Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN)  recently published an article entitled, “Hot International Growth Markets for Restaurants.”  Relying on data and insight from the Euromonitor Group,  NRN noted many growth opportunities in Latin America, Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia.  The great majority of the markets mentioned were in emerging market economies which experience high turbulence and little legal transparency.

Big players such as McDonald’s, YUM and Starbucks can thrive in these economies because they can acquire the personal relationships and cash to persevere and establish their businesses.  Many of these countries are not quite ready for franchising but lend themselves well to direct owned stores or joint ventures.

In Asia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand were recommended but Euromonitor was cautious about China and India recognizing the size of these markets but noting the intense level of competition from local concepts.

It goes without saying that China and India are tough markets but that is where the one billion population middle class consumers will be and one can ignore this opportunity at their peril.  If you want a sizable international presence over the next 10-20 years there is really no choice but to tackle both opportunities with caution but resolve!