EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 31, Monday, June 1, 2021

By William (Bill) Edwards, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

“It’s choice, not chance that determines your destiny.”, Jean Nidetch, compliments of Rafik Farouk on LinkedIn

“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can. Change the world are the ones who do.”, Steve Jobs

“Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.”, Ken Poirot

Highlights in issue #31:

  • Brand News Section:  Hyatt®, IHOP®, KFC®, McDonald’s®, Panera®, Popeyes®, YUM Brands®

First, a few Personal Comments

Just a typical day for a world coming out of COVID-19.

Incentives to get vaccinated and to come back to work, very high consumer product demand, supply chain disruptions, staffing shortages, European stocks end week at record high, record iron ore prices, tin prices hit 10 year high, Italian economic sentiment index up 11 points to 115.8 in May, labor shortages hit German reopening, foreign investment firms cleared to offer wealth management services in China, US air passenger level back to March 2020 level, hybrid office and home working plans announced, US CDC clears cruise ships to resume sailing out of US ports.

Our Mission and Information Sources

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. 

We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ on the ground covers 43 countries and provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries.  Please feel free to send us your input and sources of information. Our contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Interesting Data and Studies

Most companies expected employees to come into the office before the pandemic. Now more accustomed to working via video calls, most C-suite executives expect a hybrid work model to be the norm in the future.”, McKinsey, May 27, 2021

Supply chain worries loom over global economy – Cycles of shortages may lead to speculative binges and then deeper recessions spurred by inventory liquidation. At the moment, people across the globe are experiencing many more idiosyncratic shortages, from oxygen in Indian hospitals to gasoline on the US East Coast to automobile semiconductors pretty much everywhere.”, The Financial Times, May 14, 2021

Global economy will return to pre-pandemic level by 2022, says OECD – The Paris-based organisation said global output would rise 5.8 per cent this year, a significant upgrade from the forecast of 4.2 per cent made in December. Growth of 4.4 per cent the following year would bring most of the world back to pre-pandemic levels of activity, it added. However, the OECD also warned that the recovery would be uneven and living standards in many developed economies will still fall well short of the levels expected before the pandemic.”, The Financial Times, May 31, 2021

What the soaring cost of breakfast may signal for global food price inflation – The prices of raw materials that go into morning staples have surged since the start of the pandemic. Prices for bulk contracts of coffee, milk, sugar, wheat, oats and orange juice have jumped 28 per cent on average from 2019 levels, according to trading on US futures markets, where companies lock in supplies or hedge their exposure to commodities costs. For meat-eaters, adding pork to that list pushes the average price rise to 32 per cent.”, The Financial Times, May 27, 2021

10 Ways to Cash In on the Shortage of Just About Everything – America’s chicken-sandwich war has the combatants scrambling for supplies. Breast prices have doubled this year. Chick-fil-A has run low on sauce. Burger King has had pickle problems—jars, not cucumbers, are hard to come by. An isolated supply squeeze? Anyone who is building or remodeling a home, or buying or renting a car, or stocking up on pool chlorine or dog food, knows better. In the land of plenty, there suddenly seems to be an everything shortage.”, Barron’s, May 28, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

The more a country is vaccinated, the more open business seems to be. Israel, the United Kingdom and USA are largely open. Europe is seeing an encouraging ramp up in vaccinations. Much of the Asia Pacific region have been slow to vaccinate for various reasons. China says it is vaccinating 14 million people a day.

Share of people partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This data is only available for countries which report the breakdown of doses administered by first and second doses.”, Our World in Data, May 30, 2021. (Note: China does not report partly vaccinated people.)

