Russia may win in terms of sheer land mass, but when it comes to franchising potential, the country’s story gets a little more complicated

Politically, socially, and financially, Russia is often viewed as a literal world apart

from what we’ve come to understand as western culture. This could be due to the fact that Russian culture and news isn’t widely publicized in the West, which extends to the current positioning of its burgeoning franchise industry.

You may be surprised, then, to learn that past its mysterious exterior, the Russian franchise industry isn’t just similar to

what can be found in the West; it arguably borrows many lessons and best practices from the market, too.

A business behemoth

Before we dive deep into what franchisors and entrepreneurs can expect from Russia’s business landscape, it’s important to understand what kind of country we’re dealing with in the first place.

Russia is almost double the size of the U.S., and covers a whopping 17 million square kilometers, making it the largest country in the world. Russia is so large, in fact, that its surface area makes up one-eighth of the earth’s total. Across that vast expanse are around 144.5 million people, situated in several key cities around the country. The capital, Moscow, is home to roughly 12.7 million residents, and is often regarded as one of the main franchise markets within Russia.

To ignore Russia’s other large cities would be a mistake, however, and these include St. Petersburg (with around 5.5 million inhabitants), Novosibirsk (1.66 million), and Nizhniy Novogorod (1.25 million). In total, Russia has 12 cities with over one million inhabitants, and a further 201 smaller cities that contain between 100,000 and one million people. As expected from a country so large, the on-paper opportunity for franchisors in Russia stretches as far as the eye can see – and then some. Russia’s franchise industry was first established in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“You may be in demand and trendy in somewhere like the U.K., but because nobody knows you in Russia, it’s all about providing value”

Despite the past decade seeing considerable instability in the Russian economy, the country’s franchise industry is estimated to be worth around $7.5bn, and consists of roughly 1,450 different franchise brands; with more than 50,000 individual franchisees operating in Russia. 65 per cent of brands within the country are of Russian origin, and of the remaining 35 per cent, nearly half of that figure is comprised of U.S. organizations.

The universal appeal of the golden arches

Many of the franchises currently operating in Russia could be considered relatively young, with 45 per cent having been established in the market for less than five years.

There are of course some notable outliers of this trend; namely, the brand that arguably started it all: McDonald’s. Known as the first major success story for franchising within Russia, McDonald’s was introduced after a partnership between the Moscow city government and the brand, which saw the government take a 49 per cent stake in the Russian entity.

McDonald’s launch in January 1990 was something to behold, and saw more than 30,000 people queuing around the block from 4:30 am to get their first taste of American fast food.

Unlike other U.S. concepts that have come and gone since then, McDonald’s remains a popular investment choice in Russia and has seen exponential growth in the 30 years that it has operated.  Just  this year, in fact, the organization announced that it would open new locations in Russia’s far east in December 2020, in cities such as  Khabarovsk and Vladivostok for the first time. With these openings, McDonald’s hopes to launch its 800th site in Russia; showcasing a true success story of a foreign brand within the country.

But proven success in the U.S., and even a wider international market, doesn’t always guarantee prosperity in Russia. Square burger favorite, Wendy’s, encountered this in 2014 when it announced that it would be closing all eight of its Russian locations. This announcement came only four years after Wendy’s first entered Russia, and at the time, the brand planned to open 180 locations throughout the country.

With the announcement of these closures, a spokesperson for Wendy’s told Bloomberg that its Russian franchisee “has not expressed interest in growing Wendy’s business in Russia, nor have they shown that they have the resources to successfully operate the existing restaurants on a long-term basis.”

Gary Chaglasyan, the World Franchise Associates’ Russian representative, emphasizes the need for caution, and not letting the success stories of brands like McDonald’s cloud strategic thinking: “A brand could be huge in your country, but in Russia, nobody knows about it. You may be in demand and trendy in somewhere like the U.K., but because nobody knows you in Russia, it’s all about providing value. Brands should definitely think about promotions and marketing before entering the Russian market.”

