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Posts made in May, 2013

Check out these Chains

By on May 2, 2013 in Specialty and Unique Gifts

Beyond big name franchises like McDonalds and Burger King, smaller chains who once insisted on remaining local, are seeking to expand their prospects as well. Georgetown Cupcakes, famous for launching the cupcake culture in Washington D.C. in 2008, has since expanded its hour long lines, and sold-out cupcake flavors to Bethesda, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles, with plans to open in Atlanta as well. The owners of In-N-Out Burger, which opened in 1948 in Baldwin Park, CA, could never have imagined the cult following, and hype it would receive simply from providing tasty, high quality burgers. Today, the eatery has expanded its reach to four additional states, for a total of 281 locations. Texas-based Mexican chain Chuy’s is one company that has made moves by starting a business in South Carolina. The chain will keep its menu the same as its other locations, but plans to decorate the restaurant with Mexican, and Greenville, South Carolina inspired pieces. Besides expanding domestically, there are several chains that are increasingly turning to the international market as an alternative means of expansion.  One market that’s especially open to small U.S. franchises is the Middle East. Marked by extreme oil wealth, and a growing desire for U.S. brands, some American franchise owners consider expanding to this new market, especially when attempts to expand domestically prove unsuccessful. Take for example, Jonathan Spiel who, after three failed attempts at expanding his Brooklyn-based Tea Lounge, was able to successfully franchise in Kuwait. U.S. brands often carry a particular status symbol element in Middle Eastern countries and, as a result, thrive among wealthy locals, as well as foreign workers. Traditionally, U.S. chains expand significantly within the states, and then move to Canada—primarily because of its proximity, and lack of cultural and language differences. However, post-financial crisis, some franchise owners are going where the money is, even if that means opening locations half way across the world before expanding domestically. Without a doubt, expanding in such diverse cultures comes with risk—U.S-based owners cannot immediately determine how receptive foreigners will be to a particular flavor or recipe that may be extremely popular in America. Franchising allows local residents to control day-to-day operations of the business, and the ability...

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