Famous F&B Brands In M’sia That Closed During 2020’s Pandemic
The pandemic has been undeniably tough for the restaurant industry in 2020. Many businesses have had to pivot to keep their operations running, but pivoting doesn’t always guarantee survival.
Even well-loved and known F&B brands with loyal and supportive fans were unable to cope with the uncertainties of the year and closed their doors.
From our research we found 6 such F&B companies in Malaysia. While their closures may upset fans, there are similar competitors to turn to, and Malaysians can also expect to see better things awaiting them in the F&B scene.
1. Delicious group
Delicious Group started out as a small cafe in an MS READ store in 1Utama Mall, according to Malay Mail.
The umbrella F&B group included D’Lish, Botanical and Reunion Chinese Restaurant, DISH and Simply D.
Unfortunately, after 2 decades of activity since its launch, the Delicious group has had to cease operations altogether, according to their June 2020 Facebook post.
Their departure from the F&B scene would leave more room for other competitors. Some of the names that we can see taking over in his absence are:
These F&B groups also have restaurants that offer menus similar to Delicious Group: a mix of Malaysian cuisine, Asian fusion cuisine, and Western cuisine.
Families who frequented the restaurants in the Delicious group might instead check out the restaurants in those groups if they fancy a similar menu.
2. Ben & Jerry’s
Although it has only been open for a little over a year in Malaysia, Ben & Jerry’s recently announced their decision to close their one and only Scoop Shop at Sunway Pyramid.
Unilever PLC, the company that owns Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s, shared a 13% drop in Q3 this year in its out-of-home ice cream sales, but a 16% increase in in-home ice cream sales, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Seeing the increase in their home ice cream sales, it is understandable why Ben & Jerry’s Malaysia has chosen to close the Scoop Shop.
The brand isn’t pulling out of Malaysia entirely, and it’s still available for purchase online, so we might see them make a comeback with another Scoop Shop someday.
However, in the meantime, local ice cream brands like Inside Scoop, Sangkaya and Créme De La Créme will have one less international brand to worry about, aside from Baskin Robbins, Häagen-Dazs and Cold Stone Creamery.
dal.komm Coffee is a South Korean coffeehouse chain founded in 2013 by Danal Entertainment, under Danal Co., Ltd., a company providing wired / wireless phone payment services.
The first dal.komm coffee store was launched in Damansara Utama in November 2014 and has opened 6 outlets in Malaysia since then.
Although they have not released an official statement on the current state of their operations in Malaysia, Google shows that their Genting, Damansara and IOI outlets are permanently closed, while their KLCC and Plaza Arkadia outlets are temporarily closed.
I also tried to call all of their outlets, but the numbers were no longer in service. Additionally, their Malaysian Facebook pages have been deleted from their past posts.
So, for now, it’s safe to assume they won’t work until further notice. If confirmed, their closure could ease competition from other South Korean coffee chains in Malaysia like Coffee Coffee and Caffé Bene.
4. Fei Fei signature crab restaurant
In the list so far, dessert companies appear to be more susceptible to the effects of COVID-19, but family restaurants have not fared much better, as we’ve seen with Delicious Group.
Signature Restaurant Fei Fei Crab, a well-known Chinese seafood restaurant in Kepong, announced on Facebook that its “business had failed”, leading to the closure of all its outlets in Malaysia.
Their last day of operation was on August 31, 2020 at 11 p.m., when they officially left the restaurant industry and deleted their Facebook page, according to Hype MY.
One important thing to note is that Signature Fei Fei Crab and Fei Fei Crab are two separate companies and Fei Fei Crab will continue to operate as usual.
Chinese seafood restaurants specializing in crab dishes also like Mei Keng Fatt Seafood Restaurant, Crab Generation and Hokkaido Seafood Restaurant may soon have the share of Signature Fei Fei Crab customers.
Previously a factory producing industrial wire seals for 30 years, this space was taken over by the WhupWhup team to build a café and event space.
Their space is over 10,000 square feet, which has allowed them to host all kinds of big events like weddings, launches, concerts, screenings, exhibitions, fashion shows, etc.
After 4 and a half years, the WhupWhup team announced its permanent closure in a Facebook post on May 11, 2020, but has not blamed the pandemic.
The cafe scene in Subang Jaya has always been competitive, but in the area where WhupWhup was located, Gray Sky Morning (another industrial cafe) and After Black now have one less cafe to compete with.
However, across the industrial coffee scene, less popular coffee shops will still have to worry about bigger competitors such as PULP by Papa Palheta, BEAM and Garage 51.
6. Maiu Japanese Restaurant
Located in Sri Petaling, Maiu was a restaurant serving Japanese fusion cuisine that catered to the local taste buds.
They previously had branches in Damansara Perdana and Jalan Kuching, which are no longer in operation.
Although they haven’t released an official statement of their closure, their restaurant on Google is tagged as permanently closed.
Their last Facebook post was also on May 30, 2020, and since they were posting multiple times a month at least, this inactivity leads us to believe that they are no longer working, at least for now.
Although sad, the Sri Petaling center, which has more than 10 other Japanese restaurants, is said to be bustling with life to fill the void they have left.
Some popular names that people can now patronize to get their fix could be Sushi Mentai and Warakuya. However, they may not entirely replace Maiu’s unique Japanese buffet style menu.
Welcome new brands to the F&B scene
In addition to where we can now find our solution for the restaurants above, there are also a few top overseas catering brands that we can expect to try in 2021.
The Cheesecake Factory (TCF), which was imported by Legasea Bakery, which owns the distribution rights to TCF, is an American restaurant and catering chain that has established itself in Malaysia.
According to a Tatler Malaysia article, the trio behind the bakery loved TCF’s cheesecakes so much that they decided to start this bakery just to bring these cheesecakes.
They currently run the business online, but they plan to open a physical store in Sunway Pyramid soon, although this has been delayed by the pandemic.
Taco Bell, a Mexican-inspired American fast food chain, will soon be feeding fans, starting with CyberJaya, which they announced on their site. The exact date of their launch, however, is still unknown.
Another popular restaurant brand Malaysians have been waiting for is Five Guys, also an American fast food restaurant chain, although their opening in Genting has yet to be announced.
- You can read more of the listings we’ve written about here.
- You can read more about the other Malaysian startups we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: dal.komm Coffee / Ben & Jerry’s Malaysia / Signature Fei Fei Crab Restaurant by Travelopy
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