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A different dining experience at Burgos Eats

When Max’s Group, Inc. (MGI) opened last week its new location in Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, it showcased a reconfigured 2,000- square meter of land (600 sq.m. of the building) for four of its well-loved brands and converted the open center space into a multi-purpose concert/activity place for regular or new patrons to listen to various musical instruments playing simultaneously impromptu as in an unplanned concert – giving diners a whole-new experience to enjoy and share with friends and other social circles.

The result of course was patrons stayed long, savoring the music and buying from each of the five brands their juices, pizzas and main courses under one roof. And the music played on until the last patron left.

This experience naturally reverberates fast and since it opened last Nov. 26, Burgos Eats has been seeing more of the same, if not newer, crowds coming in as families or big groups.

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The idea of reconfiguring space and a nouveau architecture design for such space all began at the Makati office drawing room of Jim T. Fuentebella, director and chief marketing officer of MGI, where he broached the idea of “making something different of that space from those of other locators in High Street, Burgos Circle, the new Shangrila Hotel that would be opening and the entire BGC. Why should people go to us?”

With Burgos Eats we are redefining the country’s dining experience through shared spaces, Fuentebella said.

“I felt that if we put something up that would be in tune with their lifestyle, we would have a fighting chance in that location. I felt that it should be somewhat like a club house, where food should not be expensive as eating/talking are the regular things people do in a club house,” Fuentebella said.

The key brands in Burgos Eats—Krispy Kreme (with design your own donuts), Pancake House, Jamba Juice, Teriyaki Boy, Yellow Cab—opened their doors and accommodated customers of the group’s brands. And this is how it will always be.

Free movement

As envisioned, the joining of loved brands under one roof is to ensure that customers would have free movement, akin to a playground where children can just move around freely to any ride or even run around.

Since people love to put different kinds of food on the table to share, having most, if not all, these store brands under one roof would help them choose and buy freely from any of the brands, he explained.

The beauty of this set up is that a customer can order Jamba Juice or Krispy Kreme without leaving his seat in Pancake House. It would be delivered to him along with the separate billing. “In the future we would have seamless billings for these brands as well,” Fuentebella said.

Burgos Eats is the pilot project for this dining concept and it would soon be replicated in T. Morato where the company has a strip with Pancake House and Dencios with a communal function room in the center, another new concept which could be either all of one brand or a split in the middle for both brands.

Another one that would come up is the site in Macapagal, near Mall of Asia, where there are three brands with a common space with Max’s.

Making brands more affordable

The idea behind putting many of loved brands close together under one roof is to make these brands more accessible and affordable for a wider segment of the population.

“When we acquired Krispy Kreme in 2006 the positioning of the US was to make sure that it is a premium brand. If we followed the pricing at that time of P50 per donut ($1 per piece),  I wouldn’t probably be here. We made a leveler so that the richest and the poor people can be able to buy the product by pricing it at P28 to P30 per piece. We used the expertise in Max’s,” he added.

The ingredients are all imported. The donuts have to be in an airconditioned room otherwise it shrinks or the quality is affected. Jamba Juice (smoothies) was acquired in February, 2014 (although negotiations began in December 2013. Max’s (founded 1945) is 70 years old this 2015. Pancake House began in 1974 (Lapanday was the second owner); Krispy Kreme was founded in the Salem, US in 1937.

MGI now has 14 loved brands with a total store network of 547 (as of September 2015) consisting of 171 stores of Max’s; 66 of Krispy Kreme; 118 of Yellow Cab; 124 of Pancake House and the rest divided among Jamba Juice, Max’s Corner Bakery, Teriyaki Boy, Dencio’s, Meranti, Le Coeur de France, Maple, Singkit, Sizzlin’ Steak and Kabisera.

For the nine months of 2015, MGI had a net income of P313 million and had expanded its brands to the Middle East and some Asian capitals.

MGI’s vision is to be the leading Filipino company with the most loved brands by 2025 by building such loved brands.