Chik-fil-A is a multi-billion fast food restaurant with headquarter in downtown Atlanta. The family-owned business was established in 1946 by Dwarf Grill specialize in fast foods including chicken burgers, kids meals, salads, and sides among others (Chick-fil-A, n.d.). Currently, it is one of the leading fast food joints in the United States and operates beyond the country’s borders. However, operating in foreign countries comes with a lot of challenges that requires partnership with businesses in the host nation. The success abroad depends on several factors including the ability to understand the culture of the host nation. Culture plays a critical role in shaping the potential customer’s perception of the product.
Chik-fil-A needs to form strong alliances with already established fast food joints in Mexico if they hope to succeed in the market. The Mexican market is different from that of the United States thus needs an independent approach. Applying the model used in the US is likely to result in failure to hack through the market. Forming alliances with local food joints help to bridge the existing gaps between the two markets thus helping it to maneuver its way. Besides, it improves the understanding of the Mexican food culture and their preference. The partnership also reduces the cost of contracting sub-standard suppliers for raw materials. Chik-fil-A success in the new market significantly relies on their ability to maintain high standards.
The company needs to form an alliance with three major groups to increase the possibility of succeeding in this new market. These groups include marketers, established fast food restaurant, and suppliers. Mexico has a significant number of fast food joints operating across its cities. These restaurants do not have enough capital to dominate the market or reach all their potential customers. Chik-fil-A can partner with one of them and rides on its brand to conquer the Mexican market. The partnership can take place in various forms including purchasing majority shares in the host company. Holding majority stakes allows Chik-fil-A to implement their business model while still retaining the original brand. However, this approach limits their brand’s visibility in the market. Instead, it promotes the visibility of Partner Company since it retains its originality with changes only in the management structure.
On the other hand, they can opt to purchase a local brand and rebrand it. Mexico has fast food restaurants like Dino, Terminal Juárez, Mr. Kelly’s, and Hot Mamma’s Hot Chicken among others (yelp, 2018). These restaurants already have loyal customers which Chik-fil-A can easily inherit in case they opt form partnership with any of them. In other words, it will not have to start from zero instead relies on its partner’s loyal customers.
Additionally, the organization needs a strong partnership with a marketing agency based in Mexico. Mexicans have a unique culture different from the Americans and might have a lot of reservations towards their products. They need a good marketing agency that understands the dynamics in the Mexican market so as to tailor their brand in an acceptable manner. The agency will also enhance communication between the customers and Chik-fil-A leading to trust.
Finally, the organization needs to forge strong alliances with potential suppliers of raw materials. The company will need chicken, potatoes, and carrots among other items to produce their products. Importing these items from the US is costly and also faces legal barriers. Therefore, they need local companies to supply them with materials throughout the year. An alliance with a reliable supplier is thus mandatory.
In conclusion, Chik-fil-A needs to form an alliance with three categories of organizations operating in Mexico. They need a marketing agency, supplier, and a local brand. An alliance with these groups will increase its chances of succeeding in the Mexican market.
Chick-fil-A. (n.d.). Who are We? Retrieved from Chick-fil-A One: https://www.chick-fil-a.com/About/Who-We-Are
yelp . (2018). The Best 10 Fast Food Restaurants in Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico. Retrieved from Yelp : https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=hotdogs&find_loc=Mexico+City%2C+CDMX