The fastfood restaurant chain TAZA has announced its plans for expansion into the Malaysian peninsular, where it will open 50 new outlets over the next four to five years. Essam Omar Fakieh, CEO and managing director of the franchise holder FBD (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, revealed: "We are planning for RM80m to be spent on expanding our operations in Malaysia alone as we are confident of success in this country."TAZA (meaning "fresh") is well known for its range of barbecued and charcoal-grilled chicken meals, which are becoming increasingly popular. The menu has also been tailored to the Malaysian palate, which was not particularly receptive to the spring chickens served in accordance with the original Saudi Arabian concept. The company stresses however, that even these meals are attracting a health-conscious following who are prepared to pay more, and several contracts have been negotiated with Klang Valley area farmers to provide a regular supply of spring chickens fed on a special vegetable-based feed. The first Malaysian TAZA opened in Bangsar in November 1998, and as with this one, Essam said that future outlets would be owned and operated by FBD initially, before being sub-franchised once the TAZA concept and operation was standardised. FBD also hopes to spread wider into the neighbouring South East Asia markets, reaching Singapore at some point after the next two years.