MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Tuesday, April 30, 2024

As boycott taking its bite with KFC “suspending” 108 outlets, netizens also point to drop in food quality


AGREE or disagree, the boycott relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict is beginning to have a telling effect on local businesses.

The call for Malaysians to turn their backs on brands that are perceived to be supportive or have links with the Jewish state has been especially loud on social media with netizens vociferously pushing their agenda.

Despite concerns from many that such a boycott will ultimately harm the local economy and the many Malay Muslims who are employed by the affected businesses, the movement shows no sign of slowing down.

The boycotters though will be rejoicing as their efforts seem to be having the desired effect insofar as forcing these businesses to close their doors. The latest proof of their “success” is reports of KFC having to restructure their operations and suspend 108 outlets.

Nanyang Siang Pau reported yesterday (April 29) that over 108 KFC outlets had been suspended nationwide by Saturday evening (April 27), citing information from Google Maps. Kelantan is the hardest hit with nearly 80% or up to 21 outlets ceasing their operations temporarily, followed by 15 outlets in Johor.

The latest news has it that six out of 37 KFC outlets in Negri Sembilan KFC have been suspended.

This news was trending on social media and unsurprisingly sparked heated debate (again). This is a sample from the Meanwhile in Malaysia Facebook page.

Quite a few urged local companies to seize the moment to step in and fill the breach. After all, Malaysians boycotting these brands haven’t stopped stuffing their faces, have they?

More than a few lamented the poor quality of food that has already affected the brand, hence the boycott exercise has just pushed the restaurant chain deeper into trouble.

One netizen raised a pertinent question by asking why some franchises seemed to be more affected by the boycott compared to others.

One netizen surmised that the real reason for KFC was the increased prices aligned with drop in quality, hinting that the boycott was just a smokescreen.

KFC’s local franchise owners – QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd and KFC Holdings (M) Bhd (KFC Malaysia) – have said they suspended the operations of the outlets to manage increasing business costs amid challenging economic conditions as well as to focus on high engagement trade zones.

Confirming the outlet closures, QSR Brands and KFC Holdings further contended that employees from the affected stores have been offered the opportunity to re-locate to operating stores to optimise resources in trade zones with higher customer engagement.

They also reiterated that a large proportion of its work force are Muslims, hinting that the boycott was counter-productive:

Source: The Edge

“As a company that has been serving Malaysians for over 50 years, the focus remains on providing quality products and services to customers while contributing positively to the Malaysian economy through job security for 18,000 team members in Malaysia, of which, approximately 85% are Muslims.”

But judging from the volume of comments on social media on the perceived poor quality of KFC meals, many Malaysians are deciding this as good a time as any to shift their dining habits.

Whether the on-going Israel-Hamas conflict will have any long-term effect on the global boycott of American/Jewish-owned brands remains to be seen. But one thing is certain for it is definitely having a very telling effect domestically as the above reports confirm.

Local franchises affected would do well to take note of the many complaints appearing on social media about poor quality and rising prices. KFC Malaysia cannot be tone-deaf to these grouses lest it wants to suffer further losses.

The boycott may have severely impacted its business but it also provides an opportune moment to realign its strategies and implement better quality control (QC) measures.

Otherwise, that “finger lickin’ good” tagline might be a thing of the past in Malaysia. – Focus Malaysia

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.