Ethnic restaurants primed for international success

Multiple franchisor Comess Group has established a strong reputation in the Spanish market and is replicating this across Europe and, now, the Middle East. The group reports on its endeavours to achieve its primary goal of international market leadership in its many sectors

Comess Group is already a landmark in the Spanish market, where it has established over 200 locations for its Cantina Mariachi, Pasta City, Rock & Ribs and Bazaar franchises. These brands are also expanding into new countries, the key to their success in the development of a very simple operative working philosophy, plus a commitment to cultivating close and personalised relationships with franchisees.

"We've managed to completely change the modus operandi of the franchise business model," states Gonzalo Juliani, Expansion Manager at Comess Group. "In fact, we offer very attractive business concepts and a high brand value, as well as simplicity and cost-effectiveness for the franchisee. Thanks to this, it is possible to achieve two openings per month."

As a pioneer group in the ethnic and thematic cuisine sector, Comess Group has transformed its franchises into important brands with an increasingly solid trajectory and the expectation of more growth. "We are the leaders in the Spanish market," underlines Juliani. "Our next goal is leadership in international markets."

Over 12 years Comess Group has developed a strong project within a constantly growing sector, and is already present in seven countries. "Currently, we are active in Portugal, Italy, the UK, Andorra, Croatia, Austria and Slovenia," discloses Juliani, "and we have just signed two Master Franchise agreements in Turkey and the Arab countries."

Cantina Mariachi, followed by Pasta City, are Comess Group's strongest international brands, while Bazaar - Eastern Mediterranean cuisine - and Rock & Ribs - American BBQ cuisine - are also primed for international success.

With 150 operating establishments and an international presence in Italy, Portugal, the UK and Andorra, Cantina Mariachi has been a leader in the thematic catering sector for 13 years. "The number one Mexican restaurant in Europe," is the message coming from Comess Group, which describes the Cantina Mariachi restaurant experience as "like getting fully immersed in genuine Mexico and its roots". The brand offers its customers traditional Mexican dishes such as enchiladas and nachos, plus a wide range of taquería, grill and local beers.

Founded in 2001, Pasta City lies among the sturdiest business concepts within those focused on the Italian gastronomy. "Pasta City has no close competition and is a very exclusive business, featuring exquisite products from Italy," emphasises Juliani. "Its 33 establishments have been offering a different gastronomic choice for five years, where pasta takes the playing role in every dish. Pasta City offers its 3,000 monthly customers per restaurant an assorted menu with an average cost of 13 euros.

"The decisive aspect in the success of our international partners is our comprehensive approach to franchisee support. This includes a personal advisor, who visits establishments in order to solve any problems or unexpected circumstances that may arise, as well as to fully support the franchisee.

"In fact, the high number of franchisees who have joined Comess Group is concrete proof that the system works very well. Their approval of our concepts is represented by the fact that 30 per cent of our franchisees have more than one establishment belonging to the group, and we intend to keep it this way!"