Going Global: The Tools QSRs Need to Grow Faster and Smarter

4 Critical Success Factors for Successful International QSR Expansion

What if you took the most magical place on earth, and recreated it somewhere else? Sounds like a surefire plan for success, right? That’s what Disney, creators of The Magic Kingdom, thought when they set out to recreate the American Disney experience in Europe.

Instead, they were met with losses as they faced stiff cultural resistance, including employees who opposed Disney’s clean-shaven policy and vacation goers who, unlike their American counterparts, refused to pull children out of school for a Disney trip.

It’s clear from Disney’s experience that successfully bringing an American classic to a global market is a tricky task. Nuanced challenges—including cultural preferences, language barriers, local competition, government regulations, and supply chain management—all shape success in a new market. And these challenges are not specific to market entry.

Even after you’ve established an international footprint, you aren’t immune to future complications affiliated with global operation. Just take KFC for example, who recently had to close several UK locations for a few days due to a delivery partner mishap that left customers without chicken. KFC recovered gracefully, with a clever apology ad that generated positive buzz in the industry.

Still, mature U.S. QSRs continue to make the journey overseas where untapped markets await. While going global can be costly, the potential revenue gains far outshine the complexities. Research indicates that the global QSR market is anticipated to reach $141B in revenue by 2019.

Going global is tough. And while unexpected pitfalls are sure to emerge, success isn’t entirely a matter of chance. By ensuring your QSR operations are equipped with the following, you’ll be poised for international success:

1. Standardized, Normalized Data

Data makes the world go ‘round. You can’t manage your QSRs on a global scale without reliable, real-time data collected and standardized across your locations—no matter the country or continent. And data standardization must not be relegated to one part of your operation. Instead, it should span your entire technology landscape. Using normalized data, you can accurately monitor any number of international locations, identify challenges as they emerge, and leverage data at scale to uncover and address regional variances.

To go global, you need a scalable framework for data-driven decision making. Universal data standardization will unleash the critical insights you need to respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by diverse international environments.

2. Interoperable, Centrally-Managed Solutions

The more restaurant locations, the more flexible and integrated a brand’s technology landscape must be. This need is amplified when locations are distributed across countries and continents—where different languages, currencies, regulations, and suppliers introduce new complexities. Adapting to operational complexities requires that your technology landscape have a central point of management and control that puts you in the driver’s seat.

International tastes vary as well, giving birth to new variations on American menu classics that have been tailored to the preferred flavor profile of each region or nation.

Centrally-managed technologies give you the agility and control needed to adapt menu items to international preferences and easily deploy localized LTOs—a capability that is paramount to driving success across both your domestic and international locations.

To go global, you need interoperable, centrally-managed technologies. Your solutions must interact within and across locations, while simultaneously providing flexibility and control through a centralized, web-based Portal that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time.

3. Experience in Large-Scale Global Rollouts

Global expansion efforts take scalability to a new level. Your international pursuits won’t be achievable without an experienced technology partner that knows what it takes to deploy a large-scale rollout, particularly when it comes to complying with nation-specific regulations.

As you enter each new market, make sure you’re supported by a technology provider that has prior experience operating at scale and internationally and can offer you the practical knowledge that only comes from firsthand experience.

To go global, you need a proven partner that is specialized in serving large, global QSR brands. Such partners understand the global QSR market in a way that segment-agnostic vendors cannot, and provide an edge when operating in the highly competitive global landscape.

4. Around-the-Clock, Multi-Lingual Support

Brand-wide strategic goals cannot be achieved without adequately supporting franchisees operating in foreign markets, who require tools that can quickly and effectively empower them to deliver high-quality experiences to their guests. Equally important to the scalability of technology solutions is the scalability of support—which enables your brand to maximize ROI on its technology investments.

To go global, you need a partner that offers outstanding support to restaurant crew members—no matter where they are located. That means support should be accessible around the clock, through a variety of channels, and in multiple localized languages.

SICOM: A Global Partner for Global Brands

As the only end-to-end technology provider with solutions exclusively dedicated to serving QSR, SICOM assists the world’s largest QSR brands and franchises in powering new efficiencies, winning the hearts of their guests, and accelerating global growth. With QSRs in more than 50 countries running SICOM solutions, we’ll ensure your technology landscape is optimized for worldwide success.



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Jere Richardson
March 21, 2018

As the head of marketing and sales at SICOM, Jere's vibrant vision and deep experience are integral to ensuring the innovations we deliver are in lock-step with the needs of our market and capable of differentiating our customers in today's dynamic food landscape.

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