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On The Scene: Max Lo

With more than two decades of F&B experience under his belt, Singapore-hailed Max Lo is now crossing the waters to shake up Hong Kong’s culinary scene. The newly appointed general manager of Infinity Entertainment Group reveals what’s in store for the city.

June 30, 2021

Welcome to Hong Kong, Max! You’ve just been appointed the new general manager of Infinity Entertainment Group. For partners and clients who wish to get to know you better, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? 

I’ve been working in the food and beverage industry as a wine and spirits distributor for more than 22 years. After starting out in sales, I worked my way up to the general manager position before deciding to take on this brand-new challenge in Hong Kong. I’m always up for a good challenge. Besides F&B, I also worked at a leading sports-lifestyle company for approximately three years as a country sales manager before ultimately realising that food and beverage is my real passion. 

Tell us about your big move to Hong Kong. What’s your impression of and relationship with the city? What are you most excited about? 

My biggest motivation is the company and people with whom I will be working. I spent months communicating with and understanding them and their culture, and gathered that there is synergy on both sides before deciding on the big move. Ironically, Hong Kong was never my top choice for a vacation spot, as I’ve lived in a concrete jungle all my life in Singapore – so past travels to Hong Kong were mainly for work and visiting friends. That’s why I’m excited and looking forward to exploring what Hong Kong has to offer. 

I’m especially thrilled about the liveliness and dynamism of the F&B scene here, which in comparison is a little staid back home. I mean, just look at the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong – it’s almost double what Singapore has! 

For you, what defines great entertainment?  

There are so many components that are part and parcel of a great experience. From the music and the scents to the colour and design, and to the food and the vibes, it should be a full sensory experience. The concept and prices are also key. At the core of all that, I believe, is the people – from the back end to the frontline, and to all the stakeholders to consumers. When these components work well in tandem, it defines how great entertainment can be.  

What have been some of your favourite lifestyle experiences around the world and why? 

While I enjoy exploring different restaurants and destinations around the world, some of my favourites are close to home. First Street Teochew Fish Soup, a hole-in-the-wall hawker joint in Singapore, serves the freshest seafood in the clearest, richest broth. I’ve been eating there for two decades. Fukuoka’s La Maison de la Nature Goh, one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019, serves a creatively executed French fusion menu and is another must-go.  

There’s one experience that I’ll always recommend to anyone travelling around the Netherlands. It’s a village named Giethoorn that has no roads – the only access to the beautiful cottages is by water over many beautiful canals. You travel around in an electric-powered boat that leads to their national park. 

Outside of work, what are your hobbies or something you like to do that might surprise people? 

I love anything to do with nature, from high up on the mountains to deep down in the ocean! I’m looking forward to experiencing the hiking trails in Hong Kong, which unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to embark on previously due to too much entertaining, which led to some hangovers. (laughs) I’m a big fan of scuba diving, which is what I spend most of my free time doing, enjoying the peace and serenity underwater. Underwater photography is also a hobby of mine. One item on my bucket list is swimming with tiger sharks in Fiji. 

Can you tell us more about your role at Infinity Entertainment Group, as well as your main objectives and aspirations?  

My big focus now is to strengthen the existing portfolio of Infinity Entertainment Group and identify even more opportunities and creative concepts never before seen in Hong Kong. While we might not be the biggest or oldest entertainment group, we take great pride in our ability to innovate and push above and beyond our competitors to create one-of-a-kind experiences that are truly extraordinary.  

What sets us apart, among many things, is the human touch. I’m a huge believer in customer service. I aspire to take ours to the next level and create outlets that will be the unrivalled choice for consumers for any occasion with their friends, family, or businesses. I’m excited to work with the team to create truly memorable experiences not found anywhere else. 

Can you elaborate on the dynamic additions to Infinity Entertainment Group’s expanding portfolio and what you hope to bring to guests? 

In Hong Kong, there’s never a lack of F&B outlets, but we’re confident that we can bring a differentiating factor to our guests in our premier locations, which includes Hong Kong’s first private champagne and cocktail lounge, TELLUS, Lan Kwai Fong’s newest and largest nightlife experience, C45, and also our latest omakase fine-dining restaurant, Sushi Yonjugo. We want them to feel at home and at their most comfortable whenever they visit any of our outlets. We strive to provide a great end-to-end experience, from the food and beverages to our chefs, bartenders, and service crew. We believe in our key principle, which is investing in people. 

In particular, Sushi Yonjugo is the group’s first and newest premium omakase restaurant. Why did the group decide on an omakase restaurant, and what makes it stand out from others in the city? 

Japan is very close to our hearts – in fact, one of the ventures of our parent company, LC Capital, is a hospitality property in Niseko. Our team have long been enthusiasts of Japanese culture and food. It seems fitting to bring Sushi Yonjugo to life. With Japan being geographically close to Hong Kong, the ability to obtain the freshest and most premium ingredients is also of key importance.  

Within the authentically designed nine-seat restaurant on Staunton Street, Mid-Levels, we hope to connect our guests directly with Japan every time they walk through the door. Be prepared for an intimate night with our experienced chefs. We also hope to create an interactive environment not just between staff and guests, but also amongst the guests themselves. They will not only be satisfied with the culinary experience at the end of the night but will be able to bring home new knowledge and stories of Japan. The restaurant’s interior décor, including the centrepiece mural, will also be changing with the seasons, and guests can expect new surprises every time they walk through the door. 

Do you have a milestone career moment? What have been some important lessons you’ve learned along the way? 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is always to be ready to get out of your comfort zone. The world is evolving rapidly and one must adapt quickly to do better than just surviving. Empowering and grooming people to bring out their best is one important factor for the success of any organisation 

Previously, I walked my company out from their traditional distribution-focused model to take a more holistic brand management and distribution path, and successfully brought the company to greater heights. Similarly, for myself, I’m getting out of my comfort zone to achieve better accomplishments for myself and the industry – and I want to take this opportunity to thank the company for giving me the trust and opportunity to do so. 

Looking ahead, what’s next for Infinity Entertainment Group and how do you see it evolving in the next year?  

At Infinity Entertainment Group, we don’t just create outlets – we create concepts. We strive to be the industry’s best while bringing out the best in our talent. Keep your eyes peeled for even more Japanese concept outlets this year. We’re constantly looking for gaps to fill in the market to elevate the F&B scene in Hong Kong and our neighbouring regions when the situation allows. So, watch this space!