The nation has failed to save the Malaysia’s first drive-in A&W restaurant in Petaling Jaya from its closure as Samad Mohd Shariff, the Chief Executive Officer of A&W Malaysia has clarified that the relocation plan is definite.
During UMNO General Assembly 2014, Samad Mohd Shariff told the reporters that the PJ drive-in outlet would relocate to a location nearby one of the new RM263 million KUB Tower buildings by next year.
“The outlet will later move to the ground floor of one of the towers to be constructed by A&W Malaysia owner, KUB Malaysia Bhd, by the end of next year,” he said.
The announcement on the relocation plan came after the reports about its closure earlier in July this year. Scores of Malaysians have responded to KUB’s decision to close the iconic drive-in restaurant down, with many sharing their fondest memories of the places. The A&W drive-in restaurant in Petaling Jaya also saw a sudden influx of customers after the news went viral.
Brought into Malaysia in 1963 by Mr and Mrs Lie Boff from USA, the first A&W outlet was the first fast food outlets ever opened in Malaysia. This was followed in 1965 with the first drive-in restaurant in Petaling Jaya. However, by 2012, the company reported that 34 A&W outlets (24 in Malaysia and 10 in Thailand) will be shut down or relocated to achieve sustainable growth. As such, A&W (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd decided to embark on another expansion by opening 6 new outlets nationwide.
The expansion is an effort to revamp its business nationwide and face the “stiff competition in the fast food industry”. With a RM5 million investment, A&W Malaysia will have its new outlets located in Penang, East Coast, Johor, and Kuala Lumpur. No further details have been announced about their expansion plans but Samad Mohd Shariff said:
We are confident that A&W Malaysia would be able to compete with other major fast food players in the near future.
It is unclear how they will compete with other major fast food chains but we certainly hope the brand will pull it through. The quality of the food and the service must be well maintained as well to ensure that the brand stays on top of the game!
What do you think of A&W’s expansion plans? Are you looking forward to its new outlets in Malaysia? Share your thoughts in the comments box below!