10 March 2014 – The Sun Daily
PETALING JAYA: Texas Chicken (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, a unit of Etika Holdings International Ltd, which has plans to expand into new geographical areas within Malaysia in two years, now wants to focus on its present outlets in the Klang Valley, said Etika’s group CEO Datuk Kamal Tan.
Tan, who is also CEO of Texas Chicken Malaysia, said there are currently seven Texas Chicken outlets in Malaysia, all in the Klang Valley, with eight to 10 more outlets in the pipeline for 2014.
Etika, listed on Singapore Exchange’s Catalist in 2004, is a leading regional food and beverages player with operating facilities in Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Vietnam. The group has its origin as a manufacturer and distributor of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk under the “Dairy Champ” trademark.
“We receive numerous requests to open more Texas Chicken Malaysia restaurants in not just various other parts of the Klang Valley but in key market centres like Penang and Johor as well, ” he told SunBiz in an interview here.
He said the company currently wants to concentrate in the Klang Valley now because it is easier in terms of logistic to supply products to its restaurant and save cost.
Tan said Texas Chicken Malaysia plans to invest a total of between RM10 million and RM15 million for new outlets.
This, he said, was to ensure high standards of product quality and to bring the great taste of Texas Chicken to as many Malaysians as possible through the opening of new outlets and brand building efforts.
Based on previous experience, he said each outlet cost between RM1 million and RM1.5 million. Tan said its first outlet for the year in Klang Parade is expected to start operation in mid March.
He said Texas Chicken Malaysia has plans to open 20 outlets in the first 3 years of operation and 80 restaurants in 10 years.
“In less than a year since we opened our first outlet at Aeon Bukit Tinggi on Jan 31 2013, we have found the demand and reception from the public to continue to be encouraging and favorable. Our customers continue to compliment us on our visibly larger chicken pieces and how our chicken taste unmistakably fresh, juicy and crunchy,” he said.
During peak hours, he said it received nearly 500-600 people at its restaurants.
Etika’s chairman Datuk Jaya Tan said Etika expects to see a higher revenue contribution from Texas Chicken Malaysia to the group once its own between 18 to 20 outlets. Currently, Texas Chicken Malaysia is contributing below 5% to the group revenue.
“It is an opportunity for Etika as Texas Chicken is a global brand recognised through more than 1,700 locations worldwide and spanning 22 countries,” he said, adding that its entry into the fast food segment with Texas Chicken franchise a major step towards expanding Etika’s downstream strategy.
He said the company has signed a 10-year exclusive agreement with US-based Cajun Global LLC to develop “Texas Chicken” restaurants in Malaysia and Brunei.”We have plans to venture into the Brunei market, but not in the near term. That would be the last step (for us),” he said, adding that the group is always on the lookout for new investments that will complement the Texas Chicken franchise.
“We are still a small, niche player in the market and as we continue the momentum of our rapid expansion plans, we are confident that Texas Chicken will be a major player in the market in the near future,” he added. In the region, he said Texas Chicken exists in Indonesia for 20 years while in Singapore about two years.
Texas Chicken, founded in San Antonio, Texas in 1952, is a highly recognised brand name in the quick service restaurant sector and one of the largest quick service chicken concepts in the work.