Max's of Manila
|Founded||Quezon City, Philippines (1945)|
|Number of locations||146|
|Area served||Philippines, U.S.A., U.A.E and Canada|
|Key people||Maximo Gimenez, Mercedes Gimenez, Ruby Trota, Claro Trota, Felipe Sanvictores; (founders)|
Cakes and pastries
Max's Restaurant's beginnings started in 1945, after World War II. Maximo Gimenez, a Stanford-educated teacher, befriended the American occupation troops stationed at Quezon City. Because of this friendship, the soldiers regularly visited Maximo's nearby home for a drink or two. Later on, the troops insisted that they pay for their drinks. This prompted Maximo to open a cafe, where the troops could enjoy food and drinks.
The cafe initially served chicken, steak and drinks. Maximo's niece, Ruby, who managed the kitchen, created a special recipe for chicken that became an instant favorite for the GIs. Soon, the Filipino public heard about the delicious chicken-tender, juicy and crispy-and they came too! Max's Restaurant was born.
Over the years, Max's Restaurant's popularity grew and it became known as "the house that fried chicken built." It has expanded in Metro Manila, Southern and Northern Luzon, Cebu, and to California and other places in the United States. It has also expanded to Canada. It will soon open restaurants in other countries as well.
Max's Restaurant has established itself as a household name in the Philippines, an institution, and a proud Filipino tradition. The second and third generations of the family continue to zealously uphold the standards and traditions set by Maximo and Ruby for all Max's Restaurants.
It opened its doors to franchising in the second quarter of 1998.
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. In a September 2014 press event, it was announced that more branches will be opened by 2015 in Sydney, Australia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Queens, New York.
The restaurant's signature dish is its fried chicken. Aside from this, Max's Chicken also offers traditional Filipino dishes:
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.
- "Max's Restaurant – About Us". Max's Chicken Online. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Kam, Nadine. (April 9, 2006)."To the Max". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
- 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.
- 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.