LIMA – Peru still has some way to go before it can benefit from the status of “emerging economic power” attributed to its neighbors Brazil and, to a lesser extent, Chile. But he’s started to make an international name for himself in an industry that appeals to the crowds: food.
Peruvian businessmen Arnold Wu and his brother, owners of Pardo’s Chicken, opened their first foreign branch of the restaurant chain in 2002 – in relatively nearby Santiago, Chile. But they went a step further for their second overseas location: Miami, Florida.
There are now 42 Pardo’s Chicken restaurants in Peru, Chile and the United States. The Wu brothers don’t plan on stopping there. They are currently looking for partners in all three countries to continue to grow – and quickly. The short-term plan is to open 25 new branches.
Pardo’s Chicken is by no means the only Peruvian fast food vendor to serve it abroad. Other successful brands include China Wok, which has 44 branches outside Peru; Caravan ; Bembos, the first Peruvian chain to enter the Indian market; and Embarcadero 41.
“Every year, more and more Peruvian restaurants open abroad. The most popular commercial approach is that of franchises, ”explains Juan Carlos Mathews, researcher at the Universidad del Pacífico in Peru.
Of all Peruvian franchises, 23 have opened branches abroad, Mathews says. And of those, 95% are restaurants, which collectively make around $ 90 million a year.
Mathews predicts that by the end of this year the number of Peruvian franchises operating overseas could reach 36, with annual sales of more than $ 115 million.
According to Daniel Manrique, president of the National Chamber of Franchises of Peru, the main destinations for Peruvian restaurants are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. The United States is an “interesting” market, he says, because people really enjoy Peruvian cuisine there. But so far, the number of Peruvian franchises there is relatively low. Pardo’s Chicken, which invites its English-speaking customers to “taste the Peruvian flavor!” is an exception in this regard.
“Exporting franchises to the United States is expensive,” explains Manrique. “It can cost anywhere from $ 25,000 to $ 40,000 per month just to rent a place. And in terms of infrastructure, you need to invest at least $ 1.5 million up front.”
Read the full story in Spanish by María Cristina Pezet
Photo – Naota
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