How Marrybrown plans to compete in the Australian fast-food chicken market

CEO Joshua Liew is confident of his brand’s strategies in entering the Australian market and competing against popular fast food chains.

Marrybrown, the renowned Malaysian quick-service restaurant chain, has made a bold move by entering the highly competitive Australian fast food market.

In an exclusive interview with QSR Asia, Joshua Liew, the CEO of Marrybrown, shed light on the brand’s expansion strategies and explained the reasons behind their entry into Australia.

With a history dating back to 1981, Marrybrown has built a loyal customer base and gained a strong reputation for offering something different in the fast food industry.

As the world's largest halal quick-service restaurant chain, operating over 500 restaurants in 16 countries, Australia was a natural target market for Marrybrown's global expansion plans.

Liew emphasized that Australia’s multicultural society, which unifies diverse experiences, beliefs, and traditions, presented an ideal opportunity for the brand.

He told QSR the importance of Melbourne as Marrybrown’s first location in Australia, given that it is where they found a well-experienced franchisee.

“Together with our franchise partner, CB Connect Pty Ltd, with their three decades of food and beverage experience in Melbourne, Australia, they are the best partner to establish Marrybrown in Australia,” Liew said.

Success with their flagship outlet at Melbourne's Emporium Shopping Center has prompted the brand to sign agreements to establish multiple Marrybrown restaurants in the Victoria state within the next five years.

When asked about competing with established international fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s, Liew emphasized Marrybrown’s unique menu and original approach.

“We are very attentive to our quality and fresh preparation… our famous Juicy Fried Chicken remains our No. 1-selling menu item,” he said.

Liew also mentioned their special recipe Sambal, which appeals not only to Asian customers but also to the adventurous taste preferences of the younger generation in Australia. Also, Marrybrown is known for its cheesy wedges and freshly prepared hand-cut table salads, reflecting their commitment to quality and freshness.

Discussing consumer behaviour and trends in the Australian fast food market, Liew acknowledged that fast food acceptance in Australia is mature, indicating significant growth potential for Marrybrown.

“Fast food is a sunrise business. It has gone through a recession, economic crisis, pandemic, and yet more and more fast food restaurants are opening around the world, especially in Australia,” he said.

Additionally, the brand aligns with the desires of the younger generation, students, and tourists, who seek convenience, fast service, good value for money, cleanliness, and unique flavours in their dining experiences.

Marrybrown’s core values of quick service, cleanliness, and value for money align well with these consumer expectations, positioning the brand as a strong contender in the Australian fast food industry.

Looking ahead, Liew shared Marrybrown’s expansion plans for the next five years. “For the next five years in Australia, we will love to explore New South Wales and Sydney, which is where we have received a lot of inquiries. We also love to be in West Australia in Perth and soon to be the capital city of Australia, SCT in Canberra as well,” he said.

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