KUALA LUMPUR: George Ang, the man behind Inter Mark Resources Sdn Bhd (IMRSB), which acquired A&W Malaysia Sdn Bhd from KUB Malaysia Bhd (KUB), has pledged to make the oldest fast food chain in the country great again.
There are 47 outlets today, up from 40 when IMRSB acquired A&W from KUB last September.
The company plans to expand the number to 100 by 2021 and emerge among the top three fast food players in terms of the number of outlets.
Ang is no stranger to the food and beverage (F&B) industry as he is one of the founders of Manhattan Fish Market and the director of Revenue Valley Sdn Bhd, which operates MFM, Tony Roma’s and NY Steak Shack in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The CEO of both IMRSB and A&W Malaysia said a series of value- and service-enhancing initiatives have been rolled out since the acquisition, paving the way for it to achieve RM100 million sales targeted for 2019, up from RM70 million last year.
“We are looking at clinching sales of RM100 million this year with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of about 10% of sales.
“That is why we plan to open 15 to 16 outlets alone this year ” he told Bernama.
KUB’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Restoran Kualiti Sdn Bhd, disposed of its entire interest in A&W Malaysia to IMRSB for RM34 million in July last year. The deal was completed in September.
KUB had closed down 26 loss-making A&W outlets nationwide in 2012 as a part of the company’s recovery efforts.
Ang, 47, said A&W Malaysia would introduce more affordable set meals, priced between RM8.90 and RM9.90 by May, much cheaper than the current set meals priced between RM14 and RM15 per set.
“We have not increased prices since we took over the company,” he said.
Ang, who has over 20 years of experience in the F&B business, said the company now served fresh chicken as opposed to frozen chicken.
“Although we have to bear an extra cost of about 5%, we are committed to carry this out without passing the cost to our customers,” he said.
He also said A&W Malaysia would enhance its breakfast service by introducing better choices of menu in the second quarter of the year.
“Today, only a few outlets offer breakfast service from 8am but in the near future, every outlet outside malls would be offering breakfast,” he said.
Ang said the company had partnered GrabFood to provide delivery service since Jan 1.
“Currently, nearly 10 outlets in the Klang Valley are in collaboration with GrabFood.
“We aim to introduce the delivery service in outlets in Klang, Penang and Johor by the third quarter of this year,” he said, bringing the total to 18 outlets by year-end.
He said more 24-hour standalone drive-through restaurants would also be built next year, which would increase average store sales by between RM2 million and RM3 million.
The company recently announced it would set up an additional 20 outlets next year, of which eight would be drive-through restaurants.
On the drive-in restaurant in Petaling Jaya, scheduled to be demolished by year-end following its sale by KUB to a developer, Ang said the implication would be substantial as the iconic landmark contributed RM4 million of sales annually to the company.
“It is a profitable outlet and its shutdown will have a big impact on our business but what to do, we have to close down even though it has been there since 1965.
“However, we are in talks with the developer to see if we can build an A&W restaurant on the ground floor of the building,” he said, adding that the plan would take three to four years to realise, if negotiations succeed.
KUB sold the land to Kasmuncak Holdings Sdn Bhd (KHSB) for RM37 million last year.
United States-based A&W Restaurants, the franchisor of A&W Malaysia, will celebrate its 100th anniversary worldwide in June.