Local success story

So what kind of approach works well in the Russian market? If Wendy’s struggled to gain a foothold half a decade ago, what could the brand have done differently today to instead prosper and develop throughout the region? The answer can be found in a local Russian pizza chain, which has used this past decade to exponentially grow; both within Russia, and in 13 countries around the world.

Franchise World Link Colombia will be present at FranquiShop, the franchise fair of Spanish origin, with a previous appointment format, will land in Colombia for the first time on April 23, 2020, after its success in 2019 in Guatemala and Panama.

With a past experience of 50 editions held in Spain, this fair is presented as a useful means for franchisors to make their brand known to suitable Master Franchisees (buyers of Master franchises) in Colombia.

Candidates / Investors interested in a master franchise, can schedule an appointment of 30 minutes, resulting in scheduling approximately 16 appointments on average by brand with potential investors.

However, the way in which potential master franchisees can obtain information about a franchise is not only through scheduled appointments, since they can pre-book and enter the venue where the fair is held at no cost and meet the exhibiting franchisors.

According to Adriana Rivera, Country Manager for Franchise World Link in Colombia, most people interested in buying a master franchise or a multifranchise in Colombia, try to attend the franchise events or investment events that take place in Colombia and that are usually in the cities of Bogotá, Medellín and Cali.

FRANCHISE WORLD LINK Colombia will be present at the Fair presenting to investors a variety of international master Franchise options through Franchise World Link network, that are wishing to enter Colombia.

This is the case for example, of the iconic Belgian chocolate brand Quetzal “Chocolate Bar”, or the case of the UK food chain German Doner Kebab “GDK” that has more than 250 franchisees in various countries of the world.

750 USD dollars is the value of the investment that will be charged for the companies / brands that attend the fair, while for those interested in buying a master franchise or seeing the available franchise offers, the entry to the fair is free of charge.

For more information, please contact:

Adriana Rivera
Country Manager Colombia
Franchise World Link
Carrera 68C # 96-68.
Bogotá, Colombia.
Tel: + 57 3102722993
Tel: + 34 619 673 153
Skype: adriana_rivera


Franchising in the United Kingdom is quite convenient as compared to different countries. United Kingdom offers a big platform for businessmen and companies to come and grow their organizations in the United Kingdom. Brands like McDonald’s, Dominos, Costa among many other brands and corporations have many franchises in the United Kingdom and the number of brands entering the UK is growing.

UK Economy

Let’s take a look at the economy of United Kingdom. United Kingdom’s economy is the fifth largest economy in the world. Over the past few years the economy of United Kingdom is growing rapidly, Franchise Brands are playing a huge role in the economic growth. Let us not forget the tourism industry which plays a huge role in the economic growth of a country. The United Kingdom is the world’s 6th tourist destination with over 40 million tourists visiting the UK in 2018. All these industries are creating loads of jobs and boosting the economy of the United Kingdom. Another big market is the labor market. The labor market has been one of the strongest elements of the United Kingdom economy in recent years with employment rate at a record high. The employment rate for women and older workers has grown immensely. There is still further room for improvement but their economy is still really strong. GDP is valued at 2.828 trillion dollars as per the results of 2018.

Franchise Market Overview
According to 2013 British Franchise Industry Report, the franchise industry contributed $21.9 billion to the economy. In 2012 there were 930 franchise systems in the United Kingdom with 37,300 franchise units. Franchising operates in nearly all sectors and is highly diversified. The United Kingdom market is mature and sophisticated. To succeed here. To succeed here, a company should offer a concept that is truly unique and different from all the concepts available in the market.

Now that we have discussed the economy and brief history of the economy of the United Kingdom, let’s discuss what kind of opportunities Franchise World Link in the United Kingdom provides for franchising and growth of the businesses. Businesses that are looking to franchise their business in the United Kingdom will find out that the market is robust and friendly to franchise systems in general. There are a number of laws that govern the operations of franchises within the EU, but these laws are broad but generally do not constrain the competitive positions of the businesses. The United Kingdom has no specific laws governing franchising. There are an estimated 48,600 franchises in total in the United Kingdom. This figure shows how big the franchise market is in the United Kingdom. This can turn out to be an advantage for new entrants in the franchise business as there are a lot of opportunities to grow. But we have to keep the fact in mind that entering and succeeding such a huge market is not a piece of cake. Yes, there a lot of opportunities but to take those opportunities at the right time and succeeding is not easy. However, the companies that demonstrate a commitment to the market and perform adequate research into their industry will do well in the United Kingdom. Making the appropriate approach will reap highly rewarding results.

