EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 37, Monday, August 23, 2021

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

Key Trends This Issue

By Mid-October, Emirates Airlines plans to be operating at 90% of the level pre-pandemic.  This issue starts a new section on supply chain. How to sell your products and services in China today. A few rembrances of a business trip to Kabul.

Words of Wisdom from Others

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”, Abraham Maslow

“Let go of what’s gone. Be grateful for what remains. Look forward to what’s coming.” Compliments of Pinterest.

“Your business is the body. Your brand is the soul.”, Ashley Chymiy

Highlights in issue #37:

  • Brand News Section: Checker & Rally’s®, IHOP®, KFC®, Nando’s®, On The Border®, Papa John’s®, Pieology®, Pret a Manger®, Taco Bell®, Tim Horton’s, Wendy’s®

Our Mission and Information Sources

Please note: Article titles are live links depending on non-subscription availability.

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that 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 in 27 countries 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.

First, Remembrances of Kabul

In December 2012, I was asked by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to join other four international franchise executives for a 3 day trip into Afghanistan. The goal of our trip was to assess the potential to bring U.S. franchise businesses to the country to create much needed new infrastructure and many trained new jobs for the young, educated population.

In a Blomberg article after our trip, here is how I characterized what we found: “There’s a need for Western business. There’s a market, there’s consumers, there’s funding, there’s capital. But there’s all the other challenges, of course. Let’s not be too Pollyannaish. This is going to be a challenge, but it’s definitely an opportunity.”

The many young people we met were very impressive. Half of them were women. Almost all had university degrees. All of them were entrepreneurs who wanted to stay in their country to build up their diverse society. The government officials we met from several provinces wanted to find a way to grow their country through structured businesses that offered a proven structure and training.

Over the past few weeks, I have often thought about those young men and women and the potential their country had.

Interesting Data and Studies

Optimism about the global economy has moderated but remains the predominant sentiment among executives, according to the latest McKinsey Global Survey on economic conditions. 1 Seventy-one percent expect improvement in the next six months, down from 81 percent in June, breaking the streak of increasingly positive views that began at the start of 2021”, McKinsey, July 28, 2021

This is what people think about trade and globalization – A recent Ipsos survey has measured support for globalization and trade in 25 countries around the world. A majority think that expanding trade is a good thing, but more also agreed than disagreed that more trade barriers were needed. The survey also showed that support for the benefits of globalization had fallen since 2019., “ World Economic Forum, August 19, 2021

By 2025, the world’s population will reach over 8.1 billion people. Most of that population growth will be concentrated in cities across Africa and Asia. To help paint a detailed picture, this map uses data from the United Nations to rank the top 20 fastest growing cities in the world in terms of average annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025. The majority of the world’s fastest growing cities are located in Africa—in fact, 17 of the 20 are located on the continent, with four of the 20 cities being located in Nigeria specifically.”, United Nations / Visual Capitalist, August 13, 2021

Supply Chain and Blockchain

William Edwards’ comment: The world’s supply chain is moving away from ‘just in time’ shipping and inventory due to the pandemic among numerous innovations. Blockchain has the potential to streamline shipping as we come out of a time of disruption.  

Surging shipping prices and bottlenecks threaten global recovery – The price of sending a container from China to the US west coast jumps tenfold.  The anguish of one UK freight company highlights the pain felt by exporters and importers as soaring shipping costs throw global supply chains into turmoil. As we report today, the price of moving a 40ft container from China to the US west coast has jumped to almost $16,000 — a tenfold increase on pre-pandemic levels and up by half on last month. The rise in costs and bottlenecks at ports — made worse by Covid-based closures of key Chinese facilities — have added to existing problems such as the global semiconductor shortage and rising prices of raw materials.”, The Financial Times, August 16, 2021

What have we learned about supply-chain disaster-preparedness? When covid-19 hit in 2020, many businesses and their globally interconnected supply chains were underprepared. As the crisis exposed the fragility of such complex and interdependent systems, executives wondered how resilience could be improved against further shocks. As part of The Economist Events’ Global Trade Virtual Week, a panel of business leaders gathered in June 2021 to discuss disaster-preparedness in supply chains and what businesses fear could be next.”, The London ‘Economist” and Ernst & Young, June 28, 2021

