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Singapore Michelin-starred hawker seeks US$1.5m expansion deal
[SINGAPORE] A Singapore food hawker who was awarded one Michelin star in July is seeking an international expansion deal which he hopes can bring him at least S$2 million.
Malaysian-born Chan Hon Meng, who was recognised for his soya sauce braised chicken, told AFP on Monday he wants a partner who can make him an international franchise, "like KFC".
He cited as models Asian brands like Hong Kong's Tim Ho Wan and Taiwan's Din Tai Fung, which have both won one star.
Since Chan was awarded the star, several investors have approached him with expansion plans. But Mr Chan said he turned them down because they either lack overseas operating experience or cannot meet his conditions.
"I'm hoping that I can get a S$2 million payout, if not at least company shares to match. I want the brand to go into the overseas market and I want it to be run like a franchise, like KFC," he said.
Mr Chan said he is now in talks with a global food and beverage company which has offered him generous conditions including share options. He declined to name it.
Mr Chan made headlines when he became one of two hawkers awarded one star by the Michelin guide when it launched its inaugural Singapore edition.
A plate of chicken and rice costs just S$2.50, making it one of the world's cheapest Michelin-starred dishes.
Since the award, Mr Chan's stall in a muggy food court in Singapore's Chinatown has seen long queues with diners waiting up to three hours.
Fame has come at a cost for his regulars.
"Most of those are tourists. A lot of my regulars don't get to eat my chicken any more because who can wait three hours for a meal?"