Since hitting 3,000 gyms worldwide in 2015, Anytime Fitness isn’t slowing its global growth, recently announcing plans for 300-plus locations in China. What’s the game plan? We asked to peek inside their playbook.
The red circle in the center of the white background represents the sun. The flag is called Hinomaru, which means “circle of the sun.”
Citing its country’s growing middle class, master franchisee La Vida aims to capitalize on an American icon’s enduring association with glamour as it expands Marilyn Monroe Spas in India.
The only national flag to display an inscription as its principal design, the green Saudi flag (a traditional color in Islamic flags) puts the Shahada or Muslim creed in large white Arabic script above a white saber.
There’s nothing casual about Gourmania International’s approach to expanding Ruby Tuesday’s presence throughout the Middle East and North Africa, where the Kuwait-based master franchisee says family dining is still ‘a big hit.’
The five-pointed star represents the five elements of the populace—peasants, workers, intellectuals, traders and soldiers—that unite to build socialism. Red symbolizes revolution and blood.
For a brand competing against the likes of McDonald’s and KFC in international expansion, Church’s Chicken knows it can’t contend with their sheer size. Instead, the brand is driven to be both smart and flexible as it’s ramped up its international growth in recent years.
New franchise partner Grupo Iberfood will start by developing the Hooters brand in Spain, where it says competitors are few and the locals ‘love sports, tasty food and beer’—not to mention the servers in orange hotpants.
The coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band is quartered to display the emblems of the traditional kingdoms of Spain (clockwise from upper left: Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Aragon), while the stylized pomegranate at the bottom of the shield represents Granada.
Slightly larger than South Carolina and bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, the UAE is located between Oman and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
Kuwaitis love chicken and sauces, says Alghanim Industries’ Phil Broad, making a partnership with U.S. fast-casual concept Slim Chickens the right move for the Kuwait-based company as it grows its franchise portfolio.
Based on the Arab Revolt flag of WWI, the flag has three horizontal bands of color. Green represents fertile fields, white stands for purity, and red denotes blood on Kuwaiti swords. The black signifies the defeat of the enemy.
Governments in India and Sri Lanka are both trying to be more business-friendly. In India the challenge is that a large, populous country can’t “turn on a dime,” and in Sir Lanka, it’s recovering from civil war and debt. And still, seven U.S. franchisors met interested partners.
Saffron (subdued orange), which represents courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation, is the color of the top horizontal band. White signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility. The blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation.
Business ownership is revered in Taiwan, where entrepreneurs are seeking well-known franchise brands they can develop and where U.S. franchisors can test their concepts before launching in mainland China.
Location: In Southeast Asia, Taiwan borders the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, Taiwan Strait, and the South China Sea just east of mainland China. Size and name: The island is about the size of Maryland and Delaware combined. Officially known as the Republic of China.
Franchise brands are looking to the future in Brazil and Uruguay, two South American markets with plenty of potential but in need of some economic growth and development attention to reach it.
Language: Portuguese (Don’t speak to them in Spanish, and print materials in both English and Portuguese) Religion: 65% Roman Catholic
Sri Lanka doesn’t offer the population numbers its neighbor India does, but its inclusion in the December trade mission points to the fact that it’s ripe for expansion. Nothing is ever a given in international expansion, which is why a boots-on-the-ground approach is so valuable.
The lion represents Sinhalese ethnicity, the strength of the nation and bravery; the sword demonstrates the sovereignty of the nation; the four bo leaves—symbolizing Buddhism and its influence on the country—stand for the four virtues of kindness, friendliness, happiness and equanimity.
John Kanawati, a commercial specialist for the U.S. Consulate General in Sydney, answers questions posed to him by his U.S. colleagues, Jennifer Stone Marshall and Curt Cultice of the U.S. Commercial Service, on Australia’s mature market.
Location: Between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean Neighboring countries (include): Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to the north; and New Zealand to the southeast
We may talk alike, dress similar and act somewhat the same, but when it comes to franchising, Canada and the United States are not identical cousins. And that’s why you’ll need a guide to the great northern expansion.
Location: North America Provinces: 10, plus four territories Capital: Ottawa Population: 35.8 million Urban population: 81.8% (Canada’s geography and harsh climate have tended to isolate the rural areas of the country; however, all that is changing with technology and the lessening need to “be in the office.”
