Maxim's Caterers

  (Redirected from Maxim's Catering)

Maxim's Caterers Limited (Chinese: 美心食品有限公司; Sidney Lau: mei5 sam1 sik6 ban2 yau5 haan6 gung1 si1) is a Hong Kong based food, beverage and restaurant chain. It is jointly owned by Dairy Farm International Holdings Limited and Hong Kong Caterers Ltd.

Maxim's Caterers Limited
Private company
IndustryFood and Beverage
Founded1956; 64 years ago (1956)
FounderJames Wu
Headquarters18/F, Maxim's Centre, 17 Cheung Shun Street, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon West
ProductsChinese cuisine
Western cuisine
Asian cuisine
Fast food
Bakery
Starbucks
Genki Sushi
RevenueGreen Arrow Up.svgUS$3.5 billion (estimate)[citation needed]
Number of employees
24,000
ParentHongKong Caterers and Dairy Farm International Holdings Limited (50/50 shareholders)
Websitewww.maxims.com.hk

Founded in 1956, the company operates over 1,000 outlets in Hong Kong, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. These include bakeries, fast food shops restaurants and Starbucks coffee shop licences. Maxim's restaurants have been targeted by conservation campaigners concerned with Maxim's support of shark finning and for controversial comments made by Annie Wu, daughter of Maxim's founder, during the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests.[1]

HistoryEdit

Maxim's was founded by brothers James Wu and S.T. Wu. The grand opening of the first Maxim's restaurant, located in the basement of Telephone House in Central, took place on 3 December 1956.[2] Initially positioned as a "first-class restaurant and night-club", the arrival of competing international hoteliers in the 1960s prompted the company to focus more on morning tea, lunch, and snacks.[3]

A holding company, Maxim's Caterers Limited, was formed in October 1972 to acquire the Maxim's and Jade Garden restaurant brands. By early 1973, the group operated 15 restaurants.[3]

Longtime company managing director S.T. Wu stepped down in early 2000, and was replaced by his 29-year-old grandson Michael Wu Wei-kuo, who had previously served as chief financial officer.[4]

BrandsEdit

 
Simplylife Bakery Cafe in Queensway Plaza, Admiralty

In 1998, Maxim's launched a restaurant series named m.a.x. concepts, which managed restaurant brands including MAX, Cellini, Mecca, Thai Basil, eating plus, Mezz, café Landmark, Emporio Armani Caffé, and modern restaurants Kiku and Miso.[5]

In 2004 the company opened the French-Vietnamese restaurant chain Rice Paper. In the same year, Maxim's Fast Food began producing ready meals and appetisers to be sold in 7–11 and Wellcome supermarkets.

Maxim's bought Genki Sushi in early 2006, and the company introduced the American restaurant chain Lawry's The Prime Rib to Hong Kong the same year.[5] Maxim's and Australian chef Geoff Lindsay opened the restaurant "Pearl on the Peak" in the Peak Tower. The company is the licensee of Ippudo ramen, Shake Shack and The Cheesecake Factory in various territories.

In May 2000, Maxim's partnered with Starbucks Coffee International, Inc. to form Coffee Concepts Ltd.,[6] holding licences for both Hong Kong and Macau.[7]

In 2005, Maxim's have rebranded most of its restaurants as MX.[8]

ControversiesEdit

 
Shark fin protestors at Maxim's HQ, Hong Kong in 2018

Shark fin controversyEdit

Maxim's have been targeted by campaigners regarding the company's support of shark finning.[9] On 10 June 2017 dozens protested at their flagship 'Maxim's Palace' restaurant for selling threatened and endangered shark species.[10] 50 protestors attended a demonstration at Maxim's branch at The University of Hong Kong on 10 February 2018.[11] On 15 June 2018 protestors directly targeted Maxim's headquarters in a demonstration that also targeted Starbucks' regional licensee being Maxims.[12][13]

2019–20 boycott campaignEdit

Maxim's outlets have been the target of boycotts and vandalism during the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests after Annie Wu, the daughter of Maxim's co-founder James Wu, denounced the pro-democratic movement during an appearance at the United Nations. She has also repeatedly denounced Hong Kong youth, stating that Hong Kong should "give up" on two generations of "lost" youngsters, and claimed that she would "not waste [her] time talking to them, as they have no idea what they are doing".[14][15] She criticised young Hong Kongers for their alleged anti-China sentiment, which she blamed on a lack of Chinese history education starting from the kindergarten level.[16][14]

Wu called on the Chinese Foundation Secondary School, which she founded, to fire faculty and expel students who boycotted classes. Her actions, considered as suppression of freedom of speech, aroused the anger of protesters.[17][14]

Annie Wu holds only 0.33 per cent of the shares of Hong Kong Caterers Ltd[18] which owns 50 per cent of Maxim's Caterers Ltd, and has no managerial responsibilities in the company[19]. However, it was revealed by David Webb that Annie Wu received HK$1.3 million in dividend payouts for the 2018 fiscal year.[20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lam Cho Wai, BBC News Chinese (11 October 2019). "Why Starbucks? The brands being attacked in Hong Kong". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Hongkong's Latest Rendezvous!". South China Morning Post. 3 December 1956. p. 8.
  3. ^ a b Lee, William (14 January 1973). "Restaurant chain expands". South China Morning Post.
  4. ^ "Big changes on the menu at Maxim's". South China Morning Post. 10 April 2000.
  5. ^ a b Yiu, Enoch (11 February 2007). "Hands-on maxim a recipe for success". South China Morning Post.
  6. ^ "Starbucks adjusts its formula in China". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 12 June 2005.
  7. ^ "Maxim's journey from start-up to Hong Kong's largest restaurant group". South China Morning Post. 27 April 2016. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Fairwood taps WE in brand challenge". Campaign Asia. Archived from the original on 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Protesters urge HK restaurant to stop selling shark fin". Reuters. 10 June 2017. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Hong Kong activists dress as sharks to protest finning". The Guardian. 10 June 2017. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Shark fin protest draws 50 activists outside HKU branch of popular restaurant chain". South China Morning Post. 10 February 2018. Archived from the original on 10 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Animal activists take aim at Starbucks, claiming licence holder Maxim's continues to serve up shark fin". 14 June 2018. Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  13. ^ "In Pictures: Animal activists protest at Maxim's HQ over their continued sale of shark fin". 16 June 2018. Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Chung, Kimmy (4 November 2019). "Daughter of Maxim's founder hits out again at Hong Kong protesters, saying she has lost hope in the next two generations". South China Morning Post.
  15. ^ Wan, Cindy (5 November 2019). "Wu turns back on 'lost' youngsters". The Standard.
  16. ^ "Maxim's finds itself on protesters' 'hit list'". EJ Insight. 23 September 2019. Archived from the original on 24 September 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  17. ^ News, World Times. "Hong Kong catering group Maxim's wins respect in Chinese mainland, in sharp to Taipan boycott". China - WorldTimes News (in Vietnamese). Archived from the original on 14 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  18. ^ "HONGKONG CATERERS LIMITED 香港食品有限公司". webb-site.com. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Maxim's distances itself from 'rioters' comments by founder's daughter". South China Morning Post. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  20. ^ Webb, David (11 October 2019). "A closer look at Maxim's". Webb-site.com.

External linksEdit