MANILA, Philippines - Casual dining restaurant chain Pancake House is looking to aggressively expand its footprint overseas as it aims to hit the 300-store mark in foreign in firm to seven years.
Pancake House chairman Martin Lorenzo said the group is accelerating growth with plans to ramp up its presence in the Middle East and enter new markets like Indonesia and China.
“We want to expand presence throughout Southeast Asia. Our goal is to have a total of 300 branches overseas in five or seven years,” Lorenzo said.
Encouraged by the strong consumer reception in the Middle East, Lorenzo said the group wants to expand further its reach in the oil-rich countries to take advantage of the growing demand for Western food.
The group plans to build five Yellow Cab pizza stores a year in the Gulf States, which include Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
As of end-March 2012, Yellow Cab had 89 branches, located mostly in Manila. It also has outlets in Malaysia, Qatar, Guam and mainland US.
Plans also include bringing its flagship brand Pancake House in the Middle East with the opening of two to three stores.
On the homefront, the group is looking to end the year with a total of 300 stores (100 Yellow Cab, 100 Pancake House and the rest divided among its other restaurant brands such as Teriyaki Boy, Dencio’s, Sizzlin’ Pepper Steak and Le Coeur de France. It also owns Kabisera and Chicken Rice).
“We’re building 35 new stores in ‘new wave’ cities like Cebu, Davao, Laoag, and Subic,” Lorenzo said.
He said his mid-term goal for Chicken Rice is to increase its network to 25 in three years from the existing four.
With the addition of new stores, the group expects its net profit to grow 70 percent this year from P90.16 million a year ago, mainly due to the full-year contribution of Yellow Cab, a local premium pizza brand it acquired in August 2011.
Lorenzo said the company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is forecast to hit between P330 million and P570 million.
He said the group is also set to launch Maple (a high-end version of Pancake House), starting with the pilot branch in San Antonio Village in Makati. Succeeding branches will rise in the new Shangri-La mall, Alabang, Eastwood, and Rockwell.