How to Fast Track International Restaurant Expansion

by Aaron Allen
Restaurant Consultant, Speaker & Industry Analyst
Aaron Allen & Associates

International restaurant expansion has mostly been pursued with the franchise model and with mixed results.

Firstly, QSR chains went abroad.

Later, casual dining operators saw and chased the appeal of international expansion but did so far less effectively due to the model and approach.

Challenges to foodservice franchisors:

  • Wide divide in terms of operator sophistication and wherewithal
  • Massive fluctuations in labor and supply chain considerations
  • Navigating cultural norms, regulatory considerations, geopolitical standards (multiplicity)
  • Try pushing a Prince to maintain development agreements (threats won’t work)
  • Development can’t move faster than qualified franchisees can organize/ raise capital

Opportunities for foodservice franchisors:

  • The bulk of restaurant industry growth will spring from emerging and frontier markets
  • The best margins to be found anywhere are in underdeveloped markets

Today, more than two-thirds of the footprint of multi-national operators is derived from outside their home market.

So, how can you accelerate growth in emerging and frontier markets?

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