KUCHING: Sarawak’s home-grown family restaurant chain SCR Corp Sdn Bhd has expanded its franchise in Sabah and Indonesia.
General manager (franchising & strategic planning) Johnny Leo Lee Boon said SCR has identified six new locations in places such as Sandakan, Kota Marudu and Keningau in Sabah as well as Pontianak in Indonesia.
“We target to open the six outlets in the next two years. One of our franchisees has planned for several outlets in Sabah,” he told StarBiz.
SCR ventured into the franchise business about three years ago, and had increased its restaurants to 22 in Sarawak and Brunei, 10 of which were set up last year while six opened for business this year.
It also operates 30 company-owned SCR restaurants, mostly in major towns in Sarawak.
Offering a variety of local and western cuisines with Singapore Chicken Rice as its signature dish, SCR operates one company-owned restaurant in Kota Kinabalu while a second one in the Sabah capital is expected to open during the harvest festival in June.
The company is also eyeing the Federal Terrority of Labuan for its first company-owned SCR restaurant.
It is also exploring opportunities in Peninsular Malaysia.
Leo said the company was expected to conclude negotiations with an Indonesian trading company, which recently diversified into the steamboat business, to invest in SCR’s franchise restaurant business in Pontianak.
“We have chosen Pontianak Indonesians as they are familiar with our brand,” he said.
Leo said as the Sarawak market was saturated, and that SCR has to venture beyond the Land of the Hornbills to continue its growth.
“Our target is to hit the 100 restaurants mark (a combination of company-owned and franchise oultets) by 2018,” he said.
With four of the franchise outlets owned by bumiputras, SCR is heeding the call of the authorities to attract more non-Chinese to venture into its franchised business.
According to Leo, the capital investment in a 2000 sq ft SCR franchise outlet is about RM700,000.
Variety is SCR’s strength, he said.
Its signature chicken rice contributes about a third to sales.
New dishes are offered every quarter.
On his outlook for the local F&B industry, Leo said sales had slowed down in the first quarter.
He is anticipating further dips due to the GST.
The weak ringgit has also resulted in companies paying more to import kitchen machinery and equipment and raw materials.
He said SCR, which is good manufacturing practices-compliant, was working towards achieving a new certification known as HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) certification.
HACCP is a management system to ensure food safety from production to consumption.