Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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FEBRUARY 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 63 chain profile not exotic flavors. There are no ingredients that you have to explain to people," says Andrey Narkevich, the chain's chief operations officer. International Aspirations These flavors serve Teremok well in Russia. Since it opened with a single kiosk in 1998, the chain has grown to roughly 300 restaurants, split evenly between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Among all restaurants, in fact, Teremok trails only KFC in St. Petersburg and KFC, McDonald's and Burger King in Moscow, says Narkevich. With the chain well established in those two cities, a few years ago Teremok's leadership began to explore growth outside of Russia. The move wouldn't be simple for Teremok, however. One issue was the size of the city it could enter. Teremok handles much of its prep work at a commissary kitchen, which distributes meats, soup stock, blini batter and other items to nearby restaurants. This operational model requires a market large enough to support at least 10 to 12 Teremok locations, something few cities near Russia can do. "Even the capitals of nearby countries can accommodate maybe six Teremoks, that's it." Narkevich says. Then, of course, there was the language barrier. Teremok's leadership team speaks English as a second language, so moving to an English-speaking country made the most sense. After considering both the United Kingdom and the United States, it settled on the U.S., specifically New York. The city's size can easily support a full commissary, and Narkevich sees the people of New York as receptive to new cuisines. As a bonus, succeeding in New York would set the stage for future overseas growth. "The best place to test internationally is New York. If we opened in Poland or any other country, it would not prove that we will be successful globally. If we are successful in New York, it will," says Narkevich. Since 2016, then, the chain has opened two locations in Manhattan along with a commissary in Newark, N.J., that serves these restaurants. American Adjustments Making a Russian concept suitable for U.S. diners took some work, starting with the menu. The chain began by renting a small kitchen in Newark, N.J., to test potential suppliers' meats, fish and proteins. After some effort, Teremok was able to identify ingredients that essentially match what it uses in Teremok adopted a fast-casual look for its move into the United States.

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