In a surprise announcement today, 1 March, seafood restaurant chain Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. revealed that it has shuttered two of its three outlets in Malaysia
On the bright side, it's business as usual for the chain's first Malaysian outlet in Sunway Pyramid
Inspired by the 1994 movie 'Forrest Gump' starring Tom Hanks, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. opened its first outlet in Monterey, California in 1996. The chain entered the Malaysian market in 2008.
The Bubba Gump restaurant is named after characters in the film - Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue (played by Mykelti Williamson) and Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks). Even the dishes are named after characters in the movie, such as Jenny's Catch and its best-selling Forrest's Seafood Feast.
Since its inception, the chain has expanded from the US to over 40 outlets worldwide, including outposts in Mexico, London, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Marianas, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
FUN FACT: Actor Chris Pratt used to work as a waiter at a Bubba Gump restaurant in Maui, Hawaii in his teens. It was in the same restaurant that he was offered an acting role in actor/director Rae Dawn Chong's directorial debut in 2000.
It's been a turbulent few years for some international brands hoping to capture the Malaysian market. Just recently, fashion retailers Gap and Factorie closed down their outlets in Malaysia: