KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — George Ang, the man behind Inter Mark Resources Sdn Bhd (IMRSB) which acquired A&W Malaysia Sdn Bhd from KUB Malaysia Bhd (KUB) last September, vows to make the oldest fast food chain in the country, great again.
Ang is no stranger to the 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 chief executive officer of both IMRSB and A&W Malaysia said a series of value-and- services enhancing initiatives have been rolled out since the acquisition took place last year, paving the way for it to achieve the RM100 million sales targeted for 2019, up from RM70 million recorded in 2018.
“We are looking at clinching sales of RM100 million this year with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of about 10 per cent of sales.
“That is why we plan to open about 15-16 outlets this year “ he told Bernama.
Last July, KUB’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Restoran Kualiti Sdn Bhd, disposed of its entire interest in A&W Malaysia to IMRSB for RM34 million, with the deal being completed in September 2018.
Under KUB, A&W Malaysia closed down 26 loss-making outlets, nationwide, in 2012 as a part of the company’s recovery effort.
Speaking on the initiatives, the 47 year-old Ang unveiled that 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 the price since we took over the company in September 2018 and we do not plan to do so this year but re-combo the set meals to more affordable prices,” he said.
Besides, Ang, who has over 20 years of experience in the food and beverages industry, said the company now served fresh chicken as opposed to frozen chicken.
“Although we have to bear an extra cost of about five per cent, we are committed to carry this out without passing to cost to our customers,” said Ang.
He also revealed that 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, adding that the company, since Jan 1, 2019, had partnered GrabFood to provide delivery service.
“Currently, nearly 10 outlets in the Klang Valley are in collaboration with GrabFood and we aim to introduce the delivery service in outlets located in Klang, Penang and Johor by the third quarter of this year,” he said, anticipating 18 outlets to offer delivery service by year-end.
To further elevate sales growth, moving forward, Ang said there would also be more 24-hours stand alone drive-through restaurants, to be built next year, that would be able to bring up the average store sales by between RM2 million and RM3 million.
He recently announced that the company targeted to open an additional 20 A&W outlets next year, of which eight would be drive-through restaurants.
“Presently, we have about four drive-through restaurants and Melaka, Johor Bahru and Taiping are among the locations for the drive-through outlets in 2020,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ang divulged that when IMRSB acquired A&W from KUB, there were only 40 outlets throughout the country but six months thereafter the number of outlets had increased to 47.
He said the company aimed to expand the number of outlets to 100 by 2021 and emerge among the top three fast food players in terms of number of outlets by then.
On the soon-to-be-closed-down A&W drive-in restaurant in PJ, which is set to be demolished by year-end, Ang admitted that the implication would be substantial as the iconic landmark contributed RM4 million of sales annually to the company, accounting for four per cent of the RM100 million sales targeted for this year.
“It is a very profitable outlet for us and the shut-down will definitely have a big impact on our business... but what to do, we have to close down even though it has been there for over 50 years since 1965,” he said.
Ang wished he could continue to operate the restaurant for another 10 years but unfortunately the land on which the outlet is situated, was sold by KUB, the former owner of A&W Malaysia in 2001, to another developer last year.
“However, we are in talks with the developer to see if we can build an A&W restaurant at the ground floor of the building,” he said, adding that the plan would take about three to four years to realise, if negotiations succeed.
KUB sold the land to Kasmuncak Holdings Sdn Bhd (KHSB) for RM37 million last year.
The United States-based A&W Restaurants Inc, the franchisor of A&W Malaysia, will celebrate its 100th anniversary worldwide in June this year. — Bernama