There are two main categories in franchising, one is Retail and the other is Service. When considering the opportunities in the United Kingdom market we have to keep in mind these two categories. Retail or Service. Retail franchises are hallmarked by their need for significant physical trading premises while Service franchises have a limited (if any) need for a physical location. The most common examples of Retail franchises include fast/fast casual food, restaurants, bars/pubs, and hotels. Examples of Service franchises include education, management, employment/training, professional and IT services, and domiciliary care. As they entail physical property with fixtures and fittings, Retail franchises require substantially more investment and thus carry higher risk. Property rents are high, and London property prices can be prohibitively so. Successful routes to market for incoming franchise systems include pilot locations, joint ventures, regional chain takeover, and partnership/colocation with an existing United Kingdom franchise.

United Kingdom lenders will not fund a system that is unproven in the United Kingdom market. To secure funding (typically 50%), lenders will require solid business plans, based on the results of a UK pilot or pilots. It is important to note that the market in London is substantially different from other United Kingdom cities. A pilot’s performance in London may not accurately indicate trends for the entire country. If a Retail franchise intends to trade outside of London, the pilot location(s) selected should reflect this. Service franchises, which have a limited physical property requirement, have a substantially lower cost of initial investment than Retail franchises. As such, Service franchises offer a higher probability of success and more opportunity for franchise systems. When seeking a United Kingdom master licensee, systems with a specific, targetable candidate profile will have a better chance of success. Franchises that have advertised in the United Kingdom national press have also experienced higher rates of success, as they have reached a larger potential candidate audience. Due to the high cost of recruiting unit franchisees, high cost master franchise licenses are likely to fail. The conversion rate for unit inquiries to investment ranges from 1 in 50 to 1 in 200. To support and encourage master franchisees, an emerging trend in the market is to spread the initial franchise fee over several years or as each unit is recruited. High upfront costs will deter investors and will negatively impact a master franchisee’s ability to enter the market and grow the brand.

According to the results of 2018, there are 48,600 franchises working all over the United Kingdom. These franchises are contributing over £17.2 billion and 710,000 jobs to the economy. Below are some of the top franchises in the United Kingdom:

How will Brexit impact the United Kingdom franchise industry?

Brexit has created some uncertainties in the minds of the customer. But the franchisors are confident that they will stop their customers from having second thoughts about their franchises after Brexit.

Another major discussion around Brexit is how it will affect the supply chain of the franchises. They are still not sure what terms will be decided upon around the free movement of goods from Europe to the United Kingdom. It is expected that import duties will be imposed on UK products and if any of their product is sourced from Europe, they will have to pay more. This means if any of the franchises are doing this, they need to find alternatives.

So, to say if Brexit will have a positive impact on franchises or a negative impact is still hard. The evolving situation will answer all our questions regarding the impact of Brexit on Franchises.
Franchise World Link helps franchisors finding country masters franchisees internationally. We connect investors with franchisors, we operates internationally with more than 20 offices, covering a total of 45 countries, with a strong presence in Asia and Africa.

Anwar Uddin MBA
Country Manager UK
Franchise World Link
Unit7a, Radford Cres, Billericay
England, CM12 0DU
Tel: +44 7887852732
Mobile: +44 7887852732

I am a Japanese man, living in Madrid, Spain. This Autumn, I had an opportunity to visit Tokyo. The seasonal flowers were blooming and they were sharing their great aroma with all parts of the nation’s capital. It was great environment to walk under excellent weather. I walked about 15 km everyday and could see the city inside out. The most impressive part I witnessed is that Tokyo became a truly international city; a number of foreign visitors are walking, not only tourist but also people working in Japan. At hotels and stores, receptionists were speaking English very well to serve customers. They used to be in panic when they had to help non-Japanese speaking customers but it is a completely different story now.

