THE Marrybrown restaurant chain, is expected to be the first halal fast food brand to enter the Japanese market with opening of outlets in Osaka and Tokyo, in time for the upcoming Olympics in 2020.
Marrybrown Sdn Bhd group CEO Datuk Joshua Liew said the company plans to establish at least one outlet in the Olympic Village alongside Tokyo and Osaka.
“It is good news for our country to bring the first halal fast food restaurant in Japan,” he told reporters at a joint media briefing with Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PNS) last Friday.
He said that choosing strategic locations may be a big challenge in opening outlets in Japan.
“If you open a Marrybrown outlet on the seventh floor in Malaysia, nobody will go there.
“However, in Japan, they might be more likely to visit the seventh floor or the basement because of the scarcity of space. That’s why I am heading to Japan to survey the location for our Tokyo outlet,” he said.
According to him, the engagement to distribute halal fast food in Japan has already been done.
“There is no problem in branding Marrybrown’s halal food to them. It’s just the location surveying left to do before we go ahead with the rest,” he said.
The local fast food franchise also plans to launch one outlet in the Republic of Iran, one in Sri Lanka and three in New Zealand this year.
As for new outlets in the domestic market, Liew said the company will focus on key areas like the Klang Valley, East Coast and East Malaysia.
“We have confirmed a few locations for our future outlets in the Klang Valley, and we would love to develop more in the East Coast like Terengganu and East Malaysia,” he added.
The company also plans to open an outlet in Perlis, a state that has not been penetrated by Marrybrown.
PNS, the founder for the franchise, has been working with Marrybrown since 2007 with an investment of almost RM6.5 million to date.
This year, the company plans to reinforce its funding role to 17 entrepreneurs who wish to become Marrybrown’s franchisee.
PNS MD Datuk Syed Kamarulzaman Syed Zainol Khodki Shahabudin said PNS provides 70% of the cost of opening a Marrybrown outlet.
He said each restaurant would utilise between RM800,000 and RM2 million of the PNS fund, depending on the size and services offered.
Meanwhile, he said the franchise development lead has allocated RM30 million to RM35 million for small and medium enterprises that wish to receive financial aid from the company to undertake a franchise business.
He added that PNS would also allocate RM30 million for property investment this year.