We regularly track developments in the world of international franchising here on the Franchise Direct blog. We’ve talked extensively about how American franchises like KFC are enjoying remarkable success in places like China. We’ve noted how countries like India and Brazil stand ready to enjoy great franchise success in the coming years.
One region of the world that’s one of the most intriguing for American franchises at the moment is the Middle East. The movements for social change that culminated in the Arab Spring of 2011 have touched nearly every country in the region. On one level, these are really exciting developments for international franchises as it means that dictorial regimes are being overthrown over in favour of more Western-looking governments. On the other hand, in the short term, the chaotic situation in the ground makes it difficult for franchises to gain a foothold in the region.
We were delighted to read today in Restaurant News that Focus Brands International has brought the first American restaurant to Libya, the country ruled with an iron-fist by Gaddaffi for decades. The country was in the midst of a very tricky healing process after the popular rebellion against the Libyan government but the dust is clearly clearing now the country’s first Cinnabon-Carvel, owned by brother Brothers Arief and Ahmed Swaidek, has opened its doors.
We’ve heard of the Big Mac index, but perhaps its time for the Cinnabon index. You know when you country has a Cinnabon, it’s reached a point of political stability. We hope the Libyans enjoy their freedom…and their ice cream!