When Wendy's opened an outlet in Malaysia in 2008, I remember everyone going crazy over it. Turns out, the franchise actually opened its first outlet in Malaysia in the 1980s. But it didn't last long.
In 2008, Berjaya opened Wendy's in Sunway Pyramid and several other outlets in Malaysia. However, in 2019, we saw its branches close down one by one. According to a tweet by @Twt_Bajet, Berjaya had not renewed its franchise licence.
There are currently no Wendy's outlets in Malaysia. For now.
2. Tutti Frutti
American frozen yogurt chain Tutti Frutti was all the rage when it opened its flagship store in Sunway Pyramid in 2009.
Despite its prices, the franchise quickly expanded and opened 85 outlets all over the country. Several customers in a forum said that standards began dropping over time.
There appears to be one Tutti Frutti outlet left in Malaysia and it's located in Bandar Bontanik, Klang.
3. Papa John's
In 2009, US pizza chain Papa John's opened its first outlet in Malaysia under Berjaya Group. But with Pizza Hut and Domino's still dominating the majority, its outlets began closing down one by one over the years.
There was no official announcement. But according to its Facebook page, it's permanently closed in Malaysia.
A regular Papa John's customer said that he spoke with one of its staff, who explained that it was a decision made by the top management.
4. Shakey's Pizza
If you lived through the '90s and early 2000s, you might remember Shakey's Pizza's yummy garlic bread and mojo potatoes. It was one of the first few international pizza brands to open up an outlet in Malaysia.
Datuk George Ting Yew Tong, a shareholder of Shakey's in 2004, said that the chain restaurant used to be a subsidiary of KFC. However, he added that "Shakey’s Pizza could not grow with KFC because Pizza Hut International did not want a competitor to grow".
According to a 2005 article by The Star, 21 Shakey's outlets in Malaysia were converted into Domino's Pizza outlets following a partnership agreement between both owners.
It is believed that the last standing Shakey's outlet was in Summit, USJ.
5. Victoria Station
Many families and couples frequented Victoria Station's restaurants, especially on special occasions. It used to be known for its steaks.
Much like The Ship, its restaurants have been around for years and are still operating today. Several reviews say that they now visit mainly to relive old memories.
Growing up in Malaysia, you might've spotted Délifrance. It used to be one of those go-to places for sandwiches, pastries, and such.
The French bakery chain opened in Malaysia back in 1990, with nearly 20 outlets throughout the country.
But by 2016, all of its outlets seemingly disappeared. However, a recent Instagram post hints at a comeback. Perhaps it's not gone for good after all?
UPDATE (edited): It opened its new outlet in Publika!
7. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Popeyes opened its first outlet in Malaysia at the beginning of 2009, which was located at Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Soon after, multiple outlets popped up all over Malaysia, including those at Sunway Pyramid and Midvalley Megamall. Several reviews rave about its Cajun burgers.
It's believed that all of its outlets have since ceased operations permanently in Malaysia, including the one at klia2.
8. Yellow Cab Pizza Co
It was hard to miss Yellow Cab's bright yellow signboard and motorbikes when it first opened along Jalan Raja Abdullah in 2008. Later on, it opened up multiple outlets such as the ones at Ampang Point Shopping Centre and Taipan, USJ, to name a few.
Unfortunately, the business was unable to sustain itself and it eventually closed down all outlets in Malaysia for good. But it still has outlets in eight countries, including Singapore and Brunei.
Fun fact: Yellow Cab Pizza Co specialises in New York-style pizzas but was founded in the Philippines with the intention of giving Filipinos a taste of New York.
9. Kenny Rogers ROASTERS
Families would often flock to Kenny Rogers ROASTERS, whether it was for a celebration or just a family meal, making it quite a popular joint.
It was founded by country singer Kenny Rogers and former Kentucky governor John Y Brown Jr in 1991. Brown eventually sold the franchise to Berjaya Group in 1994. Four years later, Berjaya Corp, a subsidiary of ROASTERS Asia Pacific, fully acquired the chain's parent, US-based NF Roasters.
Although there are still several outlets scattered in Malaysia, some say that it's quite different from what it used to be in its heyday.
Other than Malaysia, the restaurant also has outlets in several countries.
10. Sek Yuen Restaurant
Having been around for over 70 years, Sek Yuen Restaurant along Jalan Pudu is considered one of the oldest surviving eateries in KL.
It was founded by three brothers who used to sell wantan mee out of a mobile cart at a hawker centre before World War II. After the war was over, they restarted their business, added more dishes to the menu, and eventually opened a restaurant in 1948.
The restaurant still operates today and is known for its multiple dishes, especially its signature Pei Pa Duck.
11. Long John Silver's
In the early 2000s, US quick-service seafood chain Long John Silver's opened outlets in Malaysia. Some of its branches were located in Berjaya Times Square and Midvalley Megamall, among others.
Although popular for its battered fish and chips and seafood, its outlets in Malaysia eventually closed down, as places like The Manhattan Fish Market and Fish & Co continued their businesses.
12. Hartz Chicken Buffet
Hartz Chicken Buffet had eat-all-you-can promotions that were once popular, with a variety of chicken cooked in multiple ways, spoiling you for choice. It also had an array of other Asian and Western dishes.
It opened several outlets in Malaysia, including Sunway Pyramid and Summit USJ, however, most have since been shut down.
Apparently, there's still an outlet open in Kuching, Sarawak.
13. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
After close to 10 years of operation in Malaysia, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co decided to permanently shut down two of its outlets in the Curve and Citta Mall in 2018.
Later that year, it announced that its Sunway Pyramid branch was also closed down, leaving fans devastated.
In its heyday, families and friends would visit and enjoy its signature shrimp dishes and ribs. There are currently no operating outlets in Malaysia.
14. 1901 Hot dogs
'90s kids, you might recall eating 1901 hot dogs whenever you needed a quick bite. The Malaysian company is still around today and announced the opening of two kiosks in Melaka this year.
Founders Zakir and Tengku Rozidar Tengku Zainol Abidin established their first chain in 1997 and named it 1901 based on the history of when the hot dog was first invented.
15. Johnny Rockets
Having opened its first outlet in Malaysia between 2013 and 2014, Johnny Rockets became the talk of the town with its retro '50s vibes, as well as the occasional gimmick, where its waiters would sing and dance. Several reviewers especially loved its milkshakes.
It opened several outlets in Malaysia, including those at Pavilion KL, the Curve, and IOI City Mall.
It appears that most of its outlets, if not all, have closed down in Malaysia, with its last social media post in 2019.