Real-World Supply Chain Resilience – The COVID-19 crisis has been a wake-up call for supply chain managers. For years, companies have focused on eliminating redundancy in sourcing to reduce fixed costs and promote efficiency. Greater efficiency, however, came at the expense of diminished flexibility and effectiveness—a tradeoff the pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions have made painfully clear. Now, leading companies are seeking to avoid that tradeoff, using innovative capabilities such as risk-focused analytics engines, simulation, and end-to-end transparency to design supply chains that are both cost effective and resilient.”, Boston Consulting Group

Obsolete tech is clogging up global trade. Here’s how to unblock it – Outdated logistics systems are unable to keep up with increased demand for goods in the pandemic recovery. Both trade’s physical infrastructure and software systems are lagging behind. Digital technology can increase freight efficiency in a myriad of ways.”, World Economic Forum, August 9, 2021

An Overview of Blockchain in Supply Chain: What’s the Link? Forward-thinking companies are now investigating blockchain as a technology that could potentially revolutionize supply chain as we know it.  Analysts predict that blockchain technology is capable of improving the contemporary supply chain structure by increasing supply chain trust, efficiency, and transparency.”, Foley & Lardner LLP, August 11, 2021

For supply chain issues related to China, see the China country section below.

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Heathrow records busiest month since before the pandemic as 1.5M travelers pass through airport – A bustling Heathrow is an encouraging sign that the travel recovery is taking shape, but the airport still has a ways to go. Consider this: Heathrow’s July numbers are still down 81 percent from the passenger traffic it experienced in July 2019. The airport is also back to using all four terminals again as Virgin Atlantic and Delta are back in their Terminal 3 space.”, The Points Guy, August 15, 2021

Emirates ramps up flights from Dubai to 29 cities including UK and US – By mid-October, Emirates plans to restore capacity across 29 cities and be flying to more than 120 destinations worldwide. This will mean the airline is operating at nearly 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic network.”, The Nation’s News, August 11, 2021

Qatar’s Hamad Airport Dethrones Singapore’s Changi to Be Named World’s Best, Survey Says. Qatar’s Hamad International Airport has been named the world’s best airport, snatching the crown from Singapore’s Changi Airport, which had held the top spot for eight years, according to the 2021 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport ranked highest among the Chinese mainland’s airports, jumping 16 spots from last year to 14th while also earning the title of the world’s most outstanding in the 35 million-to-45 million passenger category, according to Skytrax.”, Caixing Global, August 11, 2021

Aeroméxico Launches Routes to Europe, South America – Aeroméxico announced its new route between the Monterrey, Mexico and Madrid, which will begin on Dec. 16 with three weekly frequencies…….Aeroméxico will also be launching non-stop flights to Madrid from its secondary hub in Guadalajara, Mexico beginning December 15. Aeromexico will fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets three times weekly from Mexico’s second-largest city to the Spanish capital.”, Airline Geeks, August 19, 2021

British Airways Doubles India Flights Amid Strong Demand – Starting this Monday, BA is flying 20 weekly flights from five cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. The Indian government has offered British carriers 34 weekly flights from India, with the remaining 14 going to Virgin Atlantic.”, Simple Flying, August 19, 2021

U.S. Slashes Inbound Chinese Passenger Flights to 40% Capacity – U.S. aviation authorities have forced four Chinese carriers that fly to the country to slash their passenger capacity by 60%, after Beijing imposed a similar restriction on four United Airlines routes to China.”, Caixing Global, August 19, 2021

Norwegian Cruise Line extends 100% vaccination requirement through year’s end – Norwegian is the only line that has committed to 100% vaccination of both passengers and crew for all sailings from the United States.”, The Points Guy, August 18, 2021

Global Vaccine Update

When Will Your Country Recover from the Pandemic? This chart (below uses) data from the OECD anticipates when countries will economically recover from the global pandemic, based on getting back to pre-pandemic levels of GDP per capita….At the top, China and the U.S. are recovering at breakneck speed. In fact, recovering is the wrong word for China, as they reached pre-pandemic GDP per capita levels just after Q2’2020. On the other end, some countries are looking at years—not months—when it comes to their recovery date. Saudi Arabia isn’t expected to recover until after Q1’2024, and Argentina is estimated to have an even slower recovery, occurring only after Q2’2026.”, OECD / Visual Capitalist, August 17, 2021

32.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 24.4% is fully vaccinated. 4.93 billion doses have been administered globally, and 34.25 million are now administered each day.  Only 1.4% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.”, Our World in Data, August 21, 2021

