image

Hong Kong courts

Landlord takes legal action to remove Hooters from Hong Kong premises over HK$1.5m in unpaid rent

The Dor Fook Company, the landlord of the chain’s branch in Central district, is seeking to repossess two premises let to the restaurant on Wyndham Street since 2016, a court writ shows

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 January, 2018, 8:54pm
UPDATED : Monday, 29 January, 2018, 10:48pm

A Hong Kong landlord appears to have lost its appetite for US restaurant firm Hooters, after the eatery chain best known for its scantily clad waitresses failed to pay its rent for the second time in the city.

The Dor Fook Company, the landlord of the chain’s branch in Central district, is seeking to repossess two premises let to the restaurant on Wyndham Street since 2016, a court document filed on Friday showed.

The court writ said Hooters Restaurants Limited had not been paying its rent and rates – amounting to HK$1.52 million (US$195,000) – for its premises in the Yu Yuet Building in the SoHo area since October last year. Failure to pay the rent “has constituted a repudiation” of the lease, the landlord argued.

If Hooters does not return the premises, Dor Fook is also claiming HK$371,700 for every month it stays there starting from February. It also seeks HK$17,932 per month for future rates.

It is the second time Hooters, which arrived in Hong Kong in 2016, has been sued over rent. Dor Fook lodged a legal bid in September last year for HK$1.13 million or three months’ worth of unpaid rent.

Days after the legal action was reported, its then Asia president, Daniel Yong, confirmed with the Post that the full amount had been paid. Yong, when contacted on Monday, said he had left the position.

The company had not responded to requests for comment as of Monday.

Hooters planning to open five restaurants across Hong Kong

According to the writ, Hooters signed a 10-year lease in March 2016 for its ground-floor venue, agreeing to pay HK$330,000 per month for the first year.

By the tenth year, it was expected to pay HK$511,938 a month.

Another five-year lease was signed for a room above the shop, for which the chain would pay a monthly rent of HK24,000 for the first year.

The company failed to pay the rent for both premises starting from October and November, despite prompts from the landlord’s lawyer, the writ said.