Franchising Plans In Malaysia & Delivery App

Often when you think of a restaurant to meet up with friends for a late catch-up session, one suggestion that always comes up is that of Uncle Don.

This is mainly due to the taste of my group of friends for its affordability and wide range of dishes including drinks, alcoholic or not.

The restaurant and bar brand is undoubtedly one of the favorites of many other Malaysians, considering that it only started in 2015 and already has 27 outlets to date. But I’ve always wondered something …

Who is Uncle Don?

So, I contacted the team to get answers.

In an interview with Vulcan Post, Uncle Don’s co-founder Ian Ong shared that Don Daniel Theseira, who is now 55, was born into a family of chefs where his interest and passion was discovered. for the culinary arts at the age of 10. .

He was an apprentice for 2 years under the guidance of his father and practiced his trade from 1979 to 1993 at the Dynasty Hotel (now known as the Singapore Marriott Tang Hotel) and was a sous chef at the Royal Plaza On Scotts Singapore until 1997.

From then on, Don mentored and trained chefs at a fine dining restaurant in Perth called Ecco Italian Ristorante.

His 40 years of culinary experience brought him to Malaysia, where he partnered with Ian Ong who had run several pubs for 20 years, before founding Uncle Don’s.

With a few other co-founders, they opened their first restaurant on September 11, 2015 in SS2 in Petaling Jaya.

Shortly after opening its doors for the first time, the company achieved a carnival atmosphere on a daily basis.

According to Ian, they were able to achieve this by balancing the prices of their food down while maintaining its quality.

In franchising work

There is a wide variety of cuisines here / Image credit: Uncle Don’s

At present, Uncle Don’s has a total of 27 outlets, 10 of which are owned by themselves. The others are currently being operated under license while the team awaits legal approval of the franchise rights.

But franchising can be risky. While this is a quick and easy way to grow, successful franchising relies on replication.

For Uncle Don’s to thrive, it takes extensive training and lots of quality controls, especially when it comes to their food.

Ian is confident, however, sharing with Vulcan Post that all of his food products are made to strict standards of practice from his central kitchen.

Each item is produced from scratch using specific marinade blends from ingredients that are delivered to outlets fresh every day.

A central kitchen to maintain the quality of the food / Image credit: Uncle Don’s

Its central kitchen currently spans over 18,000 square feet and plans to relocate to a 40,000 square foot facility in preparation to accommodate their nationwide expansion plans.

“SOPs for the central kitchen differ from the established SOPs for the factory kitchen because they belong to different parts of the supply chain. All SOPs are documented in an operations manual for easy reference, ”Ian said.

Cut out the mediator

Since the boom in food deliveries this year, Uncle Don’s has launched its own delivery app to cut out middlemen due to high commissions.

Fees charged by food delivery service companies can be as high as 27%, forcing the restaurant to associate food orders with drinks in order to mitigate those charges.

“With our own ordering app, we are able to deliver all orders without such a forced coupling,” Ian told Vulcan Post.

In terms of courier services, they partnered with Lalamove to handle deliveries.

This way, Uncle Don’s outlets will no longer have to bear the costs imposed by food delivery services, but instead redirect those costs to the maintenance of the application.

Some screenshots of the Uncle Don app

I tried the app myself and found it to have a smooth user experience. But in terms of logistics, I received a call from Lalamove telling me that the restaurant had not even received my order when I had already paid.

My date ended up passing the phone to the agency manager where I had to explain the situation and place my order by call.

While waiting for bug fixes, downloading a new app for a single F&B brand, filling in personal details about their contacts, location, and credit card information in another app can be a real stumbling block. adoption.

Uncle Don’s is still in discussions as to whether having his own app now means their absence on Grab or foodpanda.

However, if they only focused on their own app, I would expect decent adoption from users in their fan base.

  • You can read more about Uncle Don here.
  • You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Uncle Don’s

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Jothi Venkat

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