Airlines Encourage Staff to Vaccinate – After being hit by the coronavirus for more than a year, airlines are telling their staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Delta Air Lines has announced that newly-hired staff have to be vaccinated. Earlier, Cathay Pacific Airways encouraged its staff to get vaccinated.”, Airline Geeks, May 18, 2021

Latin America poised to benefit as U.S. raises exports of COVID-19 shots – Latin America is poised to receive millions of U.S.-made COVID-19 shots in the coming weeks as the United States emerges as a top exporter of vaccines against the novel coronavirus.” Reuters, May 20, 2021

Delhi announces ‘very slow’ easing of lockdown – Indian authorities Friday announced a “very very slow” easing of the lockdown in the capital New Delhi as coronavirus infections fall in major cities after weeks of lockdown.”, Asia Times, May 28, 2021

EU Negotiators Reach Deal on COVID-19 Travel Certificates – Negotiators from the European Parliament and European Council reached an agreement to create an EU-wide COVID-19 certificate designed to facilitate travel and revive tourism, Euractiv reported May 20. The pass will allow authorities to determine whether travelers have been vaccinated, recently tested or have antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection, based on records from their home country.”, Stratfor, May 21, 2021

Global and Regional Travel Updates

EU executive urges reopening in summer to vaccinated touristsThe European Commission proposed on Monday that vaccinated people should be exempt from testing or quarantines when travelling from one EU country to another, and urged a gradual easing of travel measures as COVID-19 inoculations accelerate.”, Reuters, May 31, 2021

Dubai targets over 5.5 million overseas tourists this year – Dubai expects to attract over 5.5 million overseas visitors this year, hopeful that new markets can help make up for the loss of visitors from key places where travel is restricted.”, Reuters, May 18, 2021

U.S. Airline Flyers Creep Up Toward 2 Million in Travel Rebound – U.S. airlines carried the most passengers in almost 15 months on Friday, rebounding from the pandemic as travelers took advantage of relaxed restrictions and expanding vaccinations to take off for Memorial Day weekend. The Transportation Security Administration reported that it screened almost 1.96 million people at airports, compared with 1.85 million on Thursday. That’s the most since March 7, 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was in its early stages.”, Bloomberg, May 29, 2021

Americans Can Travel to Spain Starting June 7 – Spain’s borders will reopen to vaccinated travelers, including Americans, from outside the European Union on June 7. Travelers who have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine are allowed to enter Spain, no matter their origin country, Reuters reported Friday.”, Travel and Leisure, May 21, 2021

Mexico eyes easing U.S. border curbs from June 22, depending on COVID – Mexico and the United States are discussing relaxing curbs on non-essential land border crossings from June 22, depending on the spread of COVID-19 and how many people in both countries have been vaccinated, Mexico’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.”, Reuters, May 18, 2021

Hawaii Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate – Visitors can now enjoy Hawaii’s beaches, hiking trails, and majestic outdoor vistas mask-free, regardless of their vaccination status. The state lifted its outdoor mask mandate on Tuesday and has paved the way for its world-famous surfing competitions to restart in June.”, Travel and Leisure, May 26, 2021

Celebrity Cruises Will Be the First (USA) Line to Sail With Ticketed Passengers in June – The cruise line’s Celebrity Edge ship will make its grand re-debut from Ft. Lauderdale on June 26, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines allow ships to either complete a series of test cruises or agree to have 98% of crew and 95% of passengers onboard vaccinated.”, Travel and Leisure, May 27, 2021

Canada Urged to Relax Entry Rules for Fully Vaccinated Travelers – A Canadian advisory body said Justin Trudeau’s government should relax its stringent border rules for vaccinated travelers and drop a requirement that international air passengers quarantine in a hotel when they arrive.”, Bloomberg, May 27, 2021

Qantas offers unlimited flights for a year as incentive to get COVID-19 jab – Company announces plans to offer 10 ‘mega prizes’ of unlimited flights for one year for vaccinated customers.”, Fox Business, May 31, 2021

Delta says domestic travel demand recovered, hits pre-pandemic levels – United and Delta said bookings have recovered better than expected. Delta Air Lines announced that bookings for domestic travel this summer have fully recovered and will even surpass pre-pandemic levels further into the season.”, Fox Business, May 27, 2021

How To Travel To France This Summer, What’s Open And What To Expect – The country is widely believed to be opening on 9 June to international travelers for non-essential travel…..If the country opens on 9 June, it is not a given that it will be open to everyone.”, Forbes, May 26, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


