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NEWS UPDATES 3 July 2009

Philippines’ food chain eyes Canada, Mideast

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Philippine food retailer Max’s Restaurant is looking at penetrating the Canadian and Middle Eastern markets, even while still preparing to open two branches in the United States—one in New Jersey and the other in Hawaii—within the year, a local daily reported.

The Daily Inquirer quoted Max’s president Robert Trota as saying in an interview that the company would increase the number of its sites in the United States from six to eight before the end of this year.

“Now is actually the best time to buy property or go into leases in the United States because rates are very low,” he said at the sidelines of the Philippine International Franchise Conference and Expo 2009 opening Wednesday.

“The opening of our two new branches in the US was actually supposed to take place last year. This was delayed not because of the crisis, but because we had some difficulty finding good locations for the stores,” he said.

Of Max’s six existing outlets in the United States, he said only two were company-owned, while the other four were franchises.

The two sites to be opened this year would likewise be franchised outlets, he said. He said Max’s was looking at Canada and the Middle East as possible new locations for business.

“The Canada branch will probably open by next year, but the one in the Middle East doesn’t have a timeframe yet since we’re still in the early stages of talks. Both of these will also be franchises,” he said.

Max’s first opened its doors to franchisees in the second quarter of 1998. In the Philippines, Max’s has 119 branches, 55 of which were franchises.

The restaurant chain would also be opening new branches in the country this year, he said, in keeping with the company’s target to put up three to six outlets a year.


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