Restaurant chain operator Max’s Group Inc. said Tuesday it will close down bakery chain Le Coeur de France this week.
Max’s Group investor relations head Paul Cheah, in a text message, confirmed the announcement made by Le Coeur de France on its social media account.
“The closure is a part of ongoing rationalization program to improve store network quality,” said Cheah.
Cheah said four stores Le Coeur de France would serve customers only until Feb. 19.
Around 19 employees will receive severance pay and will be subjected to talent matching with other brands within the group, the company said.
Max’s Group started closing down some of Le Coeur de France’s stores last year. It said from 14 stores as of end-September 2015, the number of stores was reduced to four this year.
Le Coeur de France is the second restaurant brand to be discounted by Max’s Group, after it acquired Pancake House in 2014. It previously closed down The Chicken Rice Shop due to operating losses.
Other homegrown and international brands under the Max’s Group are the flagship Max’s Restaurant, Max’s Corner Bakery, Krispy Kreme, Jamba Juice, Pancake House, Yellow Cab, Dencio’s, Teriyaki Boy, Sizzling Pepper Steak, Kabisera and Maple.
Max’s Group is currently implementing a comprehensive restructuring program to rationalize its portfolio of brands and streamline operations.
This exercise involves strengthening winning brands, revitalizing, selling or winding down underperformers and retraining staff to improve service levels.
The restaurant chain operator earlier targeted to end 2015 with a total of 600 stores and plans to add another 70 to 80 stores this year.
It also continues to bring its homegrown brands overseas in line with the target to have 200 stores abroad by 2020.
The restaurant chain finalized five new international partnerships with various international partners last year.
Max’s Group will roll out 15 Yellow Cab stores in Saudi Arabia within 10 years, 10 Yellow Cab and eight Pancake House restaurants in the United Arab Emirates within five years, 10 Sizzlin’ Steak outlets in Vietnam within five years and three Max’s Restaurants in San Diego, California over the next five years.
Share price of Max’s Group rose 3.3 percent Tuesday to close at P15.50.