Have you ever done a SWOT analysis of your restaurant? It is a powerful tool for strategic analysis that has been used in the business world for several decades (its creator was A. Humphrey around 1960 at Stanford University). identification of Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunities (SWOT) that in our case may affect the general objectives of the restaurant.

This instrument will provide us with a perspective that indicates where we should focus our efforts going forward, constituting a simple way to identify important aspects that impact the results of our business.

Basically the SWOT analysis includes four areas, and normally the information is organized in a table like the following:

SWOT table

1-WEAKNESSES in the restaurant's SWOT

We understand by weaknesses: those internal negative factors of our restaurant that create a disadvantage in the market, are therefore aspects that limit the development capacity of the restaurant’s strategy and that ideally we should try to correct as much as possible.


We consider strengths: those internal positive factors of our restaurant such as capabilities and resources that create an advantage for us in the market (and that at the same time will serve to exploit opportunities).

As an example, a series of areas where we can identify strengths and weaknesses in our restaurant could be:

  • Location
  • Service
  • Price
  • Quality
  • Atmosphere
  • Reputation
  • Menu offer
  • Online presence
  • Marketing strategy

In general, when defining our strengths and weaknesses, we will always be comparing our restaurant with our direct competitors. So, if for example we have identified as one of our strengths that we have an experienced maitre d ‘, this would mean that they have more experience than those of our competitors.

3-OPPORTUNITIES in the restaurant's SWOT

An opportunity is an external positive factor that can be used to generate more demand in our restaurant, that is, everything that is likely to constitute a competitive advantage in the external environment. For example, the appearance of new technologies developed to facilitate the day-to-day life of our restaurant, such as an online reservation book (Zeus Manager)

Some questions that can help us identify opportunities would be:

  • Where is there a gap in the market?
  • What demographic is not being given due attention?
  • What food offer is not present in our area?
  • Is there a possible association that could benefit us?
  • What new trends could we incorporate into our offer?


Negative external factor that could generate a decrease in demand in our restaurant. As an example, the following questions can help us to detect them:

  • Are you going to open a new restaurant in our area with the same gastronomic offer that we offer?
  • Can the price of our raw material go up unexpectedly?
  • Is there a change in trend in consumer taste regarding our offer?

At this point, the following questions could also be asked:

  • How can we transform weaknesses into strengths?
  • How can we transform threats into opportunities?
  • What weakness would have the greatest impact if we transformed it into a strength?
  • What threat would be more relevant if we transform it into an opportunity?


It is also possible to carry out “micro dafos”, separating different aspects of our restaurant: warehouse, kitchen, marketing, etc., and see how we can broaden our horizons for improvement in these by carrying out a SWOT analysis.

Finally, let us bear in mind that if we involve our restaurant management team in the SWOT analysis, we will surely obtain very interesting feedback, seeing different possible insights regarding Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunities, which can always enrich our perspective.

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