LHI invests to open 70 Baker’s Cottage outlets in 2021

Following the company’s business transformation and rebranding exercise, the chain recently opened its 100th outlet in Sitiawan

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH 

LEONG Hup International Bhd (LHI) is expected to invest about RM42 million this year to open additional 70 new outlets of its quick-service-restaurant (QSR) Baker’s Cottage in Malaysia.

LHI CEO for Malaysia operation and ED Lau Joo Han said the integrated poultry producer aims to increase its QSR chain to 170 by the end of 2021 from the current 100 outlets achieved recently.

“For Baker’s Cottage in Peninsular Malaysia, they are all fully owned because we have the accessibility to the entire logistics resources such as the mills, farms and poultry houses, and we can ensure savings in cost.

“We are planning to grow bigger in Malaysia first before we expand regionally. By the end of this year, we hope to have a total of 170 outlets in the country,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

Following the company’s business transformation and rebranding exercise, the chain recently opened its 100th outlet, which is located in Sitiawan, Perak.

“Being the business-to-consumer (B2C) channel of LHI Group has enabled Baker’s Cottage to benefit from the group’s integrated ‘farm-to-plate’ business model.

“The cross-business synergies have injected fresh impetus into the chain’s business at a time when many other food businesses were badly hit by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Control Orders (MCOs) which began in March last year,” LHI said.

In 2020, the group opened 67 Baker’s Cottage outlets in addition to the existing 28 outlets in the Peninsular, doubling the growth rate of its business.

Lau said Baker’s Cottage’s resilience is due to its reasonably priced food products and valuable access to the supply chain and logistics.

“It is the central theme of our core business philosophy as we pass on the savings directly to our consumers, which derived from the synergies of the entire chain of poultry production.

“Increasingly, consumers are seeking healthier choices and we believe that this trend is here to stay,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The group is also upbeat on the chain’s growth trajectory for 2021 and 2022 amid the anticipated economic recovery while eyeing for a wider expansion in the South-East Asian region.

“Looking further ahead, Baker’s Cottage is casting its eyes within LHI’s established South-East Asian markets as it aims to spread its wings beyond its home shores.

“LHI’s B2C channel has been very well-received in the Malaysian market and we believe the same success could be equally replicated at a regional level,” said ED and group COO Datuk Lau Joo Hong.

The food services industry, particularly the QSR segment, has undergone rapid changes over the past few years with new business models, product launches and the rise of delivery providers.

According to Euromonitor, the sales from the QSR segment in Malaysia are expected to exceed RM9.1 billion by 2022, at a compounded annual growth rate of 9.3% between 2017 and 2022.