Chee Soon Juan Shares Epiphany About Running A Café, Cites High Rent As Daunting Factor

High Rent Makes Running F&B Places Difficult, Says Chee Soon Juan

Operating a food and beverage (F&B) establishment in Singapore comes fraught with many risks, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic still around.

New café owner Chee Soon Juan is now experiencing this first-hand, 4 days after opening Orange & Teal at Rochester Mall.


F&B is gruelling, and high rent makes things even harder, he noted.

He blamed this partly on government-linked enterprises that own the malls, which set the high rents in the first place.

Chee Soon Juan laments high rent at F&B places

The post, dated 29 Jun, showed staff having dinner and discussions following the café’s closure for the day.


Amid the day-to-day demands of the job, Mr Chee has found how taxing running an F&B enterprise can be, and he stated his respect for other operators who do this every day.

He also talked about how high rent is a factor that weighs down on many F&B operators, especially smaller ones.

While larger chains and eateries can afford this rent, some even forking up 6 months’ security deposits, smaller ones take up a much larger burden.

Expresses disappointment at landlords

Government-linked organisatinos such as Surbana, MapleTree, and JTC own many of the properties that eateries rent, Mr Chee said.

This makes things all the more disappointing, he feels, as they’re the ones who set the rent.

As a result, he has called upon the public to visit nieghbourhood cafés or local eateries more often, over the giants located in the various malls here.

It’s part of “helping our own”.

He’s also shared updated opening hours for Orange & Teal, which appear to have been adjusted based on footfall in the past few days.

Difficult but F&B operators still going in

Despite the trying conditions at the moment due to the pandemic, many are still opening their own F&B establishments.

If there’s one thing that will always endure in Singapore, rain or shine, it’s the allure of enjoying good food with company, or even by yourself.

And for that reason, there’ll always be a pletora of options and new places sprouting up.

But as Mr Chee notes, the job is tough, especially due to rent, and they do require support from us to keep going. If you like the food or the people, do show them your support.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook.

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