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Global Gobbling

Restaurant franchises from all around the world could soon be just around the block from you.

This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Imagine sinking your teeth into a juicy hamburger topped with crispy bacon and ripe pineapple slices. Wiping a glob of dressing from your lip, you eye dessert: peach mango pie.

The provider of these tropical treats, Philippines-based franchise Jollibee, has already opened five stores in California. Although Jollibee isn't franchising at the moment, its popularity has attracted interest from several investment firms. Will ethnic foods offered by non-U.S.-based companies like Jollibee become the next big franchise trend? Ron Paul, president of Chicago-based research and consulting firm Technomic Inc., cautions potential franchisees not to get caught up in all the buzz. "The same rules you would tell anybody about a franchise apply here," Paul says. "If you're the first to try something in a new market, it's always risky. The fact that it's proven somewhere else doesn't prove it works [in the United States]."

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