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Bakery Review: BreadTalk


  • Bakery Review: BreadTalk

    BreadTalk is a local company founded by Dr George Quek, who is the Chairman, and Deputy Chairman Katherine Lee, and has since successfully expanded to regional markets such as Indonesia, Philippines and most importantly, the huge and profitable China market.

    We are not affiliated to BreadTalk in any way, and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author. We have written previously reviews of other bakeries in Singapore, such as Duke Bakery and Provence.

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    BreadTalk is renowned for originating the “Floss” bread, which according to Breadtalk, “sells at a rate of 1 every 10s worldwide”, and that “100 million 'Floss' buns has since been sold”.

    The BreadTalk Group has been aggressive in the local industry, expanding islandwide with a number of stores as well as restaurants such a recently vintage-themed restaurant at the newly open Capitol Building.

    Local food blogger DanielFoodDiary wrote about his experience in 1933, a 1930s themed restaurant, a two storey restaurant in the middle of town.

    Readers might also be surprised to learn that the BreadTalk group won the franchise rights to operate the famous Din Tai Fung chain of restaurants in Singapore. The upmarket food courts of Food Republic are also operated by the BreadTalk group, reflecting deep expertise and influence within the F&B industry in Singapore.

    It is thus of no wonder that the founder of BreadTalk Dr. George Quek is known as the “Foodcourt King” in Singapore. Readers interested in his biography can read more about him at the National Library’s website.

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    Controversy over “Fresh” Soya Bean

    A scandal involving Yeo’s Soya Bean erupted when an employee was photographed by a member of the public pouring Yeo’s Soya Bean into a bottle which carried the logo of “freshly prepared”, according to this article by The Straits Times.

    Consumers were naturally angry as the term gave the impression that the drink was made and brewed in-house.

    This incident which attracted tons of bad publicity has resulted in Breadtalk having to defend one of its main pillars that is a distinguishing factor from other bakeries - that its breads, buns and bakes are freshly-made in an adjacent kitchen classic of a Breadtalk outlet.

    Following the scandal, the company gave out 50,000 floss buns over three weekends starting from August 28 in a bid to regain the trust and good faith of the public, according to this article by Channel News Asia.

    The company has also signed a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) in a signal to show that it will not be involved in unfair practices after this scandal. BreadTalk also donated $50,000 to Community Chest.

    In the later days of August 2015, The Straits Times reported in this article that a China TV programme claimed “that its Shenzhen outlet has not changed its doughnut frying oil for years”, resulting in BreadTalk disputing the claims.

    It looks like Breadtalk was not the only local company to be involved in engaging in unfair practices. Gushcloud, which has since been acquired by a South Korean company, was caught in a brouhaha along with some of its social influencers when it asked its influencers to circulate bad remarks about Singtel, one of the major telecommunications company in Singapore.

    In the aftermath of the scandal, BreadTalk launched a digital system in November 2015 that would alert customers when a new batch of bread has been made, in its bid to “win back customers”.

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    What we like about BreadTalk
    1. Freshness & Variety of breads available - there is certainly no shortage of variety available at their stores. It can be seen through the years that they have been innovating and adding, sometimes experimenting with, new flavours. For instance, in light of the festive Lunar New Year celebrations, BreadTalk are selling tins of Cashew Nuts and Pineapple tarts - picture attached.
    A video advertising goodies for Mid-Autumn festival last year (2015) was also well-received and well-scripted in our opinion.
    1. Service Standards: Online reviews on their Facebook page and on food review sites like HungryGoWhere often praise their quick, efficient service of customers paying for bread.
    Suggestions for Improvement

    Surprisingly, compared to bakeries like Duke Bakery (which we wrote a review about) and Provence, BreadTalk, despite its massive chain of local bakeries in Singapore, does not state the allergens present in their bread, more commonly Eggs, Wheat, Nuts.

    Provence and Duke Bakery distinguish themselves on this unique factor which certainly caters to the shift in consumers looking to consumer healthier breads, as well as those who have certain food preferences of allergies.
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