Max’s Group steps up expansion
(The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Max’s Group Inc. will embark on an aggressive store expansion next year as it begins a new chapter in its business path following its merger with Pancake House.

With the dust of the acquisition already settling in, Max’s Group director and chief finance officer Dave T. Fuentebella told The STAR in an interview that the company is looking at opening 60 to 80 new stores composed of both company-owned and franchised branches next year.

He said they would spend about P500 million for the company-owned stores alone, the amount of which will be sourced from a share sale next week.

 “We will definitely grow next year. It’s really part of our growth plans, to really grow our stores and brands. So there’s going to be a lot of growth individually for each brand by next year,” he said.

Fuentebella said most of the branches scheduled to open next year would be located in the country, while a portion would be abroad.

As the country’s largest full-service restaurant chain, Max’s Group to date has over 500 stores locally and 27 outlets catering to the international market.

For its international branches, Fuentebella said the group would continue focusing its expansion in the North America and the Middle East markets.

“For the stores for next year, it’s a mix but largely composed of Max’s, Pancake House and Yellow Cab. Having said that, it does not mean we’re not going to open other brands like Teriyaki Boy or Dencio’s,” he said.

Fuentebella also said next year’s store expansion would be different from previous years’ growth given that two casual dining restaurant chain leaders are now rolled into one.

Max’s Group was able to complete the acquisition of the Pancake House Group earlier this year, merging the two groups via a share-swap deal that resulted in the creation of a giant in the country’s casual dining segment.

Fuentebella said the old Max’s Group alone has been growing at an average of only 10 stores annually during the previous years.

 “The desire to serve more customers and positive economic outlook of the country is pushing us to open more stores. We feel we can still serve a lot more with our expanded brand offerings, we can serve them more frequently. There are still unserved markets that we can find our brands to grow in,” he said.

Fuentebella said Max’s Group isalso banking on the continued rise in the number of Filipinos whose economic status has been improving due to the country’s growing economy.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the consumer segment of this country and it’s a great space to be in. There’s a lot of potential for growth but at the same time, it’s a very competitive environment but it’s poised for growth. It’s not an easy market to be in but we are very enthusiastic about being in that segment,” he said.

Max’s Group operates local brands such Max’s Restaurant, Pancake House, Yellow Cab, Dencio’s, Kabisera ng Dencio’s, Teriyaki Boy, Max’s Corner Bakery, Maple, Sizzlin’ Steak and Le Coeur de France as well as international food brands such as Krispy Kreme and Jamba Juice.

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