Corporate News

Listed Pancake House readies new high-end dining brand

Posted on March 26, 2012

RESTAURANT OPERATOR Pancake House, Inc. plans to introduce yet another brand to its dining portfolio to again take advantage of the high-end market.

The firm behind the namesake pancake chain as well as the Yellow Cab pizza franchise is looking to spend as much as P12 million for the first branch of Maple, which will serve American comfort food, Bernadette M. Lee, Pancake House brand group managing director, told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview last Friday.

“The first location is going to be in San Antonio Plaza, [Makati City]. We’ve already been granted the permit to construct, and we’re already in the homestretch of planning the concept. This should open around July,� Ms. Lee said.

“A normal Pancake House branch will cost around P7 million, so this one, because it is high-end, will cost around P10 million to 12 million,� Ms. Lee added.

Maple is seen to offer an alternative to the other brands in Pancake House portfolio, which at present include American, Filipino, Japanese and French cuisine offerings, among others.

“This will be totally different from our current Pancake House variants. We will be offering a lot of very different types of selections� Ms. Lee said.

A sample Maple menu e-mailed to BusinessWorld revealed a number of chicken dishes in the restaurant’s selection, among others.

Maple San Antonio, which will operate as a so-called “boutique store� will only measure approximately 80 square meters and will cater to the upscale customers of San Antonio Plaza, which itself is located in the exclusive Forbes Park enclave in Makati City, Ms. Lee noted.

“It’s an upscale concept, and we definitely want to fit the concept to the market we want to tap. This will be a preview to the bigger Maple stores we will open,� she said.

Moving forward, Pancake House is eyeing additional branches for Maple, to be located in similarly high-end locations, with the next one in Shangri-La Plaza likely to open by the end of the year or the first quarter next year.

“We’ve already been offered a location in Shangri-La Plaza, which covers Ortigas [Center] and Mandaluyong [City], and we’re also trying to close a deal in Alabang. It will really be located in these very select locations,� Ms. Lee said.

Last August, Pancake House ventured into the pizza restaurant market and acquired homegrown, premium-priced pizza brand Yellow Cab Pizza for P800 million via a note facility agreement, earlier reports said.

Pancake House was incorporated in 2000 to engage in the development, operation and franchise of a casual dining restaurant brands.

The first Pancake House was opened in 1970 in Makati City.

The company hiked its net income for the January to September period last year to P43.79 million from P34.74 million in 2010 following its full acquisition of Yellow Cab last September.

Pancake House shares surged by 3.33% to P10.54 last Friday from P10.20 at is previous close. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misquoted Bernadette Lee, Pancake House brand group managing director, on her cost estimates for a Maple branch which was "around P10 billion to 12 billion". The cost should be in millions.