“We are in the business of selling happiness” that is one of the mantra of the Abang Burn team. Creating a tasty meat product is their forte but to sell it is successfully to the consumers is the most challenging. In short, it’s about how to ensure your consumers love your brand in the long run. Burger Bakar Abang Burn (BBAB), one of the Malaysia’s fastest growing food chain, had always strive towards this goal. Starting with only three employees, the brand today have successfully generated 200++ jobs in just a single year.
Everyone knows that Labour Day is a public holiday but not for Abang Burn’s team as that was the day the team pulled together their might to start the business.
In this interview, at Taman Melawati Kuala Lumpur, Nurul Izwanie Hashim, PR Executive for “ Burger Bakar Abang Burn ” (BBAB) shared the experience gained from the very beginning and how the idea of licensing / franchising started.
How did Abang Burn’s became one of the Malaysia’s fastest growing food chain?
Michael Teoh: How did Abang Burn begin?
Nurul Izwanie : Abang Burn learnt the art of creating burgers from Australia. During his time in Australia, he got to be familiar with many kinds of meat processing techniques and butchery. Abang Burn created a meat shop in Malaysia but it was unsuccessful and eventually closed its doors. Meat shop was not successful as many ordinary Malaysians at that time preferred to purchase meat at the wet market and hypermarkets. He later applied his knowledge in the Burger Bakar industry and the brand gained prominence.
Michael Teoh: Where is the first outlet of Abang Burn situated and how Abang Burn find this place attractive?
Nurul Izwanie : Abang Burn’s first outlet is at Dagang Avenue Food court, Ampang. Why foodcourt? A food court has a stable amount of visitors. For a new brand like Abang Burn, this is actually an excellent market positioning to attract existing food court visitors to try the burgers. At this time we do not have a high marketing budget and we had to rely on existing market to achieve positive cashflow. And why Abang does not start with a restaurant? The reason is that majority Malaysians would most likely purchase a grilled burger from a kiosk because it is deemed unique to our youth market segment. You can get grilled burgers at TGI Fridays, Tony Romas, etc.
Michael Teoh: What are the core factors that help Abang Burn to have 14 outlets in a year?
Nurul Izwanie: “Cepat, Sedap & Servis Terbaik”. That is our operational core principles for our frontliners in our kiosks and restaurants. All our methods are integrated to achieve speed. We calculated every single second along our assembly lines and segregated into 3 main tasks; “just do, think and do, analyze, think and do”. If our crew could only “just do” without thinking and analyzing then our burgers would be processed faster by the crew. We also believe in crew ownership and “efficiency wage” advocated by Henry Ford. Our crew is given cash incentive for teamwork performed based on daily sales. If the kiosk manages to earn RM 5,000 sales a day, the staff would get RM 20 each. Calculate this into 26 working days and they would earn an extra RM 520 not including overtime and meals. Our crew in a performing outlet could earn as much as RM 2k and our supervisors could earn as much as RM 3k.
In terms of the management system, we are proudly built by cloud computing. We utilize cloud computing applications for our accounting, Enterprise Resource Planning, project management, quality control forms email and document management system. For example, we are able to cut down the processing time for quality audit at our kiosks from 2 days to instant report with the help of cloud computing. It has greatly accelerated our decision making and hence our infrastructure in terms of outlet expansion.
We are also strict on our licensees. We have received tremendous amount of application for license or franchise. However, we only select based on a licensee’s character, leadership abilities, multi-tasking skills and commitment to engage in the business on a full time basis. We have managed to assist 5 of our licensees to achieve full return on investment after a period of only 3-6 months. While all businesses need at least 3 years for return on investment, we are proud of our achievement but it always goes back to the character of our licensee and their attitude in terms of our Standard Operating Procedure compliance. Our products requisition is also performed centrally at Shah Alam and this ensures consistency for all the burgers sold at our outlets.
Michael Teoh: What inspires Abang Burn to be better than other food franchising business?
Nurul Izwanie: We always put blessings in our mind and it will be adapted to all business dealings. Despite the licensees sharing the risk by allocating their capital to run the business, we always believe that it is our main responsibility as a licensor to ensure that all our licensees achieve the Return On Investment (ROI). No one would be happy when a business is not profitable and that is the reason why we are extremely strict on who is our licensee. People measure profit in its entirely, we measure happiness as our blessings for our both of customers and licensees / franchisees.
Michael Teoh: What are some goals that Abang Burn still trying to accomplish?
Nurul Izwanie: We want to be a brand loved by Malaysians. It’s not about Burger Bakar but about selling happiness through abang burn. So, in order to accomplish this goal, we have to always bear in mind that we must be aware with the customers’happiness. We believe our work is an ibadah. There is a saying that a smile is considered sadaqa and for ourselves we consider giving happiness to customers as more than sadaqa. We are always in constant pursuit of blessings for our afterlife. We do are not looking for profit maximization, we are looking to accomplish blessings maximization.
The article is contributed by Nurul Izwanie, the representative from Abang Burn Marketing Department.
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