Max's of Manila
|Founded||Parañaque, Philippines (1945)|
|Number of locations||135|
|Area served||Philippines, U.S.A. and Canada|
|Key people||Maximo Gimenez (founder)|
Cakes and pastries
In 1945, after World War II, American troops stationed in Quezon City became friends with Maximo Gimenez, a teacher who had graduated from Stanford University. Some soldiers came to his nearby house for a drink or two, until they insisted that they pay for their drinks.
Gimenez decided to open a café which served chicken, steak, and drinks. He was joined by his wife Mercedes, sister-in-law Felipa Serrano Sanvictores, his niece Ruby who managed the kitchen, and her husband Claro. Ruby's fried chicken proved popular with G.I.s. and locals also began patronising the establishment.
Encouraged by her mother to expand the menu and serve more Filipino food, Ruby set up the Baclaran branch along Roxas Boulevard in Parañaque. They decided to name the restaurant "Max's" after Maximo.
Max's Restaurant currently has over 127 branches in the Philippines. The chain also has branches in the U.S. states of California, Hawaii, New Jersey and a Nevada branch soon to open. It has 2 locations in Canada in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia with a new location in Edmonton, Alberta opening soon. More branches will open soon[when?] in Sydney, Australia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Queens, New York.
In popular culture
In earlier television and cinema advertisements, the restaurant usually marketed itself as a place for Filipino families to get together. It also established its slogan "Saráp to the bones!" ("Delicious to the bones!").
More recently, a popular series of television advertisements told the story of a Max's employee who was the childhood love of a popular TV celebrity, played by Piolo Pascual. The series showed the two characters as children, then as adults accidentally meeting at Max's. The denouement of the story is when the celebrity recognizes the employee from their childhood. This commercial became so popular that it launched the showbiz career of Isabel Oli, the model who played the employee.
Aside from its advertising, the story of how Max's Restaurant started has entered into popular culture. It was portrayed in the episode "Sino si Max?" ("Who is Max?") of the long-running Filipino drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya.
The restaurant's signature dish is its fried chicken. Aside from this, Max's Chicken also offers traditional Filipino dishes:
Max's Restaurant at SM City Baliuag
- Kam, Nadine. (April 9, 2006)."To the Max". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
- Jacobson, Max. (February 26, 1998). "Fried but Foreign – Crispy chicken is the top choice at Max's, with other Filipino dishes.". Los Angeles Times.
- Max's Restaurant – About Us
- Alon, Ilan. (2006). Service Franchising: A Global Perspective. New York: Springer. p. 180. ISBN 0-387-28182-7.
- Profile – Isabel Oli. GMA Network. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Why Isabel Oli is blooming these days". Manila Bulletin. June 20, 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- Lorenzo, Alfie. (November 17, 2005) (in Filipino). Pasalamatan natin si George Canseco... (Let's thank George Canseco...). Abante. Retrieved September 23, 2010 from telebisyon.net.
- Max's Restaurant – Menu.
- Bernardino, Minnie. (September 27, 1990). "Breakfast – 8 Places Off the Beaten-Egg Track – Ethnic fare: Breakfast is many things to many peoples, as L.A.'s restaurants prove. A sampling from the variety available to a.m. adventurers. – Filipino". Los Angeles Times.