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Packing A Lot Into an International Trade Mission


Anthony Russo & Joe Hroch

Joe Hroch, left, and Anthony Russo at the San Salvador airport.

Conventional wisdom on the franchise trade missions that Franchise Times sponsors along with the International Franchise Association and the U.S. Commercial Service is that you pack light in order to avoid checking bags.

I learned this—but never practiced it—on my first trade mission to India, when Benjamin Simon of RadioShack arrived at the first stop, but his bags didn’t.  It was an expensive situation to rectify if I remember correctly, because Simon is a sharp dresser. The other golden rule of checking bags is: Wear something that you can meet prospects in the next day on the off-chance your bags don’t arrive.

So I was surprised to see Anthony Russo, founder and president of Russo’s NY Pizzeria, and Joe Hroch, general counsel, hauling two oversized suitcases each. One suitcase contains promotional materials, plus a giant, realistic plastic pizza (imagine the luggage scanners seeing that on their x-ray screen). But, Russo and Hroch like to go off site when they visit a country.

“We’re prepared for anything,” Hroch says, defending his large luggage choice.  Both pack three suits (one for each country), three bathing trunks, golf clothes, work-out clothes, corresponding footwear, not to mention unmentionables, jeans and extra shirts.

I’m not judging, mind you, I’m just glad I’m not the only person waiting at the carousel for my luggage, as the rest of the carry-on packers are ready to go.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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