It's not exactly coals to Newcastle, but a British company is successfully establishing its branded restaurants in the USA - the home of the themed restaurant concept.
Mongolian Barbeque Restaurants, which has eight outlets in London, has just opened its second restaurant in the USA, at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has secured a site for a third in Chicago.
Managing director Matthew Kirby, who runs the US operation through a 50/50 partnership with one of his former restaurant managers, said he expected annual turnover in the USA to reach $7m by the end of 1995.
"It's a small step in redressing the balance of the influx of US-based operations into the UK," Mr Kirby said.
Over here, meanwhile, Mr Kirby is negotiating on a potential site in Covent Garden. This follows the opening earlier this week of a 65-seat outlet in Ealing Broadway.
He is also seeking investors ready to pay an average of £95,000 for a franchise package. There are already two franchises in Battersea and Kensington and Mr Kirby is in discussions with potential franchisees in Cardiff and London.
He is also hoping to sign a "substantial franchise deal" with Whitbread, but emphasised that "nothing concrete" had yet been agreed with the brewing and retail giant.