In addition to the people, a lot of foreign franchise businesses had been seen in the largest city in the world. Starbucks is having wonderful business there. The stores are packed everywhere. Especially, Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo was an amazing place. This upgraded version of Starbucks exists only in Seattle, New York, Milan, Shanghai and Tokyo. The Tokyo store is the biggest among 5 stores (32,000 square feet) and has 4 floors. They roast coffee bean at the site, distributing great coffee aroma in the 1st floor with the coffee bar. This floor even has a bakery carrying products could go with coffee. 2nd floor is for TEAVANA, Starbucks’ tea brand. The tea bar was very sophisticated. The 3rd floor has a bar so that people can enjoy cocktails! A coffee bean packing machine and patio were at the 4th floor. I had their special filtered coffee and salami sandwiches with focaccia. The sandwiches were one of the best I ever had! Even for a person living in South Europe! No wonder that Starbucks boast over 1,400 stores in Japan. Starbucks used to have a partner in Japan. However, Starbucks HQ purchased their business in 2014 because their business was more than excellent. At that time, the sales were approximately $1,200 million and had approximately 1,000 stores. Other than the American coffee chain, I saw a lot of Taiwanese bubble tea stores such as Goncha, gourmet hamburger restaurants such as Shake Shack and European bakeries such as Paul. Clearly the foreign brands are establishing great names in Japan.

On the other hand, Japanese cultures are booming outside Japan. Especially the foods are being a standard chaice. Ippudo, a ramen restaurant franchise, is creating ramen boom in the world, opening the stores in all over Asia, the US and Europe. Coco Ichibanya is spreading Japanese style curry in the world and they will open even in India shortly. In the world of sweets, Beard Papa’s cream puff stores boast more than 200 stores outside Japan and Bake, a cheese tart store, is also opening the stores in many countries. It is not rare anymore that Japanese stores are having long queues. An interesting point is cream puff and tart are not originally from Japan. They enhanced products with their unique touches, as they did for electronics and cars. Other than foods, in the world of fast fashion, Uniqlo has about 1,400 stores outside Japan. In education, Kumon has more than 4 million students in 55 countries in addition to 1.6 million students in Japan. Needless to mention animations and games.

Japanese economy is 3rd largest in the world and the population is over 126 million. Tokyo, 13 million+ population, is the biggest city in the world. Franchise businesses are very active in Japan; 1,300+ franchise businesses have 260,000+ stores. Japanese service level higher than any other countries. In terms of services, they would improve the franchise systems. If you visit McDonald’s or Starbucks in Japan, you would know what I mean here. You would learn a different point of view through having Japanese franchise business in your country. Expecting Tokyo Olympics in 2020, Japan is international more than ever. It is time to have your brand in Japan and have a Japanese brand in your country.

Interested? Please contact Akira Okura at

Concepts from abroad often make franchise candidates dream about a new franchise concept for their own country. But one must study their chances of success in France.

You want to sell American burgers, Belgian waffles, Spanish tortillas? It’s time to think about it. After the American Steak ‘n Shake (in 2015) and Five Guys (in 2016), the Canadian franchise Copper Branch arrives in France with its fast-food vegan! As for waffles, the Belgian Waffle Factory has set up its first retail shop in France in 2018, such as the Spanish tapas network “Cañas y Tapas”, or the Italian decoration brand “Coincasa”. All recruited franchisees with the firm desire to replicate their success with the new franchisees. But before signing with a foreign concept, as attractive as it is, you have to make sure you ask the right questions. All of the new brands will not know the wonderful successes of the American Mac Do or the Spanish Mango in France.

Is the the franchisor solid enough?

“Personally, I will never accept to be the first franchisee hexagonal if the franchisor seats far, because my royalties will never cover the cost of the of a franchise coach in France”, asserts David Borgel, Country Manager France of Franchise World Link.

Samuel Burner of “L’Observatoire de la Franchise”, confirm the points of this international specialist.

“It’s important to have easily accessible referents.” It may be a French subsidiary, or a master franchise, a company that has bought the right to operate it at home.

