Finding success in the Middle East according to Slim Chickens | Global Franchise
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Wednesday 19th January, 2022

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Finding success in the Middle East according to Slim Chickens

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Finding success in the Middle East according to Slim Chickens

While it can appear like a tough nut to crack, this diverse region is worth exploration

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Taking a franchise global can be a daunting task for even the boldest of franchisors. Beyond tricky international business guidelines, audiences and markets abroad can vary vastly from what we’re used to in our home markets.

At Slim Chickens, we have found that honing in on these two factors – finding the right market and audience, as well as having a strong brand – is the key to success when expanding a brand’s presence internationally.

Slim Chickens, for example, has a highly recognizable better-chicken brand that has become a top player within the American fast-casual service industry. Having that established base here and the knowledge of what makes the restaurant appeal to certain markets has made our global expansion successful. Since we began our own global franchising efforts in 2017, our brand has grown to include 16 international locations with 13 new restaurants in the pipeline for 2021.

What to consider when entering the middle east market

The Middle East can appear to be a tough market to break into. With this in mind, there are a few key factors to focus on for brands that may have some trepidation about entering the region.

Though those who aren’t familiar with the market might not realize it, many international franchises already have successful brand presences throughout the Middle East. Food is one of the most popular industries in the area, and both locals and non-natives often have an interest in restaurant franchises that bring their signature flavors from abroad. For some, it’s a taste of home, and for others it’s a chance to try a country’s signature cuisine that they might not otherwise experience.

The market is expansive, as well – some popular restaurant franchises have hundreds of locations scattered throughout the region. It’s crucial to be aware of the varying legalities of franchising in different Middle Eastern countries – the rules and regulations are often entirely different from what we’re used to, so it’s particularly important to do your due diligence. A good first step is to make sure your brand is trademarked in the areas you’re looking to expand.

“A good first step is to make sure your brand is trademarked in the areas you’re looking to expand”

It’s also important to make adaptations to your existing operational materials and guidelines to suit the market. Many international brands look a bit different when it comes to menus and footprints across the world in order to accommodate those specific markets – the Middle East is no exception, and extra care should be taken when trying to channel your demographic for this market.

Overall, don’t shy away from expanding into the Middle East – it’s a vast market filled with opportunity as long as you do your research along the way.

At a Glance Slim Chickens

Year established: 2003
Number of franchised outlets: 150 units open
Location of units: U.S. and U.K.
Investment range: Variable
Minimum required capital: $3m – $12m
Contact: Jackie Lobdell: vice president of franchise development, jackie@slimchickens.com, 630-300-4798 slimchickensfranchise.com

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