Manufacturing production expands at a faster pace – The output index rises from 52.2 in April to 52.7 in May. The new export orders index drops by 2.1 pts and returns to the contractionary zone, indicating a fall in external demand. The input prices index rises to a 10-year high, suggesting severe cost pressures on manufacturers.”, Fung Business Intelligence, May 31, 2021

China’s Census 2021: 5 Takeaways for Foreign Investors – China’s census 2021 data reveal anticipated trends, such as slowing population growth…..China’s demographic profile is distinct from any other country due to its historically rapid economic development and unique population management strategies. A combination of factors that include population size, education trends, and accumulation of personal wealth make China an unmatched consumption market.”, AmCham China, May 27, 2021

Goldman Forms Wealth Venture With China’s Largest Bank – Goldman Sachs Group Inc. received approval from Chinese regulators to set up a wealth management joint venture in the world’s second-largest economy to go after an asset pool it estimated will surpass $70 trillion by the end of this decade.”, Caixing Global, May 26, 2021


Egypt lifts coronavirus restrictions from June 1 – Egypt will lift restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including easing the early closure of shops and restaurants, from Tuesday, the cabinet said.”, Reuters, May 30,  2021


COVID-weary French cafes, stores impatient for new lockdown easing – From Wednesday, non-essential retail outlets will be able to reopen to customers for the first time in six weeks as France gradually winds down its third national lockdown in little more than a year.”, Reuters, May 18, 2021


Supply bottlenecks could delay German recovery, institute warns – According to the report by the respected German Economic Institute, reported by Handelsblatt newspaper on Wednesday, 40% of industry groups surveyed reported severe short-term supply disruption. A further third were seeing more modest disruption.”, Reuters, May 18, 2021


Ireland’s PM sets out roadmap for easing restrictions – including return of foreign travel – Micheal Martin says the end of the pandemic is “within our grasp”, urging people to ‘remain vigilant against the terrible virus’. The Irish government has set out its plans for re-opening the country over the summer – including the adoption of a COVID-19 certificate so that people can travel abroad more freely.”, Sky News, May 28, 2021


“Covid drags down Japan’s first-quarter growth – Output in Asia’s largest rich economy dropped 1.3%, more than analysts expected. Japan’s economic output fell 1.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, a drop of 5.1 per cent at an annualised rate, as a renewed Covid-19 state of emergency bit into consumer spending., The Financial Times, May 17, 2021

IOC reassures anxious Japan that Olympics will be safe – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reassured an anxious Japan on Wednesday that the Tokyo Olympics would be safe for athletes as well as the host community, amid mounting opposition to the Games and fears it will fuel a spike in COVID-19 cases.”, Reuters, May 18, 2021

United Kingdom

Crowds hit the beach on the hottest day of the year – Britons flocked to parks and beaches across the country on Bank Holiday Monday to enjoy the hottest day of the year.”, The Times of London, May 31, 2021

UK set for stronger post-Covid recovery, says OECD – The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says the UK is likely to grow 7.2% in 2021, up from its March projection of 5.1%. The UK’s growth is set to be the fastest among the large rich countries, the OECD says.”, BBC News, May 31, 2021

United States

U.S. core capital goods orders, shipments increase strongly in April – New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods increased more than expected in April and shipments rose solidly, suggesting strong momentum in business spending on equipment growth persisted early in the second quarter. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders rising 1.0%. Orders shot up 14.7% year-on-year in April.”, Reuters, May 27, 2021

California theme parks cleared to return to full capacity in June – The revised guidance will run from June 15 through Oct. 1 and will be reassessed and updated on Sept. 1 as needed.”, Fox Business, May 23, 2021

Staffing Shortages Pose a Threat to Hotels’ Budding Recovery – Hotels say they are struggling to hire enough housekeepers, kitchen staff and other hourly workers—including those laid off early in the pandemic. Travelers this summer could notice something they may not have seen before: The person who checked them in is the same person who helps clean their room.”, The Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2021


Vietnam to test all 9 million residents in largest city – Vietnam will test all residents of Ho Chi Minh City —  the country’s economic hub and largest city. Vietnam’s government also said on Monday that it would suspend incoming international flights to the capital, Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh City took a similar step for its airport late last week.”, DW, May 31, 2021

