The Brazilian Barbacoa group is going to put into practice a plan for expansion of its barbecue restaurants abroad. The company has 16 units in Brazil and one in Japan, and is preparing a business model to open restaurants in other regions of the world.
According to the partner and director at the company, Ademar Sguissardi do Campo, in three months time the business plan for the foreign market should be ready and Barbacoa may present it to businessmen interested in opening Barbacoa restaurants outside the country.
According to Ademar, in recent years Barbacoa has been contacted by businessmen from other regions like the United States, Europe, Belgium and Russia that showed interest in opening barbecue restaurants abroad. Over the last four years, according to him, the company has received ten enquiries from the Arab countries, mainly from the Emirates.
The group, however, which includes not only barbecue restaurants, but also businesses in other areas of the gastronomy sector in Brazil, was previously involved in other projects and therefore did not open other units abroad.
The barbecue restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, was inaugurated in 1994, soon after the opening of the first unit in Brazil, in 1990. In the Asian country, the restaurant is managed by a local group that already operated in the area.
The barbecue restaurant belongs to the Japanese and Barbacoa provides business administration services. Of the 55 employees that the company has in the Japanese capital, four are Brazilians. They are responsible for maintaining the Barbacoa standard from elaboration of the barbecue to customer servicing.
According to Ademar, it has not yet been defined whether the next operations abroad will be in the same molds as the Japanese. According to him, this will depend on negotiations with interested businessmen.
One of the pre-requirements, however, to become a Barbacoa partner, said the director, will be knowledge of the operation of a restaurant, as the company partners will not be able to move abroad to administer the business. According to Ademar, the contracts received up to now are, mostly, by investors, people who have capital to invest in the business, but do not have experience in the field.
Ademar believes that after defining the partner abroad, it should still take one year for the first barbecue restaurant to start operating. According to the businessman, Barbacoa is interested in taking its brand to the Arab countries, but it would like to start its expansion through Europe, where there are direct routes of transport. A base in Europe, closer than Brazil to the Middle East, would simplify operations in the countries in the region, believes Ademar.
The Arab world, however, is not unknown to Barbacoa. The network is responsible for organizing and preparing the barbecues promoted abroad by the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec) and has already organized them in Egypt and Algeria. During fairs and workshops abroad, Abiec usually offers importers barbecues for meat sampling and also dinners in partnership with Brazilian embassies.
Barbacoa, according to Ademar, was the pioneer in the establishment of a new kind of barbecue restaurant in Brazil. According to the businessman, up to the beginning of the 1990s, all you can eat barbecue restaurants were mainly turned to lower income families and were generally served in unsophisticated restaurants.
Barbacoa, according to him, worked on changing these characteristics and offering carefully maintained restaurants with good service. The restaurant customers are generally from the middle, upper middle and upper classes. The Barbacoa group has seven restaurants under the Barbacoa brand and another ten units under other brands.
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