3 Important Considerations in Adapting Your Restaurant Menu for Global Success
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3 Important Considerations in Adapting Your Restaurant Menu for Global Success

3 Important Considerations in Adapting Your Restaurant Menu for Global Success

If you want to expand your restaurant franchise and reach a global audience, you must adapt your menu accordingly. Updating your menu items when you open locations in other countries is essential for your restaurant’s long-term stability and success. With the right strategy and tools, you will boost your revenue and brand familiarity.

Adapting your international menu to different cultures is crucial. By changing your restaurant menu and remaining sensitive to the needs of customers around the globe, you make a positive statement about your company. When making global menu changes, here are three important considerations for connecting with your new customers.

1) Recognize cultural sensitivities

You want customers to identify with your brand and welcome it into their lives. When adapting your menu for different countries, you must be respectful of cultures and religious beliefs. Some cultures and religions do not eat specific foods, or they don’t eat particular food items during specific times of year. For example, Islamic law considers some foods “halal” (lawful) and others “haram” (forbidden). If you’re opening a franchise restaurant location in a country where Islam is the predominant religion, you must be sure your menu items are certified halal.

As another example, people of the Hindu faith consider cows holy, and most avoid eating beef. Hinduism is the predominant religion in India, so if you’re opening a restaurant location in India, you can respect the Hindu culture by leaving beef products off the menu or at least by offering lots of alternatives.

When you’re researching where to open locations, conduct thorough market research to ensure you’re being respectful of other cultures as you create a new menu. This is essential for including new customers and ensuring they feel welcome at your restaurant.

2) Evaluate profit margins and cost considerations

What’s expensive in one country may be relatively inexpensive in another. Different groups have different standards regarding food, fast food, what they are willing to pay for restaurant food, and how that ties in with their beliefs around money. You may have to adjust the prices of your items when opening locations outside of your home country.

The costs involved in expanding your franchise menu also must be considered, from market research and development to marketing and advertising. Additionally, you may have to source new ingredients, pay more for specific ingredients, or cut menu items that wouldn’t be profitable in certain countries.

You can also examine your competitors and be aware of what they’re selling and how they’re selling it, as well as how their prices compare with yours. If you have similar menu items, but your planned prices are much higher or much lower than theirs, you might be missing out on sales or underselling your products.

3) Retain brand consistency while adapting

You don’t need to completely change your brand identity when creating an international franchise menu. After all, you don’t want your restaurant to be completely unrecognizable from one country to another! Instead, you can adapt your menu while remaining true to what makes your restaurant your restaurant.

To maintain brand consistency, use the power of your logo. Your logo is familiar and recognizable. Just think about the Taco Bell bell, McDonald’s golden arches, or the Arby’s cowboy hat. Using your logo ensures you remain recognizable as you expand. You can also keep some classic signature items on the menu to remain true to what brought your business success in its early days. However, be sure these offerings are culturally appropriate.

When creating international restaurant menu items, be sure the new additions are consistent with your brand. For example, if you run a fast food burger joint in the United States and are looking to open a new location in Canada, you may not want to add out-of-the-box items like intricate pasta dishes that will take a long time to make. A more fitting choice would be something that fits your brand while catering to the tastes of your new audience. Gravy-and cheese-covered fries may make a great menu addition as poutine is a French-Canadian classic.

The message here is to be innovative when adapting your menu while also retaining the hallmarks of your brand.

This article originally appeared on FranConnect’s website and is used here with permission.

FranConnect is a leading franchise management and multi-location management software provider. The FranConnect platform has served as the sales, operations, and marketing backbone for more than 1,500 brands in 18 countries over the past 20 years. Customers, who span all sizes, growth phases, and industries, have been shown to grow 44% faster on average than the broader franchising market. For more information, visit franconnect.com.

Published: March 26th, 2024

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