KUCHING: Borneo Oil Bhd group will invest about RM5mil in a new central food processing plant here to cope with the rapid expansion of its pizza chain, Pezzo, and SugarBun fast-food restaurants in Sarawak and Sabah.
Executive director Raymond Teo said construction of the new plant was expected to start soon following the recent acquisition of land for the project.
“The plant will take six to eight months to construct and is expected to be operational by end-2016. The land and building will cost about RM3.3mil and another RM2mil will be invested in plant’s facilities,” he told StarBiz. The group’s current food processing plant is housed in a rented premises with little room for expansion to cope with the growing business.
Borneo Oil’s wholly-owned subsidiary SB Supply Logistics Sdn Bhd secured the master licensee for Sabah and Sarawak from Singapore-based pizza chain Pezzo in November 2014 while another subsidiary SB Franchise Management Sdn Bhd owns about 80 franchised SugarBun restaurants in Malaysia and overseas.
Teo said the expansion of the Pezzo networks in Sabah and Sarawak was faster than expected as 30 kiosks, including those in shopping malls, were currently in operations. This doubled the company’s earlier target of setting up 15 kiosks in Sabah and Sarawak. Total sales as of last month was close to RM9.8mil. Most of the Pezzo franchisees also own SugarBun franchise.
Riding on the popularity of the new brand of pizza among urban consumers, he said plans were underway for Pezzo to spread its wing to neighbouring Pontianak, west Kalimantan and Brunei where the company had signed up area franchisees as well as in Peninsular Malaysia.
“We plan to open 65 outlets next year, including 40 in East Malaysia, 20 in Peninsular Malaysia, three in Brunei and two in west Kalimantan,” he added.
Teo said Pezzo’s uniqueness and customer-friendly concept had set itself apart from other pizza brands as Pezzo pizza is available in slices or by the largest-size of 14-in pan based on the takeaway concept, adding that “our servings are generous”.
There are up to 14 variety of Pezzo customers can pick from, and the beauty is that they can chose to have just one slice or a combination of slices of different varieties or a whole pizza.
On the expanding business of SugarBun, Teo said total sales rose by about 12.3% to RM84.3mil in the first 11 months this year from RM75.1mil in the January-November period last year.
There are currently 83 SugarBun restaurants in Malaysia and abroad, including Brunei, Australia, China and Bangladesh. The bulk of the outlets are located in Sarawak’s major and secondary towns.
“Next year, our target is to set up 15 new SugarBun outlets domestically and two abroad,” he added.