The Path Through Global Markets
Long heralded as Israel’s greatest snack, Hummus has become known far and wide, across the globe as a healthy and savory dish. Famous for its amazing taste and strong health attributes, it can be found in every corner of the earth. Notably, it is most famous in its root countries of Middle-Eastern descent. The Israeli hummus market is as competitive and cut-throat as it gets, in simpler terms, you need to be a business shark!
Israeli QSR (quick-service restaurant) retailer VISH, is exactly that. The most popular Hummus stop in the entire country, with over 63 directly owned locations, operating seven days a week. Known for their consistent delivery of freshly baked Yemenite bread and several different hummus varieties with garnishes including shakshuka and shawarma.
More of a 24-Hour meal replacement, hummus and VISH have risen so much in popularity and demand around the country, the company and its owners decided to license the product to two entrepreneurs who wanted to take a stab at a new and fresh market in the United States.
The two Israeli businessmen saw the licensing of VISH as an ample way to introduce an already proven product and bring it to a market with considerably less expertise and competition.
They sought a franchising agreement, or form of a licensing agreement, in which the franchisor (VISH Corporate) offers the business intellectual properties, the operating system, the brand concept, and the marketing to the franchisee (VISH Miami).
They set their sights on Miami Beach. Surfside, to the VISH franchisees, represented a safe bet and comparable market to their locations in Israel. A strong Jewish population, foot traffic abound on Harding Avenue, proximity to the beach (customers who are more snack prone), and a decent lease opportunity for the two young restaurant investors.
The Franchising allowed them less control over the company than the franchisor, but they were confident with time they would be able to buy out the licensing agreement and become direct investors with a chance to rebrand and start anew.
The job wasn’t done, however, and several key integrated marketing pieces needed adjustment for a different customer in Miami, Florida. The consumer behavior of Americans is entirely different than that of Israelis. Cultural and historical factors also play a part in VISH’s success overseas and the risk it could face in a transition retail environment.
The franchisees set to reformatting and tweaking product features to reflect an American consumer. They had to adjust labeling and branding, as well as all marketing materials and promotional items from Hebrew to English. The very materials used in a build-out in Tel-Aviv highly differentiate from the materials and their prices available in Miami Dade County.
VISH Miami executed on bringing consistency from the holy land and curating a unique yet brand reflective theme in their buildout. They made sure their brand stayed relevant through accentuating modern features, offering high-speed wifi, and iPhone chargers at their high-bar tables.
Not only did the location, their menus, and the staff, look and feel consistent with what VISH Israel would effuse, but the food and the main product experience were just as artisan and enjoyable. The Hummus is incredibly easy to make but very difficult to execute at the caliber VISH provides and the Miami location surely doesn’t disappoint.
VISH Israel hit a particular point in growth that they saw the value in licensing their unique product across the globe. To the luck of two very hardworking entrepreneurs, a franchise agreement was struck, and the work began to transport an experience of such simple nature, yet such distinct cultural value.
To this day, VISH Miami continues to operate out of its Surfside location on Harding Avenue. If you try it you’ll eventually be back for more, it’s that good! More importantly, this brand batted a home-run at tapping into a global market.