MALAYSIA’S own fast-food franchisor, Marrybrown Fried Chicken Sdn Bhd, will be opening its first franchised outlet in Tehran, Iran, next month.
Managing director Nancy Liew said the 464- sq-m stand-alone outlet would be the first fast-food restaurant allowed to open in the country.
She said the Iran had strict rules on fast-food operations. “This is a big breakthrough for us and we are really proud of the achievement,” Liew said in an interview.
She said its master franchiser, Dubai-based Food & Life General Trading LLC Global Flavours, a member of the Al Abbas Group, had in September signed an accord for franchise in Iran.
Liew said the franchise, International Credit Care FZE, would operate 45 outlets in Iran over the next four years.
“As the first fast-food operator in Iran, it gives us an early advantage to capture the market there,” said Liew.
She said its franchiser, Food & Life, was responsible for the expansion programme in the Middle Eastern region and targeted Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
Liew said the company, which entered the region in 2001, now has 10 outlets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and four in Saudi Arabia and planned to have 200 outlets across the region within five years.
It would also be making inroads into Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and states in the central and eastern regions of India next year.
On local expansion, Liew said the company would open its first franchised east coast outlet at KB Mall in Kota Baru, Kelantan next month. “The fast food segment in the east coast is largely untapped and we will also be in Pahang and Terengganu next year,” she said.
Liew said the company would be focusing on secondary towns and new townships to further strengthen its position in the local fast-food industry.
Marrybrown was set up in 1981 and started its first local franchise in 1986. It has 93 outlets in Malaysia.
It went international via franchising in 1992 and, apart from the 10 outlets in UAE and four in Saudi Arabia, it also has 48 in China, 25 in South India, two in Singapore and one in Sri Lanka.