If DarSa Fried Chicken (DFC) is trying to replace Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), it should close shop now before it goes bust. Chances are it will fail miserably. Even before the local restaurant could make profits, it has already violated all business ethics. It is not price competitive, does not respect customers, promote racism and even possessed very poor grasp of its own Malay language.

Opening the first store in Rawang on April 29, the KFC-Wannabe proudly advertised its fast food restaurants as “100% Muslim Bumiputra-owned” – clearly trying to capitalize on race and religion factors to attract customers. By promoting its fried chicken business as 100%-owned by indigenous Muslim, DFC is also sending a message that it does not need non-Muslim customers.

But the racism was just getting started. When it was highlighted in social media that its food and beverage were more expensive than KFC, the restaurant became furious. Instead of offering an explanation about its pricier menu, DFC fired a racist and derogatory missile – accusing the ethnic Chinese – insulted as “Type C” – of stirring up bad sentiments against DarSa Fried Chicken.

The racist comment sparked anger among its customers, including some Malay Muslims. Fearing it would backfire, DFC was forced to apologise, claiming it was “unintentional”. Hilariously, it also blamed the derogatory remark on overwhelming comments, which led to loss of focus by the administration. The damage control includes welcoming all customers regardless of race or religion.

In spite of an apology, many Malaysians was not ready to forgive its racism and arrogance. This round, the minority race has found some comfort when it was the Malays who wanted to punish DFC. The Chinese do not need to boycott.  Malay Muslims, unimpressed with the racist stunt, have slammed DFC’s despicable gimmick of mixing business and racism to get business.

It’s not hard to understand why DFC was so freaking racist. The fried chicken chain was founded by religious preacher Syeikh Muhd Zainul Asri, former Kedah PAS Ulama Council deputy chief. NFC was said to have been hatched in the backyard of “sekolah pondok” (tahfiz school). He was the same man who had previously said – and apologised – that enemies of PAS Islamist party were also enemies of “Allah”.

In 2022, the racist and extremist preached about reincarnation in Islam involving transfer of spirits from one body to another. However, there was something more embarrassing than playing racial and religious hatred that has led even Bumiputra Muslims to retaliate against DFC. They were both flabbergasted and ashamed of the wrong spelling, grammar and word structure used in the company’s official page.

Worse, despite claiming to be the ultimate Malay champion, the religious preacher’s fried chicken business is using a mixture of poorly written Malay and English languages in its menu. The restaurant should be branded as DarSa Ayam Goreng (DAG) and not DarSa Fried Chicken (DFC) if the “100% Muslim Bumiputra-owned” company is proud of its race, religion and language.

Heck, even its half-baked apology note comprised more than ten mistakes, which any “Type C” student from Chinese vernacular schools could easily rectify and put the web administrator, presumably a Malay-Muslim, to shame. Its menu was equally torturing to read – “coleslow” when it should be coleslaw, “garlic sos” when the correct words should be “garlic sauce” (or “sos bawang putih” in proper Malay).

Any English teacher would have suffered a heart attack to learn that “potato” has been transformed to “patato”, not to mention chocolate becomes “choclate”. And it has the cheek to sell two pieces of fried chicken with “Air Cup”, whatever that means, for RM17.00. In comparison, KFC’s two pieces fried chicken rice plate, with coleslaw and “Iced Milo” is priced at RM15.99.

While DFC’s 9-pcs fried chicken with “Air sebotol” costs RM69.90, KFC Mother’s Day Special is offering the same 9-pcs fried chicken for only RM36.00. Even without the special promotion, KFC’s 9-pcs Cheezy Bucket, which comes with a loaded cheesy fries and a huge 14-oz whipped potato, is selling for RM53.49 only. For RM69.90, KFC offers 10-pcs Bucket Kongsi (with 5-pcs spicy cheesy potato balls, whipped potato and 1.5-litre Coca-Cola thrown in).

Yes, despite promoting itself as the alternative to KFC and “100% Muslim Bumiputra-owned”, DFC products are being sold at cut-throat price – mocked as “Jewish pricing”. For a local “unestablished” brand to sell at premium price than international brands like KFC, McDonald’s, Texas Chicken and A&W is definitely the secret recipe for disaster. You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.

Doing business is more than invoking BMF (Buy Malay First) and provoking Chinese as “Type C”. DFC behaved as if they had just invented fried chicken during the prehistoric Stone Age. Does the religious preacher have pockets deep enough to engage in a lengthy price war with big boys like KFC or McDonald’s? The choice is not hard between RM69.90 and RM36 for 9-pcs fried chicken.

It has been proven in the past that business model based on trumpeting race and religion cannot succeed. For example, Rayani Air was Malaysia’s first Shariah-compliant airline, where alcohol was banned, female Muslim cabin crew had to wear the hijab while non-Muslims must be decently dressed, and prayers were recited before the aircraft takes off.

Yet, just 110 days into operation, Rayani Air suspended itself and in just six months after it was launched, the country’s first Islamic-compliant airline had to shut down and went bankrupt. Former Prime Minister Mahathir laughed at how the owners were profiting in the name of Islam. In the end, 485 of Rayani workers had to take legal action over unpaid salaries amounting to RM1.5 million.

Likewise, UMNO racist leaders like Ismail Sabri Yaakob hatched a brilliant idea of setting up a MARA Digital Mall instead of punishing a Malay thief who had stolen a phone – sparking mini racial riots at IT Mall Low Yat in 2015. It was not business feasible, but the moron of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) was stirring up racial sentiments among the Malays that they were being bullied by Chinese business vendors.

Thanks to Mr Sabri, Mara Digital Mall Kuantan was closed in 2018 while Mara Digital Mall Johor ceased operations in 2019. The best part was both malls were closed down within just 3 months. Even the Kuala Lumpur outlet, despite its location in the heart of the city, has been struggling for years. Instead of selling gadgets and IT equipments, vendors were reduced to selling “kerepek” (chips).

DFC should learn how to do business like Ramly Burger. Founded by Ramly bin Mokni in 1984, he kicked off his business with a simple aim of developing halal-certified meat that could be trusted, purchased, and enjoyed on the go after the Muslim butcher found it difficult to find reliable sources of halal meat. The burger man did not ride on religion nor use racism to grow his business.

Instead, the humble founder successfully turned RM2,000 small business into a RM1 billion empire by making burger patties which are fresh, affordable, and high quality. Not bad for a Muslim butcher who got the idea when a customer in a supermarket he worked at asked him if the burger patties were made by Malays or Halal. But it was not a walk in the park for him and his wife.

When Mr Ramly started the business in 1978, he applied for a loan from MARA of RM7,000 but was rejected. He had to dig into his own savings and launched the business from his home with initial capital of RM2,000 – producing 200 patties a day. The couple then grew to making 3,000 patties a day, before expanding to 100,000 patties a day in a factory and now making 1,000,000 patties a day in its new expanded factory.

Ramly Burger’s revenue hit RM1 billion in 2019, capturing 70% local market and exports the remaining 30%. His formula of success was not due to BMF racist campaign or insulting Chinese customers by calling them “Type C”. It was all persistence, perseverance, creativity and hard work that Ramly burger wins thumbs up from even Westerners who have been eating burgers all their life.

Source : Finance Twitter

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