Covid-19 not slowing down Uncle Don’s expansion

Eateries, restaurants, pubs and cafes were badly hit after Malaysia imposed a partial lockdown on March 18 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of these businesses have closed down with ‘To Rent’ and ‘For Sale’ stickers and banners plastered on the shutters and walls of their premises.

But Uncle Don’s not only stood firm in the dire times, it has even moved a step forward with plans to open more branches by year-end.

Last month alone, three new outlets were opened – in Kuala Lumpur (July 15), Ipoh (July 21), and Seremban (July 25). The Seremban branch opening was graced by several former national footballers, including Datuk Soh Chin Ann and Datuk Santokh Singh.

“There are 21 Uncle Don’s outlets now with four more in the pipeline,” said Uncle Don’s founder and CEO Ian Ong.

The new branches by the end of this year will be in Rawang, Petaling Jaya, Kuantan and Kota Kemuning.

“We also have plans to venture into Johor next year,” he added.

So what is Uncle Don’s secret?

“The secret is in the cooking, the environment, the prices and the whole dining experience. It’s a collection of various elements and when added together, makes the best recipe to success,” said Ong, who added the restaurants are suitable for families and friends to have a good time.

The restaurant chain is famous for its pork dishes and chilled beers.

“Not everything is as gloomy as has been painted. There are opportunities and we took the downtime during the lockdown to look at these opportunities and see where we could improve.”

Ong said there was always room to be more efficient in providing the ultimate dining experience. He said the operators are also mindful of the strict standard operating procedures in place, ensuring the safety and comfort of their patrons and employees.

“We are back to what we have been doing, albeit with some changes to adapt to the SOPs set by the government. The revenues are not like before but we are getting there. It’s just great to see patrons dining at our outlets,” he added.

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