If you didn’t know that Marrybrown is a Malaysian brand, now you do. It’s originated from Johor to be more specific; that’s another thing we should be proud of. But did you also know that at the time of its birth, many people say that it wouldn’t survive?
Luckily, they were wrong but just like the other inspiring success stories, an establishment wouldn’t be where it is today if they didn’t go through the hardships. We’ve shared with you the inspiring stories of how 99 Speedmart and Karex Berhad came to be and in the spirit of Merdeka and Malaysia Day, here’s the origin and success story of Malaysia’s very own Marrybrown.
Back in the early 80s, US fast food chain restaurants selling fried chicken were already dominating the Malaysian fast food market, which was one of the reasons why people said Marrybrown wouldn’t last. But that didn’t stop the owners Dato Lawrence Liew and Datin Nancy Liew from achieving their dreams. After using their savings and borrowing money from friends and relatives, the first Marrybrown branch finally debuted in Wong Ah Fook Street in Johor Bahru in 1981.
But why the name Marrybrown you ask? According to co-owner Nancy, the name just simply came to mind when they were coming up with ideas for the business. “It’s simple to pronounce, easy to remember and has an international appeal,” she said. Now that the name has been set, the two owners proceeded with the next step; recipes. In competing with the other fast-food chains, the couple had to come up with new and unique recipes at that time. The menu they came up with was based on Malaysian food-taste.
Besides fried chicken and burgers, the restaurant also offers satay, nasi goreng, nasi lemak and rice porridge. This is also to cater to the Muslim majority in the country that are always seeking for halal-Western food. In 1986, Marrybrown was certified as the first F&B franchise, an initiation by then Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir.
One of the brand’s famous dish, the Nasi Lemak MB was actually introduced and added to the menu in 1989, making Marrybrown the first in Malaysia to inject local flavour into a fast food menu. After gaining success in Malaysia, it was time for the brand to expand to other countries. In 1999, the fast food chain opened their first international outlet in China. This also marked the restaurant as the first Malaysian-owned quick service restaurant franchise to venture abroad.
Since its first outlet in China, the household brand has expanded its business in multiple Southeast Asian countries as well as Middle Eastern countries. After working in the industry for a long time, Marrybrown won various honours and recognitions for its years of franchising work from the governments and agencies of Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
Nowadays, you can find Marrybrown basically anywhere as it’s also available in many shopping malls and airports. If you’re in the mood for some fast food but still want to keep it traditional then Marrybrown is definitely the place to go.