Consider this: 39% of units for the largest 200 restaurant franchisors in the U.S. are now international and over the past three years, 74% of these franchisor’s collective unit growth came from outside of the U.S. 
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that over 75% of the expected growth in the world’s trade for the next two decades will come from developing countries. More specifically, this growth is expected in countries with large emerging markets, such as India, Mexico, Australia, and China, who house over half of the world’s population but only a quarter of its gross domestic product.  This could mean significant opportunities for franchising, as there has been a growing trend for U.S. brands seeking growth overseas.
Take Pizza Hut for example. This week, the franchise signed a strategic deal and master franchise alliance with Telepizza Group to accelerate their growth throughout Latin America (excluding Brazil), the Caribbean, Spain, Andorra, Portugal, and Switzerland. The goal is to target at least 1,300 new stores over the next 10 years. However, going global is not just limited to the food industry – it is a trend that transcends industries. One of the fastest growing fitness concepts in the United States, Orangetheory Fitness, opened nearly 150 new units in international markets in 2016, targeting growth markets like Japan, Hong Kong, and Germany. Other industries like home healthcare are already seeing success in China, Mexico, and Australia. As the global population aged 65 and older is expected to triple by 2050 and reach 1.53 billion, brands such as Right at home, Comfort Keepers, Brightstar Care, and Home Instead are laser focused on their international growth in the coming years.
It is evident that the globalization of American franchises is a movement that is not going to slow down any time soon. If anything, it will only gain momentum.