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International Adaptations in Franchising


There’s no topping the amazing adaptations cooked up by Mother Nature, but as an ever-growing flock of U.S.-based franchised brands expand overseas, I’m planning a deep-dive into international brand evolution at the upcoming Restaurant Finance & Development Conference at the Bellagio in November.

As part of our annual RFDC event, I’ll be moderating a panel titled “Accelerating International Growth: Adapting Domestic Brands for International Markets” on Wednesday morning of the conference, November 16. My panelists include Kevin Bazner, CEO of A&W Restaurants, Daniel del Olmo, president-international at DineEquity, and Ned Lyerly, president-international at CKE Restaurants.

With some visual aids, the panelists will show actual examples of their restaurants in distant lands, including the impact of taking out the bar for Middle Eastern markets, and how their locations have compensated for cultural differences without changing the face of the brand or diluting its branding.

Other topics will include differences in ROI for foreign franchisees—compared with the standard templates here in the United States—as well as a discussion of the next hot international markets, geopolitical risks on the horizon and the impact of changing currencies on their ongoing international expansion plans.

I’ve previously called RFDC speed dating for the restaurant world, but this panel is one of many examples that our flagship event offers a lot more than networking. I hope you’ll join our group for a look at one of the most fascinating aspects of franchising in today’s global marketplace.

See you in Las Vegas!


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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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