Max Brenner enters voluntary administration

Article by Sarah O’Regan /
OzEating /
October 04, 2018  /
Click here to view original /

The Max Brenner chain is suffering from financial difficulties and has entered voluntary administration in all of their Australian stores.

The appointed administrators, McGrathNicol, will undertake an urgent review and for now it’s unclear on how it will affect its 38 stores and 600 staff members.

Max Brenner was founded in 1996 in Israel by creators Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner, who combined their names, and first operated as a small shop selling handmade chocolates. After its success they branched stores all over the World, including Australia. In 2000, Sydney opened the first Max Brenner Chocolate Bar in Australia and now we now have 38 stores across Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, ACT, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The founders believed that “chocolate is not just about taste. It’s a symbol of different aspects in our lives – of romance, of sensuality, of decadence. These aspects actually create the new chocolate culture of Max Brenner.” Max Brenner offers a range of chocolate options with fondues, milkshakes, crepes, pastries, hot chocolates and waffles.

The voluntary administration was said to be due to financial woes, hefty costs and even its old-fashioned attire. Business trades expert, Dr Lauren Rosewarne, believes one of the main issues is due to a change in the Australian food scene opposed to when it first opened in the 1990s. She assesses “the rise of social media and our embrace of lining up for pop-up, limited edition food items that we can then Instagram has replaced the notion of dipping into a personal chocolate fountain which feels quite dated now.” The chocolatier is outdated as Australians are becoming more health conscious and siting healthier alternatives.

McGrathNicol is reviewing whether to sell Max Brenner or recapitalise the business, but a final decision hasn’t been made. They have since issued a statement saying, “all Max Brenner stores will operate on a ‘business as usual’ basis with minimum disruption whilst the Administrators complete their urgent review of the operations.”