Max Group’s Pancake House Goes To United Arab Emirates

Max Group’s Pancake House Goes To United Arab Emirates

Another homegrown food brand is going global. Pancake House of the family-owned Max Group, Inc. will build eight Pancake House stores in United Arab Emirates (UAE) within the next five years, a press release sent to Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said.

“We are excited with our partnership with UAE’s Lulu Group, an established retailer with a rich history of success, to serve our products to the Emiratis,” said Robert Trota, Max Group, Inc. president and CEO. The partnership is with Lulu Group’s Tablez Food Company.

Pancake House currently operates 123 stores, including nine franchised restaurants in Malaysia and Brunei.

The country’s largest operator of casual dining restaurants, publicly listed Max Group, Inc. traces its heritage to the beginning of Max’s Restaurant in 1945. It includes Max’s Restaurant, Pancake House, Yellow Cab, Krispy Kreme, Jamba Juice, Max’s Corner Bakery, Teriyaki Boy, Dencio’s, Meranti, Le Coeur de France, Maple, Kabisera, Singkit and Sizzlin’ Steak.

Meanwhile, Lulu Group is a diversified group of companies established in 1966 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with operations in 21 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America.

Aside from its retail division’s food and beverage which initiated the partnership with the Max Group, Inc., the Lulu Group has interests in imports and exports, trading, shipping, travel and tourism, education and information technology. It employs more than 35,000 employees of 42 different nationalities.

In just five years, Tablez Food Company has launched its own brands of restaurants, cafes and ice cream houses and brought in multinational franchises to the Middle East and India.

With an annual turnover of US$6.3 billion, the Lulu Group currently operates 118 stores in UAE, Middle East and other countries.

“We at Tablez have always believed in bringing in unique brands from around the world in the evolving and highly competitive food and beverage sector in the Gulf region. I am delighted in partnering with Pancake House, one of the most popular brands from the Philippines,” Tablez CEO Shafeena Yusuff Ali.

Many Filipinos work and reside in UAE and the Gulf region. “A brand like Pancake House will be a big hit. The new venture gives us a chance to present this brand to Filipinos and other nationalities residing here,” he said.

Max Group, Inc. (MAXS), formerly Pancake House, Inc. (PCKH), was incorporated on March 1, 2000 and is engaged in developing, acquiring, managing and franchising restaurants and food brands, according to the PSE.

On December 20, 2013, the company announced an agreement to sell to the Max’s Group of Companies (Max’s Group) all of its shares in PCKH. The acquisition was completed on February 24, 2014.

Further, in July 2014, the company announced that it will acquire all of the outstanding shares of several Max’s Group restaurants and will combine the restaurant brands of the Max’s Group and PCKH.

On August 22, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the change in the corporate name and stock symbol of PCKH to the present MAXS. As of December 31, 2014, there are a total of 541 outlets of these brands.

One of the well-known Filipino brands is Max’s Restaurant, a household name in the Philippines which began in 1945 after World War II.

Based on the restaurant’s website, Maximo Gimenez, a Stanford-educated teacher, befriended American GIs stationed at Quezon City who regularly visited Maximo’s home for food and drinks. But the soldiers later insisted that they pay for their drinks. This gave an idea to Maximo to open a cafe, where the soldiers could enjoy food and drinks.

The cafe served chicken, steak and drinks. Maximo’s niece, Ruby, who managed the kitchen, created a special recipe for chicken that became an instant favorite for the GIs. Soon, the more people heard about the delicious chicken and they came to dine. Max’s Restaurant was born.

Max’s Restaurant’s popularity grew and it became known as “the house that fried chicken built.” It has expanded in Metro Manila, Southern and Northern Luzon and Cebu and opened stores in California and other places in the United States. It has also expanded to Canada and other countries.

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