Restaurant Development & Design

SEP-OCT 2018

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6 2 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 How To Go Global By Dana Tanyeri T he call comes in. On the other end of the line is a deep-pock- eted businessperson from Dubai — or Istanbul, Mexico City or Shanghai — who experienced your brand on a recent trip to the U.S. and would love to bring it to his or her coun- try. Flattery sets in, excitement mounts and visions of global expansion begin dancing in your head. That's exactly the moment when a trusted colleague or advisor — or your inner common-sense conscience — needs give you a sharp poke to bring you to back to earth. Expanding interna- tionally is a big deal, requiring extraor- dinary commitment and resources. Take it lightly or skip sufficient legwork, and the risk of failure is high. Foreign countries are, after all, foreign. Cultural norms can be very dif- ferent, as can dining habits and dietary preferences. And issues that range from language and systems of measure- ment to legal, regulatory and financial could significantly impact the operat- ing systems and economic models that contribute to your domestic success. Kay Ainsley, managing director of MSA Worldwide, a franchise advisory firm, strongly advises against a random, opportunistic approach to testing inter- national waters. It's a wrong-headed tac- tic domestically, she says, but becomes exponentially so when venturing abroad. Rather, she urges clients to take a step back and do the research to ensure they're going into the right markets with the right partners and that they have the capacity to vet and properly support franchisees in another country. Articulate a Vision, Do the Research Church's Chicken operates more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries (some operating under the Texas Chicken brand) and has system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. The 65-year-old QSR brand has been in some international markets for more than three decades but in the past few years has ramped up efforts to realize its vision of "becoming the global franchisor of choice." To that end, last year the Atlanta- based chain restructured its develop- ment team, separating leadership responsibilities for domestic and international business. Tony Moralejo, named executive vice president of inter- national business and global develop- ment as part of that restructuring, now manages all aspects of international business development for the brands. He suggests that chains considering foreign markets take a very strategic approach, beginning with articulating a vision and answering the question of why they want to expand internationally. "It can't be because of vanity or In countries outside of the Americas, Church's Chicken franchises under its Texas Chicken brand, one of several key moves made to help ensure success in markets such as Indonesia, where more than 60 units have opened and aggressive development continues. Image courtesy of Church's Chicken/Texas Chicken

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