Jonathan Spiel has tried three times to turn his Tea Lounge in Brooklyn into a thriving chain. Four years ago, he closed his second location after his landlord raised the rent. Another outlet failed because of poor sales, and he abandoned his last attempt when a co-op board imposed tough rules.
With the sluggish economy crimping his cash flow, Spiel has found a new way to expand: franchising. In Kuwait.
Spiel hadnâ€™t planned on doing business in the Gulf emirate. His first-and, so far, only-taker is in Kuwait, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its June 25 issue.
How does a Brooklyn lounge that boasts a bar and is popular with nursing mothers become a winning concept in an Arab country where alcohol is banned and women must be modest?
â€œItâ€™s a tea culture, yet there are no tea places,â€ said Spiel. More.