Brand News

Hyatt CEO: The pandemic taught us that experimentation is good for business – While some organizations were stopped in their tracks by the onset of the pandemic, those that welcomed experimentation were a step ahead in their ability to manage through it.”,   Fortune, May 30, 2021

IHOP to launch new restaurant, Flip’d by IHOP, after rethinking pilot during pandemic – After pausing the launch because of the coronavirus pandemic, IHOP plans to open its first Flip’d by IHOP location this summer. Flip’d is a fast-casual spinoff of the pancake chain, with a menu formulated to appeal to on-the-go consumers.”, CNBC, May 20, 2021

KFC sees potential to triple in size, predicting “Buckets of Growth” in the long-term – In a Yum brands global investor day, KFC also unveiled driver tracking system technology and augmented reality training. This growth trajectory could yield more than the projected 4% annual unit growth for Yum. According to Yum investor day, 90% of the company’s growth in the last five years has been from overseas markets, with 70% of growth coming from outside of the US and China. Much of the unit growth has also been in emerging markets like India.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, May 25, 2021

Want an iPhone with that? McDonald’s tries to lure staff – In Illinois, a branch of McDonald’s has begun offering a free iPhone to employees who stay for more than six months. Another, in Florida, has offered people $50 to attend an interview. The giveaways come as restaurants dealing with a rush of diners struggle to find the employees to serve them.”, The Times of London, May 25, 2021

Panera Bread’s new café redesign features a double drive-thru and a new brand logo – The next generation Panera Bread store design will feature a double drive-thru with a pickup lane, contactless ordering and dine-in, and a new look on the inside.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, May 20, 2021

Popeyes (US) to Develop its Brand in Saudi Arabia – Popeyes and Gulf First Fast Food Company (“Gulf First”) are excited to announce a plan to develop and grow the Popeyes brand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Gulf First entered into an exclusive Master Franchise and Development Agreement for the territory.”, Compliments of World Franchise Associates, April 28, 2021

’A new era of convenience’: how delivery platforms are doubling down on new verticals, wider coverage to capitalise on projected growth….With consumers still spending on delivery even as in-store dining slowly returns, technology platforms say they are looking to take it a step further by adding new ways and times for both chain and customer to engage within the channel.”, QSR Media Australia, May 10, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Yum! Brands buys Australian tech startup Dragontail – Yum! Brands’ acquisition of Dragontail will take the startup’s emerging technologies in-house in addition to its kitchen order management and delivery software.”, Inside FMCG (Australia), May 27, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Articles & Studies About Doing Business Going Forward

Franchise Businesses Sell At Higher Price Point – When it comes to resale value, franchises beat non-franchise businesses, according to a new study from Palm Beach Atlantic University’s (PBA) Rinker School of Business. After examining 2,159 business resales over a ten year period, the researchers found that franchise businesses sold at a 1.5 times higher price than non-franchise businesses.”,, May 26, 2021

What’s next for consumers, workers, and companies in the post-COVID-19 recovery – COVID-19 changed how we live and work in ways that will alter our behavior long after the pandemic subsides.”, McKinsey, May 18, 2021

Retailers as ‘experience designers – Only if retailers stop thinking like retailers will they truly innovate. So says Brian Solis, a self-described “digital anthropologist and futurist” who joined in March 2020 as its global innovation evangelist. The author of several books including X: The Experience When Business Meets Design (John Wiley & Sons, 2015), Solis recently shared his views on the future of shopping with McKinsey’s Cindy Van Horne.”, McKinsey, Match 31, 2021

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Mid-March 2021 GlobalVue™

William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, is CEO and Global Advisor of Edwards Global Services (EGS). He has 46 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience and has lived in 7 countries. With experience in the franchise, oil and gas, information technology and management consulting sectors, he has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East.  Mr. Edwards advises a wide range of companies on early to long term global development of their brands.

My latest article:  “LEADERSHIP – We Spoke to William (Bill) Edwards of Edwards Global Services on Being an Effective Leader During Turbulent Times.”, Authority magazine, April 22, 2021

For truly global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896.  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to succeed in developing your company around the world.