Bistro Industry SWOT Analysis

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Bistro Industry SWOT Analysis

A comprehensive SWOT analysis report around the high-end bistro restaurant industry in the US is not available. As for the overall restaurant industry, its strength lies in people spending more on restaurant purchases compared to their other retail needs. The weakness of the US restaurant industry includes the oversupply of dining establishments that have similar food offerings. In terms of opportunity, wealthy city dwellers are seen to boost the sales of restaurants with innovative concepts. One of the factors threatening the health of the industry involves the rising cost of dining out due to the factors that can impact menu prices such as labor cost increases.


We started our research by looking for directly available studies or reports that contain an analysis of the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the high-end bistro restaurant industry. We looked for this information in relevant restaurant sources such as the Eater, NRN, Restaurant Business Online, and others; food industry sources such as Food and Wine, Food Business, Food Institute, and related sites; relevant publications such as the Food Network Magazine, Everyday Food, and others; press release sites such as PR News Wire, Globe Wire, and similar sources; business publications such as Forbes, Reuters, Business Insider, and other similar sites; consultancy sites such as Deloitte, PWC, and other relevant sites. Based on this search approach, we were not able to find directly available reports on the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats around the high-end bistro restaurant industry. What we found were several reports that provided some insights, trends, statistics, and other findings that involve the happenings around the overall US restaurant industry.
We then looked for statements or interviews from food professionals in food associations sites such as the American Culinary Federation (ACF), Council of Restaurants, National Restaurant Association (NRA), and other similar groups to determine if there are specialists that stated any relevant observations. We hoped to use their observations to derive the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats surrounding the said industry. However, we were not able to find comprehensive statements, observations, or interviews from these specialists about the SWOT of the high-end bistro industry. What we found are just snippets of data on general restaurant trends and other industry topics.
We then searched for high-end bistros in the US to check if they have commissioned any operations reports from consulting firms such as the TRG Restaurant Consultants, MBB Management, Synergy Restaurant Consultants, and other similar firms. We also combed through the websites of these restaurants consulting firms to determine if they have produced any bistro restaurant analysis. We hoped to find any of these operations observation or analysis in these sites. Based on this strategy, we were not able to obtain any relevant analysis or report findings that are specific to high-end bistro restaurants. What we found are general reports on the typical analysis and recommendations done for the overall restaurant industry.
We have inferred that the reason why the comprehensive SWOT analysis for the high-end bistro industry is not available could be due to the highly specific nature of this information that might need to have more demand and resources to generate.
Given the lack of available information on the full SWOT analysis of the high-end bistro industry, we then inferred some SWOT-related insights on the overall restaurant industry based on the snippets of information we found above using the various search strategies mentioned. The following section contains our derived SWOT analysis from the various reports found. Given the lack of available information for high-end bistros, we extrapolated that the SWOT findings we derived for the total restaurant industry can give some partial picture of the high-end bistro sector as well.

Bistro Industry SWOT Analysis

The following section contains helpful findings on the overall restaurant industry SWOT analysis that might give some glimpse of the state of the high-end bistro industry as well:


In general, the following are the strong points of the restaurant industry that are propelling the growth of the sector:
In the past ten years, people have doubled the growth of their expenses in a restaurant compared to their other retail purchases. In terms of restaurant types, both high-end "fine-dining and fast-casual" establishments are continuously growing.

In these times, dining establishments are still found to be pertinent. Eating out with loved ones is still considered a pleasurable activity. Restaurants are also still the popular venue to hold celebrations of important events.

Independent dining establishments are also seen as the winner over big restaurant chains. This is especially observed in the dining habits of millennials. The industry is also boosted with the easing of government ordinances and taxation laws.


The following are the weaknesses observed for the overall restaurant industry that contribute to the slow down of the sector:
The restaurant industry is now experiencing an overabundance of supply that has similar food offerings. This is especially true in the fast and high-quality restaurant segment that saw an increase of 9% more locations from the previous year. This contributed to the 2% annual drop in restaurant sales. In general, this segment is currently experiencing "cut-throat competition, high churn, and wobbly same-store sales."


The details below outline the opportunities that the restaurant industry can take advantage to grow their business:
Increases in review site ratings such as Yelp can help the restaurants to increase their chances to attain "sell-out evenings" by 50%. People with high income levels and living in cities are expected to drive the sales in restaurants with emerging concepts. These wealthy urban dwellers are hoping to purchase fresher and unique food options in these new restaurants.
More innovative food options are also helping restaurants in getting more sales. New marketing strategies and digital advancements are also enhancing the experience of restaurant patrons. Furthermore, restaurants are continuously improving their menus to fit the evolving palates of their customers. This is expected to increase foot traffic and sales in restaurants.


The following are the perceived threats to the general restaurant business in the US:
Low review ratings in sites such as Yelp can also threaten the existence of restaurants especially in this highly competitive environment. Eating out is also beginning to get more expensive due to factors that can impact menu prices such as labor cost increases. This might then make the customers choose lower cost restaurant options. Furthermore, budgets allotted to dining out are seeing more constrained growth.
Another threat to the growth of the industry is the rising prices of food items being served in restaurants. The amount is seen to increase more quickly as compared to the price of comparable food products that are being sold in grocery stores. This factor also threatens the sales of restaurants as patrons might find it more cost-effective to prepare their food at home. Aside from this, the profitability of restaurants is also in peril as more challenging regulations from the government and city levels are being imposed on them.
Potential diners are also flocking more to non-restaurant food stores to purchase pre-packaged food. These stores include grocery stores, convenience outlets, school stores, food trucks, and community establishments. Statistics show that around a third of prepared food will not be purchased from restaurants.
Another potential threat is the preference for delivery services. This method of ordering food has seen massive growth in recent years due to the increasing presence of food delivery apps such as Caviar, DoorDash, Postmates, and UberEATS. The emergence of food delivery companies is threatening the existence of restaurants who rely on foot traffic for their sales. The number of walk-in diners has been dropping for the past five years. In the previous year, the lowest number of walk-in customers during lunch hours was observed. Furthermore, the slowdown in global economic conditions and the domestic economy can also impact the growth of the industry.

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