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Malaysia’s A&W Drive-in to close down by December

The iconic drive-in restaurant of Malaysia’s first American fast food chain A&W, located at PJ, will be closing its doors by the end of this year. 34 outlets, 24 in Malaysia and 10 in Thailand, will be closed down by KUB Malaysia Bhd.

Group managing director Wan Mohd Nor Wan Ahmad said that KUB has decided to close down the under performing fast food outlets in order “to reposition its business and operations to achieve sustainable growth.”

The outlets that are not making any money will be closed down or relocated.

KUB suffered a net loss of RM58.8 million for the year 2011 on a revenue of RM708.5 million. The loss is attributed to the group’s food operations, mainly its subsidiaries A&W (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and A&W Restaurants (Thailand) Ltd Co.

A&W’s burger and Coney Dog.
Fans of A&W will have a  hard time letting go of the 
sweet memories of devouring burgers at the PJ drive-in.

It is sad that the fast food chain isn’t doing so well in Malaysia and Thailand. One of the greatest things that sets it apart from other fast food chains is its iconic root beer. Mention A&W and the first thing that always comes to mind will usually be this sarsaparilla-based soft drink.

It is mandatory for A&W customers to guzzle down some of this fizzy goodness.

With everybody either going to the Golden Arches or having some Finger Lickin’ Good time, it is a little hard for this retro restaurant to find its place among today’s fast food goers.

Its customers now mostly consist of people who grew up with the franchise. It depends a lot on its nostalgic pull to keep it afloat in today’s ocean of fast food restaurants in Malaysia. A&W had been the “in” thing back in the 70s and 80s but that retro nostalgia is no longer enough.

However, there is always a silver lining.

The drive-in restaurant in PJ may cease operations by end of this year but that is not the complete end of it. KUB will be transforming the building into two office towers and the current A&W restaurant on the land will be relocated to one of the new towers once complete.

For now, customers who have grown up enjoying a meal or two with their family at the drive-in might want to take this chance to visit the restaurant and take a trip down memory lane.

Aw…see you in the new tower too, Rooty.

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