“Even if legally, driving from abroad is enough, it is good that the master franchisee has opened his own test retail shop,” says David Borgel. Nor should it embark on an all-out expansion in the hope of fulfilling the objective clause which obliges it to ensure xxx numbers of openings per year or to pay so many royalties to the headquarters.

“He must also have the means to accompany you as foreign franchisor,” adds Charlotte Bellet, a lawyer at BMGB.

In what extent has the concept been locally adapted?

“What is your knowledge of the French market?” These questions are needed during talks with a foreign franchise network.

“The franchisor must know the typology of French cities, tastes, consumption patterns,” explains Samuel Burner. Be careful with sandwiches too fat, ready-to-wear inappropriate to our weather or our morphology…

A real estate network will have to recalculate its rates because the commission of an agency is about 5% in France, against 2 % the UK.

A Mexican brand will have to review its recipes, with fewer spices. No question, “to make neutral, it would be a mistake,” said Samuel Burner, for whom it takes “a differentiating concept” with a subtle mix of foreign markers and adaptations to the Hexagon. Also note the French standards that are very different from other countries: “It would be a shame to end up with goods blocked in customs,” warns Charlotte Bellet.

What about logistics?

The franchisor will have to make sure to recreate a supply circuit in France: “Perishable goods can suffer long journeys,” says Samuel Burner. And for the textile or costume jewelry, no question of waiting for a restocking by liner.

The customer wants novelty. “Make sure there is a buffer stock in France,”
says David Borgel. ”

And in any case, scrutinize the supply contract, especially the conditions in the event of loss or damage,” says Charlotte Bellet “Finally, see if the cost of transport and customs duties will allow you to keep tariffs competitive without taking too much of your margin.”

Are there any crippling clauses?

It sounds crazy, “but we still see plenty of franchise contracts written in English,” sighs Charlotte Bellet. Only commit to a DIP (Disclosure Document) and a translated contract! And make sure you have training and an operative manual in French.

Check also that the mark is well protected in France. “Franchisors are afraid of France, they do not always know the right, deemed more protective for the franchisee,” says the lawyer.

Beware therefore of the clauses which provide that in case of dispute, the foreign law will be applicable and that the competent court will be located in the franchisor’s country.

“To accept it blandly would be delusional: it amounts to signing without mastering the law that will apply, and without knowing the amount of damages that could claim the network, often hundreds of thousands of dollars in the United States.

” Unless you are well advised, or have the means to offer a French lawyer and another foreigner, you would not only have trouble attacking in case of litigation … but you could not even defend yourself!

In order to give more value to some of FWL customers, after a FWL pilot in the Philippines, we are pleased to announce our new partnership with BQB, who is a Customer (Mystery Shopping) and Employee Experience Expert.

When you want to grow a Global Franchise network, Customer and Employee experience is really key to have the same standards in all the Master Franchise countries.

BQB is on a mission to inspire franchisors to thrive and spiral up their profit by bringing more care into their businesses, making game changing decisions in their culture, enhancing their environments, increasing their employees’ engagement and loyal customers, through a more focused CX & EX Culture.

Listed Number 5 in the Top 30 Global Customer Service Gurus, Claire Boscq-Scott from BQB is an environment, people & customer relationships, Speaker, Adviser & trainer; empowering franchisors to make the game-changing decisions assessing, developing, implementing and measure EX & CX strategies through her Caring Service Culture programs.

Claire, is the author of 2 books, Thrive with the Hive and Thriving by Caring. We are all very excited to be working with Claire and offering her services to our International Franchisors, this is very much in line with our mission to always improve our service delivery and those of our Franchisors.

Franchise World Link, with 17 offices in the World and present in more than 40 countries, with a strong focus in Africa and Asia, since 2014, is specialized in helping investors to find international Master Franchise brands.

The day of “Revolution in the World of Retail” was held on the 19th of September in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

It was much more than an awards ceremony.

