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The modern world is continuously changing, so every day it becomes harder to get or maintain the leading position on the market. The entrepreneurs almost fight for customers and try to improve as much as possible in order to offer better goods and services. Catering and food industry are not an exception. The main objective of this essay is to describe the restaurants organization and to determine its potential areas for improvement.
The helpful instrument in identifying the potential advantages and risks is SWOT analysis. Only if a person or a company has knowledge of that opposition from inside and outside, a group effort can be made in order to plan and act effectively. It will help to face any challenges prepared, and it is a good example where one can use SWOT: Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat. The internal guide will help to identify both positive and negative areas of the institution. The external possibilities of this tool help to see and face the outside impact that comes from the environment. It will all help to make right decisions and prepare a proper strategy (Renault & Schultz, 2013).
For the current analysis, the chain of restaurants Ruby Tuesday was selected. The place was founded in 1972 and for the moment it is a publicly owned company, which operates all throughout the U.S. and over the world. It counts around 40,000 franchises and corporate team members, with almost 800 franchised and company-owned restaurants. The initiative to create such a strong brand started from the idea, which was about making a place that would serve delicious and fresh food. It belongs to Sandy Beall (Our Story, 2013). Since May 1995, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and since July 2004 as a President. His career was so successful that he was even honored to win the nomination of Executive of the Year by Restaurants and Institutions in 1994 (Ruby Tuesday Inc., n.d.). The vision of the first restaurant creation was clear: food and drinks were to be fresh, handcrafted, and full of flavor. It all required a good preparation, and what is important, served by friendly, openhearted and skillful people. The first location of the place was close to the university campus in Tallahassee, which resulted into significant growth up to 900 restaurants around the world, making the Ruby Tuesday on the biggest public foodservice companies, starting from 1982. It started its own separate and independent publicity company in 1996 (Our Story, 2013).
The SWOT analysis will help us to identify the potential outcomes for the company. First, the internal factor will be discussed, which will be done with the help of the brainstorming session.
Because of the huge number of chains all over the USA and worldwide, it will be a long list of strengths. First in the row is reliability. The chain has been working for almost 50 years and it continues to prosper. For the potential customer, this would mean that the place is trusted because of delicious food and great service. Next strength is availability. The first restaurant was opened in 1972, and since then it has only developed more chains and franchised restaurants everywhere. People can just see the place in the street or go to the website and check where the closest restaurant to their area is. Menu is a top-rated one, which is a plus, of course. The restaurant makes specialties and attracts customers with new proposals from time to time (for example, Taste of the Island menu that is available only a limited time). It is a good marketing move, since it keeps interest to new dishes and the place in general. To generalize, I would say innovations of the cuisine and specialties is the strengths of the place. The existence of a bar with a great variety of drinks is another strength, as not all restaurants have one. A possibility to buy a gift card would be also classified as strength. To summarize, I would call it a developed system of benefits for a consumer. The last, but not the least strength that I consider one of the best, and which must be mentioned in this analysis, is the GiveBack Program. It allows a person to see the place from completely another perspective. It is a proof that the management of the chain cares not only about the revenue, but also about the people who suffer, by providing charity to different organizations.
Next important segment of the analysis is Weaknesses. Open hours is an area that can be identified as a weakness, as the restaurants opening hours are from 11 AM. till 10 PM (in some locations till 11 PM). In my opinion, this gives advantage to the competitors. It is because other places might work longer and this may attract potential customers, who prefer to stay after midnight, even if they have just a friendly chat with a tasty dinner.
Opportunities. Based on what I have seen by visiting the official website, I would identify it as an area of improvement. Despite the fact that it is very well developed, it may include more information such as virtual tour, etc. It would be good if some promotions were implemented and shown on the website. Advertisement will always be an area of improvement, as this is one of the best marketing moves. Unfortunately, I have not spotted much of ads of this place in my native city. The further development and opening more chains is an opportunity, as well as creating own suppliers of food. The given practice is one of the best examples in the world: if the enterprise opens and develops its own institutions (farm, which will supply products), it has more credibility and trust from people and society in general.
The first in the list of Threats go competitors. Nowadays it is investable to face them, and the only way to have the leading positions is to be flexible, create innovations and be ready to change with the world. Next in the list of threats goes franchising. The laws in the country may change drastically, and sometimes not very positively for entrepreneurs. A good example of that can be a new regulatory threat to franchising, which California has recently faced (You Are What You Do: The New Regulatory Threat to Franchising, 2013). The threats that come from the government may be numerous, such as taxes, regulatory issues and others, but unfortunately, no one except for politicians may influence them.
Based on the SWOT analysis, I can say that it is good that the list of strengths is much bigger than the number of weaknesses. From an economic point of view, the place has a well-developed strategy already, open to changes and attempts to contribute to society. I would recommend sticking to the existing strategy, but also think about other ways of getting goods, such as buying own farms, etc. Other areas do not seem to have a necessity of development that much.