• UAE expansion set for Pancake House


    LISTED casual dining restaurant operator Max’s Group Inc. (MGI) will open at least eight Pancake House outlets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of its international expansion plans.

    MGI said it signed a development agreement with Lulu Group to bring Pancake House to the UAE within the next five years.

    “We are pleased with the opportunity to further broaden our reach in the UAE, this time around for Pancake House. We are excited with our partnership with Lulu Group, an established retailer with a storied and rich history of success, to serve our products to the Emiratis,” said MGI President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Trota.

    MGI earlier this year also inked a development deal with Middle East-based Cartoon Fashion Group to build 10 outlets of popular pizza parlor Yellow Cab Pizza in the UAE over the next five years.

    The Pancake House offshore expansion brings MGI’s signed international development deals to four for 2015.

    Before this, MGI also signed a development deal with L Concepts Ltd. to build 10 Sizzlin’ Steak stores in Vietnam in the next five years

    “We are also encouraged that our international campaign has received strong interest from a number of potential foreign partners. This can be attributed to the strength of our diverse portfolio of brands catering to various markets and tastes, anchored on a solid and well-organized MGI support system,” Trota said.

    Established in 1996, Lulu Group is UAE-based diversified group engaged in retail, import and export, shipping, information technology, tourism and education, with operations spanning across 21 countries.

    MGI said it plans to have at least 200 international outlets by 2020 across its brands.

    “For this year, we were initially aiming at closing at least two territories. With this, we were able to exceed our targets,” Trota said.

    The company opened 18 stores in the first half of this year out of the targeted 80 to 90 new stores this year. As of end-July, MGI had 535 outlets.

    At present, MGI’s international business only accounts for 10 percent of total group sales but MGI chief financial officer Dave Fuentebella expects the share to increase significantly in the long run with the surge in development agreements in the next few years.

    MGI’s restaurant brands are present in Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines for Southeast Asia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the Gulf states, as well as North America.

    In the first half of the year, MGI saw a six-fold increase in net income to P247.74 million on the back of efficiencies brought about by the continued consolidation of the company. Revenues grew by 166 percent to P4.88 billion from a year ago.

    MGI’s portfolio of restaurants include: 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 brands Krispy Kreme and Jamba Juice.


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