Two round tables were held, the first focused on “The importance of the Networking for the StartUps” where Christian Marion of French Tech, served as moderator of important players in the entrepreneurial sector with multidisciplinary profiles. Among the participants in this round table were Ricardo Rustarazo from Retail Trade, Marc Gallardo from RSM, Olivier Guerrero from Franchise World Link, Franch Mourge from Lunilo and Damien Jacquinet from Impacteo Digital.

The second table, “The ROI of recognition” was led by Frederic Castro from Digitalents, accompanied by Laura Torrents from Oikos Consultants, Agustí Molias from Smartcex, Xavier Cross from Aecoc, Miguel Capel from RSM and David Ortega from EADA Bussines School, all of You stressed the importance of making the teams participate in the recognitions that any company receives, thus favoring the team feeling and the value of their own talent.

After the round tables the awards were given.

The winners by categories were:







· OPTICAL: General Optics

· LINGERIE: HunkeMöller



· DIY: Leroy Merlin


· TAPAS & BREWERY: 100 Montaditos

· FAST FOOD: McDonald’s

· HAMBURGERS: TGB | The Good Burger


· BIG STORES: Amazon




· SPORTS SHOPS: Decathlon

Original version (in Spanish).

The Best Franchise of the Year!

September 19th, 2018

Do not miss this opportunity, get your ticket to Franchise of the Year awards ceremony in Spain, Barcelona:


One of the most anticipated events on the calendar of all Retailers and StartUps is the awards ceremony; and that of this year, 2018/19, promises to be a day of reflection and innovation, full of intrigue and emotion, but above all of high added value content.

The ceremony promises to be especially attractive, since in addition to the two awards of trophies there will be two round tables in one of the round table Franchise World Link will participate, each one oriented to a different theme and a live vote.

There are several candidates of merit for the Trade of the Year award, WebShop of the Year and Franchise of the Year, voted by consumers, and each of the favorites is about to mark a milestone.

Olivier Guerrero – CEO of Franchise World Link – is invited to participate in Franchise Seminar in Medellin, Colombia on the 25th and 26th of May 2018.

The organizer of the seminar is Expo Business Colombia.

Agenda includes the discussion of current topics in Franchise industry starting with how to obtain a franchise license to how to develop this business model for your own business.

Our specialists will talk about the different areas and show you how to expand your venture to a franchise model at a national and international level. We would like to take into account different areas of business development: legal, financial, marketing, technological, human resources. We will discuss the keys points about ensuring that your business model is profitable, growing and successful.

You can find more information about this event at:

Franchise World Link at The Twelfth International Conference on Digital Society and e-Governments

We are delighted to announce that Amirhossein Roshanzamir the director of Franchise World Link Regional Office in the Middle East has published a new paper titled “ Dilemmas of Branding for Start-ups” at The Twelfth International Conference on Digital Society and e-Governments – ICDS 2018 in Rome, Italy.


Amir discusses the opportunities and challenges which start-ups face in building up their brands in the digital era and suggests a three stages modular and incremental approach to build a start-up’s brand from scratch. The copy of the paper can be downloaded from below link :

At Franchise World Link we believe reputation and brand are the most important financial assets of any franchise business model. We are also keen on working and supporting start-ups, especially in the emerging markets since we consider them to be the engines of growth for addressing local problems through creative technologies and innovative solutions.

We congratulate Amir on publishing this research and looking forward to supporting and helping start-ups in the emerging markets where we are operating.

Please contact us for more information, if you are a start-up who wish to grow or a company who plan to expand globally through franchise or license model.


Franchise World Link participates in the First International Franchise Expo in Casablanca, Morocco

We are pleased to announce that the Franchise World Link, with 16 offices in the World and present in more than 40 countries, specialized in helping investors to find international Franchise brands, will be present at the International Franchise Expo to be held in Casablanca, 13th and 14th of April 2018 at the Hyatt Hotel.

Lamyae Belqadi, Country Manager Morocco based in Casablanca, commented “We are a growing country for Franchise and Morocco is an entry gate for Africa, our CEO Olivier Guerrero will be present in Casablanca during the event”

For more information please contact us: Lamyae Belqadi, Country Manager Morocco, Franchise World Link,, Tel: + 212 619 39 83 79, Fax: + 212 522 98 69 06,