Restaurant chain shutdown: And Bulgogi Brothers makes 3

bulgogi-brothers-1PETALING JAYA: Restaurants may come and go, but when three popular international restaurant and cafe chains which opened between 2012 and 2014, decide to close shop in a matter of three months, it does make one wonder, just what is going on.

Yesterday, Bulgogi Brothers made the shocking announcement on its Facebook page that it had ceased to exist in Malaysia.

“All good things must come to an end. We would like to thank all our customers throughout the years for your unwavering support. It’s been an absolute pleasure to serve all of you,” was the simple message that Bulgogi Brothers Malaysia posted. And that was it. No more delights from this famous Korean barbeque restaurant to please the palettes of diners in the Klang Valley anymore.

Bulgogi Brothers first opened here in Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya in 2012. They later expanded their operations by opening outlets in eCurve, Mid Valley Megamall and Pavillion. All these malls are very popular so it could be assumed that there would be no problem in attracting diners from a large traffic of people.

The timing of their closure however, is what points to a possible impact of some economic factors affecting Malaysian society.

This is because the Bulgogi Brothers announcement comes just two days after Tim Ho Wan, a popular dim sum restaurant franchise from Hong Kong also closed its doors on two restaurants here.

The closure of the two Tim Ho Wan restaurants in Malaysia – one in Mid Valley Megamall, and another at 1Utama Shopping Mall – were announced by the public-listed company that owned 51% of the company running the franchise in Malaysia, in a filing with Bursa Malaysia. The company had started to operate the restaurents here in 2014.

Tim Ho Wan continues to operate in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, two months ago, Korean bakery chain, Tous Les Jours also shut down its operations in Malaysia.

The hullabaloo around the launch in 2013 of what was billed as part of a Korean coffee “invasion” eventually led to outlets opening up in Bangsar, Empire Damansara, WOLO Bukit Bintang, and Subang’s Empire Shopping Gallery.

Like in the case of Bulgogi Brothers, the Tous Les Jours closure announcement on May 25, was made on its Facebook page and the decision took its customers and staff too, by surprise.