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The International Expansion of Ruth's Chris Steak House

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Ruth's Chris Steak House is a chain that originated in New Orleans in 1976. It is regarded as an upscale fine dining restaurant with over 120 locations around the world. Ruth's Chris holds a broad range of customers and the largest share of fine dining steak restaurants in the U.S. Current U.S. markets are oversaturated with similar restaurants, which put strain on potential franchisees. In order to keep growing, it is necessary for Ruth's Chris to expand into the international market.

Ruth's Chris has numerous strengths that will contribute to its international expansion. It is known for its high quality food sources, excellent customer service, and executive styling. It has a strong brand name and high market penetration among competitors. The well established business and highly experienced team are what make Ruth's Chris famous and successful in the fine-dining industry. If Ruth's Chris can keep its current operation model but modify its specific strategies, its strengths can lead it to success in the global market.

Like any other companies, Ruth's Chris has its own weaknesses that need to be overcome. First of all, the prices charged to clients are considered expensive. Thus, the potential international markets are limited only to those areas that are densely populated and have high disposable income. Also, the start-up costs of a new restaurant are fairly high because of the high level requirements Ruth's Chris has set. Furthermore, Ruth's Chris has very strict criteria for franchisee, which makes it hard to find qualified franchisee when operating in another country.

The opportunities it has, however, can offset some of its weaknesses. Globally, there is a lot of room for Ruth's Chris to grow as its presence is relatively low. In addition, Ruth's Chris can expand the menu to fit consumer's different tastes globally. Joint ventures with other restaurants that already hold some market share in the targeted area might be a good choice for Ruth's Chris. Moreover, the rise in quality conscious consumers all over the world provides Ruth's Chris a good starting point to expand its market.

A few high-income, high-level-of-beef-consumption countries such as Australia, UK and Japan can be considered as the future targeted markets. Among these countries, Australia is the most ideal one because it is densely populated in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, it is American brand friendly, and some Australian beef are able to meet the high U.S. standard. The entry strategy into a foreign market should be franchisee-owned because local franchisees have a better understanding of the needs of local consumer. Company-owned restaurants might be explored at a later time when the brand name is mature.

In summary, growing internationally provides Ruth's Chris the ability to continue to lead the fine dining steak



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