New York’s Iconic Nathan’s Famous Debut South East Asia Outlet in Malaysia


New York’s iconic frankfurter brand, Nathan’s Famous, made its South-East Asian debut today with the opening of its first outlet in IOI City Mall, Putrajaya. The brand, long-known to be a favourite of New Yorkers began with its first stand in the historic Coney Island, New York in 1916.


Nathan’s Famous was started by Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant to the United States using a secret recipe from the grandmother of his wife, Ida Handwerker that is still used today for making its famous frankfurters that are reputed to be among the world’s best. Since its debut, the brand has grown in fame and loved by many iconic New Yorkers including Al Capone, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. It was served by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Queen of England and was also a favourite choice of US President John F. Kennedy’s wife, Jacqueline Kennedy for barbeques during her husband’s term at the White House.


CEO of Urban Fun Sdn Bhd, the Master Franchisee of Nathan’s Famous in Malaysia and Singapore said, “Without a doubt, we produce some of the best frankfurters around, but beyond that, Nathan’s Famous is also well-known for serving great quality food that puts the real taste of New York within affordable, convenient reach of customers. We have the stamp of approval from some of New York’s best legends and our menu also spans a variety of other offerings, ensuring we have something for every member of the family. Plus, we offer the best of both worlds – restaurant style table service and made-to-order food with the convenience and affordable price points of a quick service restaurant.

In short, if you want a taste of New York without getting on a plane, this is the place to get it.”

He added that he expects the brand to have broad appeal among Malaysians given its strong track record in other markets. “While some may argue that the recent burger boom may have saturated the market and left the consumer spoilt for choice, we at Urban Fun believe that the frankfurter market on the other hand is still under-served. Additionally, Nathan’s signature menu items, high quality of ingredients, restaurant ambiance and higher service level puts us in a very unique niche to exist and further grow.


“Generally speaking, Malaysians are adventurous and discerning enough to be able to appreciate higher quality ingredients and great tasting food, so we believe that Nathan’s, with its unique menu and arguably one of the world’s best frankfurters will have broad appeal among Malaysian consumers,” said Tunku Karldej.


Wayne Norbitz, President & COO of Nathan’s Famous USA said the brand’s debut in Malaysia marks a significant milestone for its expansion into South East Asia. “We think South East Asia is a very exciting region, given the growth of the developing economies in the region. Our entry into Malaysia marks what we hope to be a strong foothold for the brand’s expansion into ASEAN.”

Urban Fun plans to expand its Nathan’s Famous outlets at the rate of two to five new ones per year for the next five years via the brand’s franchising model. “Nathan’s Famous is a once in a lifetime opportunity to partner with an iconic 99-year old brand that has a proven track record and already demonstrated broad appeal in many other markets around the world. The Nathan’s business model and menu offering is both flexible and easily scalable to suit a variety of business sizes from full-size stand-alone restaurants to drive-ins, in-line restaurants, mobile trailers, food court stalls and even carts. In short, it is a multi-tier business opportunity that presents entrepreneurs with a chance to own their own business at varying investment levels,” explained Tunku Karldej.


Apart from its signature frankfurters, Nathan’s Famous is also renowned for its annual hot dog-eating contest which takes place every fourth of July at the original Nathan’s Famous outlet in Coney Island. The yearly event has drawn unprecedented media attention in the latter years, coming in at the 5th most watched telecast of the year for the ESPN network. The contest has consistently attracted more than 1 million viewers for 9 consecutive years.

About Nathan’s Famous

Nathan’s is a Russell 2000 Company that currently distributes its products in 50 states of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Cayman Islands and eleven foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs and product licensing activities. In 2014, over 500 million Nathan’s Famous hot dogs were sold. Nathan’s was ranked #22 on the Forbes 2014 list of the Best Small Companies in America and was listed as the Best Small Company in New York State in October 2013.

In Malaysia, the Nathan’s Famous brand of restaurants are owned and operated by Urban Fun Sdn Bhd.

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