In Covid-19 Vaccination Push, Latin American Nations Are Catching Up to the U.S. – There is less vaccine hesitancy in the region, which has been hit hard during the pandemic. The progress in Latin America is built on two factors that have gotten little attention: In many countries, people are eager to get vaccinated and largely trust vaccines, more so than in many richer countries, including the U.S. At the same time, vaccine supply problems are being slowly overcome. Far greater numbers of vaccines are now arriving from the U.S., U.K., Russia and China, allowing local health officials to pick up the pace.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2021

Country & Regional Updates


“‘What gets measured gets done’: Domino’s boss backs vaccination targets(Australia)Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij has backed the federal government’s vaccination targets and the path out of lockdowns as the pizza seller’s growth continues to soar off the back of the pandemic. Defying a downbeat retail market caused by continued COVID lockdowns, the pizza chain said its total sales for the 2021 financial year rose 14.6 per cent to $3.7 billion, with earnings jumping 30 per cent to $188 million. The results were largely in line with market expectations as Domino’s is seen as less affected by the pandemic than many of its retail peers, thanks to delivery and online being a core part of its business.”, The Brisbane Times, August 18, 2021. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Founder, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane


Canadian Government To Require All Airline Employees To Be Vaccinated – The government of Canada has announced that significant measures will be enacted from as early as the end of September requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.”. Airline Geeks, August 15, 2021


You can sell in China – 5 ways – Selling in China, It’s an adventure – Ten years ago, just showing up, a company at least had a chance to sell something in China. Now, however, China is far savvier, more competitive, and, in many ways, less predictable. So today, more than ever, selling in China comes with risk – But when chasing the world’s fastest-growing market, you cannot expect something for nothing. Instead, know that the potential benefits of selling in China can outweigh the risks, at least for many companies.”, Chris Wingo, Founder and CEO, China Sage Consultants, LinkedIn, August 11, 2021

China-U.S. Container Shipping Rates Surge – Container shipping rates from China and Southeast Asia to the U.S. exceeded $20,000 per twenty-foot equivalent unit, according to state broadcaster CCTV, citing the global container freight index. The surge in shipping rates was driven by multiple factors including changes in the calculation method, increasing surcharge fees by major global shipping companies such as Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping, and expansion of China-U.S. trade.”, Caixing Global, August 14, 2021

China Port Congestion Worsens at World’s Third-Busiest Container Terminal – The partial closure of the world’s third-busiest container port is worsening congestion at other major Chinese ports, as ships divert away from Ningbo amid uncertainty over how long virus control measures in the city will last. In nearby Shanghai and in Hong Kong, congestion is once again increasing after dropping due to the reopening of Yantian port in Shenzhen, which shut in May for a separate outbreak.”, Caixing Global, August 18, 2021

Why US business expansion is powering ahead in China despite tensions – Major US financial institutions are expanding in China, despite strained US-China relations and Beijing’s tightened control over the economy. And, whatever their differences, both Washington and Beijing seem to welcome the expansion efforts.”. South China Morning Post, August 17, 2021. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto


With the second wave behind them, Indians are back to thinking about international travel – With several countries easing travel restrictions for Indians, people in the country are gearing up to fly. ‘Search inquiries for travel to international destinations have seen an average increase of 45-50% in the first week of August 2021 as compared to the same time last month,’ said Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and group CEO of Gurugram-based ixigo.”, Quartz India, August 19, 2021


Japan – Japan’s economy rebounds in Q2, COVID clouds outlook – The world’s third-largest economy grew an annualised 1.3% in April-June after a revised 3.7% slump in the first quarter, preliminary gross domestic product (GDP) data showed on Monday, beating a median market forecast for a 0.7% gain.”, Reuters, August 15, 2021

South Korea

South Korea to get more Moderna COVID shots in boost to vaccination effortSouth Korea’s health ministry said on Sunday that Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) will supply the country with 7.01 million doses of coronavirus vaccines by the first week of September, following a government request to speed up delivery. As of Saturday midnight, 50.4% of the 52 million population have had at least one dose of vaccine, while just 22.5% have been fully vaccinated, government data showed.”, Reuters, August 22, 2021


With 70% of its population fully vaccinated, this country is starting to ease its COVID restrictions – Singapore today began easing some of its COVID rules, allowing dining in to resume and raising group sizes to five for those who’ve been fully vaccinated. Work from home rules are expected to ease next week. Singapore will also ‘very soon’ be able to offer vaccinations to short-term visa holders who have been living in Singapore, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post.”, Fortune, August 9, 2021