Baseball has been very, very good to the DR. One in eight pro baseball players hails from the Dominican Republic, and every major U.S. team has an academy training local youth in this island country. But getting the locals to play ball with your concept will take some due diligence.
Location: Caribbean; shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The island is located between Cuba and Puerto Rico Size: Twice the size of New Hampshire Population: 10.5 million
Peru has one of the most robust economies in Latin America and a government that’s committed to upgrading infrastructure. And even though the cuisine is a marriage of the best of several regions, there’s still a need for F&B concepts.
Location: Western South America, between Chile and Ecuador and bordering the Pacific Ocean Capital: Lima (pop. 9.9 million) Other major cities: Arequipa (pop. 850,000); Trujillo (798,000)
The red represents the blood of Turkey’s soldiers. The star and crescent design appears on Ottoman flags beginning in the late 18th or early 19th century.
The Middle East is a market that holds ample potential, but is often seen as too foreign a foreign market. In May, a certified trade mission is taking brands to four countries that are building mega-malls at a rapid clip. Sound like someplace your brand needs to be?
Panama has a lot of advantages for franchisors wanting to break into the Latin American market. Business practices are a blend of U.S. and Latin styles—only conducted in Spanish.
Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean
No need to kiss the Blarney Stone to get the gift of gab when heading to Ireland. The Irish don’t like hype, but they do appreciate negotiating with people they know and trust. So take the time to pop into the local pub to enjoy a pint of Guinness or cider with prospects.
Officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is: green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition; orange represents the minority supporters of William of Orange; white symbolizes a lasting truce between the nationalists and the Orange supporters.
Germany’s mature market may not be the easiest franchise opportunity in the world right now. Germans tend to be risk-averse, which limits the number of entrepreneurs who are willing to leave the comfort of a steady paycheck for a new endeavor with a foreign franchise.
Germany has had several different versions of its flag during its tumultuous history. The official colors of the three-equal bands are jet black, traffic red and rapeseed yellow, which is actually gold, not yellow, an important distinction in the German flag lexicon.
The Middle East is a hotbed for franchising right now. Those who want to ease into the territory may want to enter through the UAE. But be aware: It's easy to get seduced by money flowing in the region.
The colors of the UAE flag symbolize Arabian unity. Above is the national flag; however, each of the seven emirates has its own flag, except for Fujairah, which uses the national flag.
The design features a gold sun with 32 rays shaped like grain to represent prosperity, above a soaring golden eagle. The sky-blue background symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity, as well as the endless sky and water. To the left is a national ornamental pattern which represents the horns of a ram.
Kazakhstan was given a bum rap by the movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” in which Sacha Baron Cohen portrayed the country as a backward, barbaric place.
The cross is common to most Scandinavian flags, linking Norway to the other countries. The colors are believed to have been influenced by the flags of France, the U.S. and Britain.
Lisbon could be the San Francisco of Portugal—at least in reference to the hilliness of the city and its beauty. The costal city has an abundance of small stylish cafés, many with outdoor seating, which may be one of the reasons we didn’t see many franchised restaurants in the row after row of buildings. A large busy Starbucks was located in a corner of an historic train station building on one of the bustling squares where shops catered to tourists. It was one of the few American brands spotted there.
Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Most tourist spots are on the Pacific side.
Since Costa Rica is first up on the Franchise Times, IFA and U.S. Commercial Service’s trade mission to Central America in September, here’s a preview. To find out more: http://www.franchise.org/CentralAmerica2015.
New Zealanders aren’t afraid to say ‘no’ during negotiations. Their style is closer to the British reserve than their neighbors in Australia. And don’t use the ‘V is for victory’ sign when you succeed, as it’s considered rude.
The best way to enter into an agreement in Japan is to think small and be patient. “American franchisors always seek the largest development agreements,” says Roy Fujita of I Fujita International, a consultant who works with both Japanese brands coming to the U.S. and U.S. brands going to Japan. His advice: “Don’t push too much in the beginning. Let it (your concept) prove itself.”
English is a mandatory subject in Japanese grade schools, but don’t expect to do business without an interpreter since many Japanese can understand some slowly spoken English, but are not used to speaking it.
1.2 billion people and an emerging middle class are just two good reasons for franchisors to take a second look at India. In December, a second franchise trade mission visited Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.
Belgium’s central location in the wealthy region of Europe makes it a natural as an entryway into the region. It’s also viewed as a test market because it contains separate socio-demographic groups.