SCR Corp set to expand ops to Pontianak and Jakarta

Big chain: An SCR food outlet. SCR, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, currently operates 36 company-owned restaurants and 19 franchised outlets in Sarawak, Sabah, Labuan and Brunei.

KUCHING: Sarawak’s home-grown restaurant chain SCR Corp Sdn Bhd is all set to spread its wings to Pontianak and Jakarta, Indonesia.

General manager (franchising and strategic planning) Johnny Leo Lee Boon said the company’s franchise business could commence in Pontianak and Jakarta once potential business partners have secured prime locations to set up the restaurants there.

“There are business groups each in Pontianak and Jakarta that have come over to Sarawak several times to study our franchise business model and look at SCR operations.

“They have come up with proposed secondary locations to set up the SCR restaurants which we find may not be ideal. We advise them to look for strategic prime locations where there are good daily crowd and will give prominence to SCR brand.

“Once they obtain a good location, the franchise business could start. We are ready for that and the ball now is in their courts,” he told StarBiz.

According to Leo, Jakarta has more than 70 malls that make ideal locations for the food and beverage business while Pontianak has a population of some 1.6 million that could support the food and beverage business.

SCR, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, currently operates 36 company-owned restaurants and 19 franchised outlets in Sarawak, Sabah, Labuan and Brunei. One third of the outlets (14 company-owned and five franchised) are located in Kuching.

With a menu totalling 110 local and western dishes and beverages, SCR provides a wide choice for customers. Singapore Chicken Rice remains the signature dish with customers able to place side orders.

Leo said SCR is also eyeing the Philippines as the next overseas destination for its franchise business, which was introduced about four years ago.

“A big logistics company involved in servicing the food industry has shown interest in our franchise business model. We are in preliminary talks with the firm and its executives are expected to come over to look at SCR operations,” he added.

He said SCR would soon open its first franchise outlet in Lawas, northern Sarawak, and the company had plans to expand its business to Kapit once the road linking the town in the upper Rejang basin and Sibu is ready. The road project is currently underway.

With the exception of Kapit, SCR has a presence in all major towns throughout the state.

A franchisee needs a start-up investment of between RM500,000 and RM700,000. The investment includes franchise fee, renovation of premises to set up the outlet as well as kitchen equipment.

“The food business market in Sarawak is saturated. We are consolidating and SCR is limiting the number of outlets in certain towns. Our focus is to expand our franchise business to more countries in Asean,” said Leo.

Leo said the company’s outlets has recorded a 20% drop in revenue since the implementation of the goods and services tax, with the market remaining tough.

He added that outlets in Sibu had reported a pick up in their business in the last quarter.

He said the slowdown in the global economy had resulted in parties interested in the company’s franchise business holding back on their plans.

“They are adopting a wait-and-see attitude for the economy to pick up,” he added.

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