Singapore Based Carriers Mandate Employee Vaccinations – Singapore Airlines, Scoot, & Jetstar Asia singing from the same vaccination songbook. “All Singapore-based Singapore Airlines frontline staff, including pilots and cabin crew, need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by 1 September 2021,” Singapore Airlines spokesperson Karl Schubert told Simple Flying.”, Simple Flying, August 20, 2021

South Africa

South Africans form long queues as COVID-19 jabs opened to all adults – South Africans formed queues hundreds of metres long to get their COVID-19 shots on Friday, after the government made vaccinations available to all adults in order to hasten a rollout beset by challenges and delays. About 8% of South Africa’s population of 60 million is fully vaccinated, and 14% have received one shot.”, Reuters, August 20, 2021

United Kingdom

Businesses will get help from army of trade experts to seize post-Brexit opportunities in new deals – An army of international trade experts is being bolstered to help small businesses seize the post-Brexit opportunities offered by new trade deals. Fifty-four ‘export champions’ from across England will help businesses boom by looking to new markets, Liz Truss (U.K. Secretary of State for International Trade )said. (S)he wants to encourage more British firms to export – with just one in ten currently selling overseas.”, The London Daily Mail, August 16, 2021

(U.K.) Inflation slows to 2% – The figures will be a boost to economists who claim rising inflation this year will be “transitory” and will pass as the impact of the Covid-19 crisis eases. However, it also emphasises how volatile the data could be. The Bank of England has warned that inflation could hit 4 per cent later this year, double its 2 per cent target.”, The Times of London, August 18, 2021

UK employers have strongest hiring plans in over 8 years, survey shows – British employers plan to increase staff numbers by the most in more than eight years over the coming months and few intend to make staff redundant when government furlough support ends next month, a survey showed on Monday.”, Reuters, August 15, 2021

United States

Restaurant sales rebound to pre-pandemic levels in June, with service setting apart top performers – While check growth is high, industry faces declining guest counts, according to Black Box Intelligence. Restaurants posted a fourth consecutive month of same-store sales growth, primarily fueled by unusually high check growth, and are performing much better than they were in 2019. But while sales are solid, the industry’s challenge is declining guest counts. Traffic results for June highlight the significant gap between current performance and full recovery.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, July 26, 2021

“(U.S.) MENU PRICES MAKE THEIR BIGGEST MONTHLY JUMP SINCE 1981 – Quick-service restaurants took the largest price hike of all segments, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Restaurants continue to raise prices at levels not seen in decades as operators face mounting pressures from labor, commodities and more. Restaurant menu prices rose 0.8% on a month-to-month basis in July—the largest monthly increase since February 1981, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.}, Restaurant Business, August 11, 2021

Apple Delays Return to Work Until 2022 Due to Covid Spread – The tech giant was one of the first companies to delay its return to work, telling employees in July they won’t be asked to return until October, initially planning an early September return. Apple has now further pushed back the return, reportedly telling staff in a memo Thursday they won’t be required to return until 2022.  The company doesn’t expect to close offices or retail stores, the report added.”, Barron’s, August 20, 2021

U.S. small business optimism drops as labor shortages persist – Small business owners across the United States grew less confident in the economic recovery in July as labor shortages remained an issue, according to a survey released on Tuesday. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Optimism Index fell 2.8 points to a reading of 99.7 in July, almost erasing all of June’s gain. Six of the 10 index components declined, three improved and one was left unchanged.”, Reuters, August 10, 2021

Brand News

Checkers & Rally’s Attracting Franchisees, Experiencing Growth, and Maximizing Technology – Iconic burger brand Checkers & Rally’s is coming off a banner year and racing through the new one. The drive-thru chain known for its “craveable” food, famous fries, and exceptional value was virtually unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic and, in fact, saw an uptick in business thanks to its drive-thru lanes, walk-up windows, and e-commerce capabilities.”., August 11, 2021

Boozy Brunch at IHOP May Finally Be in Your Future – The chain is testing mimosas and other alcoholic beverages at three locations. The International House of Pancakes recently announced that alcoholic beverages will now be a part of the chain’s menus nationwide. The libations are courtesy of IHOP’s new “Bubbles, Wine & Brews” menu, which is packed with several different types of drinks.”, Food Network, August 12, 2021

