban, in full swing since June 1, has affected many chicken hawkers. One example is soy sauce chicken specialist Lee Fun Nam Kee (LFNK) in Toa Payoh, which had to grapple with a huge plunge in sales.
At the start of the month, second-generation owner David Lee told 8days.sg that he had a stockpile of around “seven to 10 days’” worth of fresh chickens. However, business has been so sluggish that it can now last till “around June 19”.
“I lose about 50 per cent in sales every day, that’s why my stock can last longer,” the 56-year-old shares. He had initially expected a drop of “20 to 30 per cent”.
“Many of my customers said they will stop eating chicken for a while ‘cos there are many alternative food options out there,” shares David, who is the father of Genevieve Lee, runner-up of MasterChef Singapore’s first season. You won’t see her at the eatery though, as she is busy running her doughnut shop, Sourbombe Artisanal Bakery.
LFNK was started as a hawker stall by David’s father in 1967 before moving to its current premises below a block of HDB flats a year later. The standalone eatery, which sits around 90 pax, is more like a clean, mod open-air kopitiam, with no air-conditioning.