Filipino restaurants

Eating out is definitely back: Max’s Restaurant, Pancake House lead group’s earnings

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Eating out is definitely back: Max’s Restaurant, Pancake House lead group’s earnings

FILIPINO CHICKEN. A contemporary Max's Restaurant in the Philippines.

Max's Group website

New stores of Max’s Restaurant and Pancake House in the provinces, and store renovations and relocations in high-foot traffic areas help improve the Max’s Group’s earnings in the first nine months of 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Eating out is definitely back, as the Max’s Group, the country’s largest casual dining restaurant group, reported a 13% increase in revenues for the first 9 months of 2023. 

In a disclosure on Wednesday, November 15, Max’s Group said its Max’s Restaurant and Pancake House led the contributions to its dining-in segment, while Yellow Cab Pizza Co. and Krispy Kreme were its “stalwarts in the off-premise channels.” 

“Max’s Restaurant and Pancake House are on track in rebounding from a challenging past three years as they capitalize on the growing market appetite for eating out,” the publicly listed company led by the Trota family said, referring to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations, which forced the closure of some of its stores. 

Aside from Max’s Restaurant, Pancake House, Yellow Cab, and Krispy Kreme, the group also operates Teriyaki Boy, Dencio’s, Sizzlin’ Steak, and Jamba Juice. Other brands under its wing are Max’s Corner Bakery, Singkit, Coeur de France, Maple, and Kabisera.

The Max’s Group’s gross revenues went up from P2.8 billion in the first nine months of 2022 to P2.99 in the same period in 2023. Net income, however, fell from P239 million to P168 million as the company put in more funds in building new stores and improving existing ones. 

Most of the group’s new restaurants were established outside Metro Manila such as in SM’s newest mall in Sto. Tomas, Batangas; in Roxas City, Capiz; and in Robinsons Tacloban. 

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“Revenue growth is further complemented by retail enhancements to ensure a more customer-centric experience. The brands’ store renovations and relocations in high foot-traffic areas and its successful expansion in previously unserved provincial markets boosted sales, and serves as a testament to the increasing demand for MGI’s presence outside the metro,” the Max’s Group said. 


Max’s Restaurant, the group’s flagship brand, was founded in 1945 when a Stanford-educated teacher, Maximo Gimenez, made friends with American soldiers stationed in Quezon City and served them chicken and drinks at his home. 

The GIs would eat in his residence regularly, but insisted that they pay for their food. This inspired Gimenez to open a café which initially served only chicken, steak and drinks. 

His niece, Ruby Trota, invented the restaurant’s Fried Chicken recipe, which became a favorite of the American soldiers. 

From its first Max’s Restaurant in Scout Tuazon, Quezon City, the franchise grew through the years and became a favorite venue for family celebrations such as birthdays and wedding receptions. It later adopted the slogan “The House That Fried Chicken Built,” after more restaurants were established here and abroad. Its menu expanded with more Filipino dishes such as kare-kare, crispy pata, and pancit canton.

The first Pancake House was put up in Magallanes, Makati in 1974. Aside from classic pancakes, it now offers tacos, spaghetti, and chicken. It had 126 stores at the end of 2022, three abroad. 

Yellow Cab opened its first branch in Makati Avenue in 2001, while Krispy Kreme’s first store in the Philippines was launched in 2006 after the Max’s Group became the brand’s master franchisee in the country.

As of end of 2023, there were 216 Max’s Restaurants: 184 in the Philippines and 32 abroad. Its international restaurants are mostly in the US, Asia, and the Middle East (UAE, Kuwait, Qatar). 

Overall, the Max’s Group is present in 14 territories, with 591 Philippine branches and 66 stores abroad. 


“Max’s Group is confident that our stable of brands will continue to be relevant to today’s consumer. Our reinvigorated efforts to provide customers with fresh experiences through product and retail innovations make us optimistic as the dine-in segment in particular gets a boost with the expected higher consumer spending in anticipation of the holiday season, the declining unemployment rate, and the overall trajectory of household consumption expenditure,” said Max’s Group’s CEO Robert F. Trota.

“These results underscore our steady growth rate notwithstanding the effects of challenging market conditions, and our teams are ready to channel this momentum into the Christmas season, priming us for a strong finish to cap the year.” – 

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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.