KFC U.S. Expects To Achieve Net Growth This Year And It Will Do So With A More Diversified Portfolio Of Restaurants – KFC’s cylinders seem to be in overdrive. Consumers stuck at home have been gravitating toward its family-friendly buckets and heavy drive-thru portfolio, while the brand’s new native digital channels have created a major tailwind. On a two-year basis, versus that “normal” 2019, the chain’s sales increased 11% and 19% in the first and second quarter, respectively.”, Forbes, August 16, 2021

“Nando’s forced to close 50 (U.K.) restaurants due to supply chain disruptions – The maker of peri-peri chicken said that the UK’s supply chain was struggling to cope. The peri-peri chicken maker, which operates some 400 sites around the country, also said it would lend some of its staff to its suppliers to help “get things moving” again after its business was rocked by shortages.”, Sky News, August 17, 2021

On The Border Signs 60-Unit Master Deal for South Korea – On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina has signed a 60-store master franchise agreement with JRW Inc., making the Korea-based franchisee its master franchisor across South Korea. JRW has 12 operating locations in South Korea and is expanding its brand presence with On The Border under a corporate franchise agreement to grow that number to 28 JRW-operated stores, in addition to the upcoming 60 sub-franchised locations.”,, August 22, 2021

Papa John’s To Open 220+ New Restaurants in Latin America, Spain, Portugal, & the U.K. – Papa John’s International has announced an expanded partnership with its largest franchisee, Drake Food Service International (DFSI), to open more than 220 Papa John’s restaurants by 2025. The agreement encompasses more than 170 restaurants across Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, where DFSI already operates more than 280 locations.”,, August 19, 2021

Pieology Enters the U.K. as Fast Casual Dining Returns – Tustin, California-based Pieology Pizzeria has opened its first location in the U.K. and is eyeing further expansion on the region. The new owners are Kim Nagpal and Gavin Sutharmasellan of Camyabco Ltd. ‘Pieology boasts a strong franchising team, a huge fan base, and a creative product for sale,’ said Sutharmasellan, who also cited the positive attractions of the brand’s personalized pizzas, salads, beverages, sides, and sweets.”,, August 2021

Pret a Manger (U.K.) in post-pandemic plan to expand beyond big city centres  – Restaurant to open about 100 outlets and 100 franchises, as branches in regional towns ‘busier than ever’. Pret a Manger is plotting to expand outside London and other big city centres as large numbers of office workers continue to work from home, with plans to open 100 franchised shops, plus about 100 of its own outlets.”, The London Guardian, August 15, 2021

Forget the double drive-thru. Meet the new Taco Bell Defy – With four drive-thru lanes, this new prototype promises to solve the bottleneck problem. Dubbed the Taco Bell Defy — because it will “defy norms and define the future” — the new design set to break ground in Brooklyn Park, Minn., later this month will be a 3,000-square-foot, two story restaurant with four drive-thru lanes. Three of those lanes will be dedicated to mobile or delivery order pickups, the company said.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, August 20, 2021

“Iconic Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons’ China business set for U.S. SPAC debut – Tims China now boasts 200 outlets in ten Chinese cities including Beijing, Hangzhou and Chongqing…….Its backers…..hope to increase store count to 2,750 by 2026, making China the franchise’s largest market outside of Canada. To get there, says Tim Hortons China CEO Lu Yongchen, the chain plans to open a new store every 36 hours.”, Fortune, August 19, 2021

Britain to get a greater taste of Wendy’s – The American fast-food chain, which opened the first of up to 400 burger restaurants in Britain this summer, has announced plans for 700 delivery kitchens across the UK, Canada and the United States by 2025.”, The Times of London, August 12, 2021

Articles & Studies About Doing Business Going Forward

Just 1 in 5 (U.S.) companies plans to work fully in person this fall – The most popular office plan? A mix of options. About a third of the over 700 executives surveyed by PwC reported their companies are planning to have a mixed model that includes in person, fully remote, and a hybrid format with some days in the office and others remote.”, Fortune, August 20, 2021

We accelerate successful global development for our Clients

Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. Our U.S. based executive team has experience living and working in many countries. Our Associate network on the ground overseas covers 40+ countries.  EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence.

Find out more about how we help companies Going Global successfully at:

Download our latest 40 country ranking chart at this link:

July 2021 GlobalVue™ Country Ranking Chart

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:  Digital Transformation: Global development adapts to a virtual world”,, June 13, 2021

For truly global market research, operations and development support across 40 countries, contact Mr. Edwards at or +1 949 224 3896. 

View a brief video on Bill’s background and focus: imparting global wisdom  Click here to schedule a call with Bill Edwards to discuss how to succeed in developing your company around the world.