The first steps of a venture are complicated because they are the ones that mark the future of the restaurant, so you have to make the right decisions in order not to have problems in the long run. In that aspect the SWOT analysis can help you
SWOT analysis is an important tool that is used to identify certain aspects such as strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats, which help you make decisions and apply strategies in your business.
Discover how to make your restaurant’s SWOT matrix, how to apply its strategies in your restaurant and achieve success.
What will you find in this article?
What is restaurant SWOT?
As mentioned above, SWOT analysis is the strengths, threats, weaknesses and opportunities that any business has.
This method consists of knowing what internal and external factors will impact the development of your business in various ways.
With this data in hand, you will begin to develop strategies to address threats, minimize weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and make the most of your strengths.
Let’s see, one by one, the elements that are part of a SWOT or DOFA matrix, in both cases, we are talking about the same thing.
A restaurant’s strengths are the positive factors you have within your business.
To identify it easily you could ask yourself, what do I offer and what is the difference between me and the rest?
In this case, they will identify the services you offer, which make you unique and leave you among the first choices of customers.
The variety within the menu, the changes in the menu according to the seasons of the year, offering delivery service, having a parking space, having experienced staff, being located in an accessible area and the prices are some strengths that will make you different from the rest.
In the opportunities section of the SWOT matrix, the external aspects that you can use in your favour to stand out in your sector are represented. These factors should not be controlled by you.
To identify these you can ask yourself questions such as, what is the approaching change in season? What are the current trends and how can I work with them? And analyze the changes that are taking place in the market.
Among the strategies that can help you use your opportunities are: setting up your establishment in a tourist area, having spaces to hold celebrations, having several branches, a children’s play area and offering delivery service.
The weaknesses of a restaurant are the details that damage or do not allow the proper functioning of the establishment. Stabilities are internal, you must have the power to control them.
In this section of your SWOT matrix, it is important to ask yourself what the disadvantages of your business are and what you need to improve in order to move up to the competition.
An establishment with a bad location, being a new business within the gastronomic market, not having the necessary capital, not having the necessary requirements or trained personnel are some examples of the weaknesses that are present.
Threats are those external factors that do not allow the development and operation of your restaurant at 100%. Being external, they are not within our control.
There are hundreds of threats in the restaurant sector. For example, if you open a restaurant on the same street and offer better prices, your customers may prefer that option and stop consuming at your business.
Also, the increased costs of the products you use for cooking can result in losses rather than gains.
SWOT strategies for restaurants
After you have made the SWOT matrix and identified each of the aspects, it is important to make decisions about the strategies that will be used to make improvements in your business and to plan in case a threat to your restaurant appears.
There are four strategies that were created from the SWOT analysis of a restaurant to achieve the expected changes and be a restaurant requested by many.
The defensive strategy is based on exploiting the strengths of the restaurant and preventing threats from affecting the performance of the establishment. Always focus on increasing the number of strengths of the restaurant.
It is one of the most complicated strategies, but one that has been applied by large restaurant chains such as McDonald’s and has worked for them.
Although it has been attacked by the amount of calories contained in each product on the menu, they have hired Michelin starred chefs to design signature burgers to distract attention.
The offensive strategy aims to take advantage of the restaurant’s strengths and opportunities, so that weaknesses disappear or take a back seat.
One of the main techniques to hide the weaknesses and threats the business has is the use of marketing tools to promote the services they offer.
There are well-known restaurants that use celebrity visits to post on their social networks and win visits from people who want to eat at the place their idols visited.
The reorientation strategy aims to take advantage of every opportunity in your restaurant to address the internal weaknesses of your business.
It is not a complicated strategy to implement, but care must be taken so that weaknesses do not get in the way while opportunities are being exploited.
In addition, while applying this strategy you can work internally to improve all weaknesses and eliminate them completely.
The survival strategy is to work to reduce the threats and weaknesses that do not allow the restaurant to grow and be part of the competition.
This strategy represents all the limitations you can have when investing in a restaurant business.