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Max’s local expansion anchored on mall growth


Monday, 15 March 2010 00:00 [ manilatimes.net ]

Max’s said expansion in the Philippines of its restaurant chain would take its cue from mall developers.

“If there is a new mall, expect that we are also there provided there is a market opportunity,” Robert Trota, Max’s president, told The Manila Times.

By following the mall developments, chances are “we could easily attract customers to dine with us,” he said.

To date, the restaurant has 116 branches in the country, with 55 percent of those outlets franchised.

Market leader SM Prime Holdings Inc. earlier said it plans to spend around P4 billion this year to build new malls in Calamba and San Pablo, Laguna, in Tarlac, in Novaliches and in Masinag, Antipolo.

This would bring the total number of SM malls from 39 to 44 by yearend.

Robinsons Land Corp. said it is eyeing to put up a mall in the former Magnolia compound along Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City, a second in Palawan and a third in Calasiao, Pangasinan.

Trota said a restaurant would cost at least P10 million to P12 million, adding the final cost would depend on the area.

Despite its mall-oriented expansion, the executive said the restaurant chain might put up standalone restaurants “whenever there is a good location.”

Building a standalone restaurant requires more study, he said, adding that, “We have to be more strategic in terms of finding a location for standalone establishments since it is not what we consider a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the consumers.”

“We recently built a standalone restaurant in Calapan, Mindoro and we are likewise looking at Zamboanga City,” he said.

Last year, Max’s only grew by 1 to 3 percent, which Trota attributed to the financial crisis. For this year, he said, “We are eyeing 7 to 10-percent growth as we are more optimistic this year.”

Asked whether Max’s would push through with its original plan to go public for additional funds, Trota said, “Although that had been the subject of our several board meetings, we realized we can still manage on our own without selling our shares to the public.”

Katrina Mennen A. Valdez

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