we study the multinationalizationa？"the decision to establish foreign direct investment (fdi)a？"of peruvian restaurants. despite a long exporting tradition, many peruvian firms have only recently become multinational enterprises (mnes). the analysis of eighty-two cases of peruvian restaurants fdi in the americas, europe and asia, reveals several findings. first, it confirms the received view that multilatinas take a long time to become mnes, and they become mnes after changes in the home country that follow structural reform induce them to upgrade their competitiveness to international levels. however, unlike previous studies, we found that peruvian restaurants expand to countries with proximate as well as with distant psychic distance. these findings are at odds with the gradual internationalization model and the eclectic paradigm. second, this study found support for the institutional proposition of internationalization, that is, institutional pro-market reforms benefit domestic firms over foreign mnes, which facilitate domestic firms' multinationalization. peru has seen a significant economic recovery during the last decade, which just recently has created opportunities for the emergence of peruvian multilatinas. third, this study found support for the rbv proposition of multinationalization namely, that unique business level strategies have different multinationalization processes.