If for some reason you are keen on such things, 2013 has already been a banner year for international chain expansion news.
Since I don't surf or really do beaches, I've not thought much about Costa Rica, but Technomic declares it a hotspot. It's good enough for Cosi, Moe's Southwest Grill and Smashburger.
Poor reading, i.e. skimming, comprehension led me to believe that "McDonald's takes on pizza for Italy growth spurt" meant McDonald's was going to start selling pizza in Italy. No. The only concession to local tastes described in the article is a ham and cheese sandwich.
Despite KFC's presence since 1987 Yum! Brands is losing its luster in China, along with Western fast food generally. Domestic brands like HeheGu featuring delicious-sounding "slow-cooked pork and bamboo shoots over rice" and Taiwanese chains like Dico with less delicious-sounding but highly creative "cumin-flavoured chicken fries and pineapple-chicken-mayonnaise sandwiches" are beginning to catch up with fried chicken and pizza.
Pakistan may not love our politics, but they do love our Fatburger...and Johnny Rockets, Hardee's, Cinnabon and Mrs. Field's. Of course Yum! has been there the longest--since the late '90s--minus Taco Bell as usual.
While KFC and Pizza Hut get all of the attention abroad, in 2010 Yum! did launch Taco Bell in India. It hasn't exactly won coverts so the menu will become 60% localized and vegetarian, an unusual move. Thing is, I thought that's what they were already doing. It seems like just yesterday we were hearing about Mexican paneer potato burritos.
Sure India has a middle class, but for most Domino's has been perceived as a special occasion treat. The company swapped out pricier mozzarella for "liquid cheese sauce" and voila: a 65-cent pizza. What I'd really like to see is an explanation for Taco Indiana Chicken (pictured above) described as "delicious oregano sprinkled crispy crust and a cheesy layer over seasoned minced chicken" on the menu. That's roti not tortillas, right?
I should omit this Washington Post link on principle for allowing "Vietnamese palette" to make it in. Starbucks has infiltrated Asia, but is just now getting around to Vietnam. Trouble is, the country already has an established coffee culture. It might be cool if Starbucks offered those individual metal drip filters and used a shitload of sweetened condensed milk for iced coffee.
Not all extensions are fast food. Brooklyn Brewery is coming to Stockholm and will likely cash in Brooklyn's caché. “Swedes love the taste of our beer, the name of our beer and the mystique of Brooklyn," said the brewery's COO.