The restaurant industry is highly competitive. There are always new emerging restaurants and it gets increasingly difficult to compete with them. You cannot survive in a competitive market, if you do not know your competition. Gaining a competitive edge requires a detailed analysis of the working and nature of new as well as the existing competitors.
So who exactly is your competition?
As you must’ve guessed, your competitors are the other restaurants in the surrounding area of your business. However, some restaurants will be competing with you more directly than others. For example, if you specialise in Italian cuisine, then other Italian restaurants and pizza places will be competing with you more directly than, say, a Mexican restaurant. Your direct competitors must be watched more closely than your secondary competitors.
How can you understand your competition?
Analyze the competition around the location of your establishment. Any region that you are in will atleast have a few competitors who target the same consumers. Identify the strengths of each competitor. Conduct researches about what makes more consumers visit another restaurant and not yours. Also identify the weaknesses of your competition. Also analyze new competitors immediately. Adjust your strategies accordingly to make sure you don’t lose out loyal customers to the new restaurant.
How do you gain a competitive edge in the market?
Don’t hesitate to adopt successful strategies from your competitors. But also adjust and improve on those strategies to attract a larger market share. Choose a focus for your restaurant that takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Your restaurant should deliver a service that nearby competitors can’t match, such as novel foods, higher quality or faster service. Focus on improving your own strengths and exploiting your competitors’ weaknesses. Put a greater focus on your marketing activities. A lot of times, restaurants put marketing activities aside, not realising how important marketing is to face competition. Even with limited time and resources it is important to make marketing a top priority. Get online, and use social media platforms to attract more and more customers. Effective and efficient service combined with the right marketing strategies can help any restaurant to beat its competition and survive in the market for the long run.
“Poor firms ignore their competitors; average firms copy their competitors; winning firms lead their competitors.” –Philip Kotler