How to go global with your restaurant in seven simple steps

Expanding too quickly and not doing your homework is a recipe for failure, says outsourcing expert Alan Ridgell. Here's how to do it right

Growing your restaurant to a global level exposes you to increased profits and reputation. However, establishing your business in foreign countries can be an uphill task. There are new things to learn and new challenges to overcome. Nevertheless, with proper research and planning, you raise the odds of the expansion being smooth and successful. Here are seven simple steps to guide you through the process.

  1. Do your due diligence

In order to succeed in any market, it is important to understand the local competition. Look at what other restaurants are doing, the things that are making them rise as well as what is making them fail. In addition, look at other aspects of the market including speaking with potential customers and distributors to dig up more insights about the market. This way, you will have a clear picture of what the consumers want. You will also be able to identify the gaps in the market and tailor your concept to fill these gaps.

  1. Understand the laws and regulations

Every country comes with its own regulations and rules in terms of taxation, legislation, banking, and financing. It is important to understand these rules in the target market from the word go. It would benefit you to work with a lawyer and accountant with experience in the restaurant space. Such experts will help you navigate the regulations and help you set up your restaurant in the right way. You can also take advantage of the available online platforms such as Air Corporate, who offer remote company formation services to help you manage your business online.

  1. Find a local partner

A local partner can take the shape of a mentor who is knowledgeable in the local hospitality industry or a restaurant consultant. Whichever one you choose, you need someone you can trust to work with you in setting up your restaurant in foreign markets. A local partner will guide you in finding the best talents and suppliers. He or she can also help you in looking for the right location to set up your business. In a nutshell, the local partner can hold your hand until your vision is well shaped in the market.

  1. Find the right team

Every business requires people who can look out for the owner’s interests. You need people in your team who can help you actualize your goals. However, they also need to be immersed in the local culture and understand the local languages. It is necessary for your team to speak the language of your target customers.

Finding the right team can be overwhelming in a foreign land. You can consider working with a reliable hiring agent to fill positions for your restaurant.

  1. Make your website global

The online space is very important in today’s business world in terms of marketing. It is crucial that potential customers are able to find you online when they search for the services that you offer. It is more crucial that they are able to browse your website in a language that they understand. In this case, when you are considering how to build a website, ensure that it is multilingual so that it talks to international audiences. Besides this, a multilingual website is essential in helping you create a winning global marketing strategy. To ensure that your multilingual website is professionally done, it is good to work with a professional translation company. It is also good to work with an SEO consultant to ensure that the translation is SEO-friendly.

  1. Localize your restaurant operations

One of the costly mistakes that you can possibly commit when expanding globally is to assume that the successful concept in your home country can work in foreign markets. When designing the concept for your restaurant in foreign markets, keep in mind the local preferences. Everything from décor, service style to cuisines needs to resonate with the locals.

  1. Create the right infrastructure

When you expand, it is important to ensure that you have the right infrastructure in place to get the operations running smoothly. For starters, you need a management team that can help actualize your strategy. You also need to decide on the decision-making process and establish the decisions that can be made from the foreign offices. In addition, establish how employees can share data securely and equip them with the right tools. Having these infrastructures and more in place can help ensure that the operations kick off smoothly.


An expansion failure can result in a significant financial loss. That is why it is important that you do your due diligence and work with a local market to understand the local market. In addition, pay attention to the country’s regulations, hire a local team and have the right infrastructure in place. Building a multilingual website and localizing your operations are also important steps in ensuring a smooth expansion.

Alan Ridgell


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