When restaurants undertake international expansion to meet customers' appetites around the world, working with the right payment partner can be a critical success factor.
Many visitors to the U.S. will have had an outstanding restaurant experience that they simply can't find when they get back home. An amazing burrito eaten in Southern California that doesn't exist in London. Delicious fried chicken tasted in Nashville that's not on the menu in Tokyo.
Smart U.S. restaurant brands (including quick service restaurants, QSRs) know that international audiences would love to enjoy the same great food in their hometowns and cities that's available in the U.S. And they're ready to take advantage of that appetite to scale their business internationally and gain access to important new revenue streams.
Recent market consolidations (such as Jack in the Box and Restaurant Brands International) have created multi-brand franchise groups that go beyond company transformation to provide a platform for international expansion. The brands that invest in the right technology and innovations will benefit most from the global consumer demand that clearly exists.
Global expansion comes with local challenges
Naturally there are challenges to address when restaurants set out to reach new customers around the globe and benefit from the associated revenue streams.
For starters, each country or region will have its own regulations, currency, language and culture. On top of that, the restaurant business will need to manage local acquiring and banking relationships, local forms of alternative payment (alt-pays), and country-specific security mandates—all of which demands significant local knowledge and expertise. In some regions, infrastructure challenges like poor internet speed can pose additional challenges.
5 key considerations for international success
When planning international expansion, here are 5 key things to consider:
- Think about how you will invoice your franchisees across multiple regions and countries. You may, for example, want to aggregate global volume to benefit your smaller regional franchisees; or leverage U.S. volume to benefit your international business.
- When it comes to connecting to acquirers around the world, know that you don't have to integrate separately in each market. Choose Visa Platform Connect for a single integration and a single, easy-to-use reporting tool to seamlessly connect your business across the globe.
- Look at working with a global payments leader like Cybersource that understands the ever-changing regulatory environment, leverages the best local acquiring relationships, and has already integrated with the leading alt-pays and local forms of payment in each country. Need to connect to Elo in Brazil? iDeal in the Netherlands? RuPay in India? We've got you covered with support for international payment acceptance in 200+ countries and territories in 50 currencies—all using a single connection. And that’s just today, as we continuously expand our offering of payment methods.
- Carefully plan the connectivity of your loyalty program across digital and mobile payments and think about how to also connect it to your in-store experience. Cybersource’s unique tokenization platform, connected with network tokens, can provide a unified customer experience along with the most modern data security available in the market. Our Token Management Service can be the key to giving your customers the unified experience they expect. It lets them order how and when they want, while ensuring they receive their rewards in any country where you do business.
- Never underestimate the quality and reliability that consumers associate with familiar brands, especially QSRs.
What to look for in a payments partner
Look for a payment partner that has experience and expertise in supporting restaurant and QSRs in a global setting. Cybersource is working with several of the top 5 global QSRs to optimize their global expansion and loyalty program with a keen eye on fraud prevention.
For more insights, look out for further blogs in the series and download our "Food Experiences" guide .