THE South-east Asia master franchisee for Liang Sandwich Bar said that the recent closures of all four Singapore outlets of the scallion pancake business were unauthorised.
However, the closures are not permanent, Liang Group said in a media statement on Friday. Liang Sandwich Bar is being rebranded to Liang Crispy Roll, which will debut in Singapore at "several locations" in the fourth quarter of this year, said Jarvin Leow, chief executive officer of Liang Group.
Known for its flaky, stuffed scallion pancakes, Liang Sandwich Bar is endorsed by Taiwanese singer-songwriter Jay Chou.
Entertainment media outlet 8 Days first reported the store closures on Monday.
Mr Leow clarified on Friday that the local franchisee had closed the Singapore outlets suddenly "without proper consultation or authorisation" from Liang Group or the brand principal.
He added that the local franchisee has been censured, Liang Group has "taken firm and appropriate measures to resolve this matter".
He apologised to customers for the disruption, saying that it had caused confusion and put Liang Sandwich Bar in a bad light.
The closures of the Singapore outlets have impeded efforts to transform the Liang Sandwich Bar brand into Liang Crispy Roll, Mr Leow said.
Since July 2019, the brand change has been implemented in China, South Korea, Australia and Malaysia, while Indonesia and the Philippines are set to rebrand over the next two months. Jay Chou remains the brand's ambassador following the name change.
Nonetheless, the group still expects to debut the Liang Crispy Roll brand in Singapore in Q4 2020.
"We will be ready to serve Singaporeans our signature crispy rolls and other exciting new menu offerings," Mr Leow said.
The brand has a presence in 18 countries across more than 12,800 outlets.
Liang Crispy Roll plans to launch new outlets in New York, Chicago, London, Melbourne, Seoul and Manila in Q2 2020.