In absolutely devastating news, beloved dumpling institution Din Tai Fung has gone into administration in Australia due as a result of low trade in the time of coronavirus.

The demise of Din Tai Fung was also accelerated by a wage theft scandal that came to light in August last year. Four of the chain’s stores were targeted by the Fair Work Ombudsman for allegations of underpaying employees and using false records.

The Ombudsman launched legal action against three store operators over alleged underpayment of workers owing more than $157,000.

Employees at the World Square and Chatswood in Sydney and Emporium Melbourne stores allegedly worked for less than $15 an hour, the Fair Work Ombudsman outlines, and one worker is allegedly owed more than $50,000.

The wage theft reportedly underpaid 17 staff members, who were predominately young people from China and Indonesia on student or work visas sponsored by the chain.

Court action was taken against Din Tai Fung director Dendy Harjanto, general manager Hannah Handoko and HR coordinator Sinthiana Parmenas.

Per The Australian Saffron Felix Joop Investments, which previously traded as Din Tai Fung, reportedly entered administration earlier in January, with Chifley Advisory Australia liquidators Gavin Moss and Mohammad Najjar appointed.

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Din Tai Fung was founded in Taiwan back in 1956, before expanding to international waters. It was the first Taiwanese restaurant to ever be awarded a Michelin star.

The chain has ten restaurants across Australia, with nine in Sydney and one in Melbourne. It won over swathes of devotees with its sumptuous, relatively affordable fare and feature in which customers could witness the dumpling masters in action.

Although I am heartbroken that the future of one of my favourite dumpling spots remains uncertain, food just doesn’t taste of as good when accompanied by the knowledge that sinister, capitalist forces are taking advantage of vulnerable workers.