The company was founded in 2014 by John Christ and Karl Shilhanek, with Flagstaff Street as its operating location. It is important to note that the business had potential, adolescents were successfully grilling food on the street corner and at various festivals and ranches. In 2015, Karl was not participating in the business and relocated, as a result, John became the sole owner of the business. In order to meet customer demand, John hired temporary workers who brought their expertise and aided in the company’s growth. By 2016, the firm was already bringing in $129,000 in profits (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). The entrepreneur has chosen two strategic areas to grow the company. Accordingly, the potential clients are students who wanted delicious food for a fair price. At the same time, another customer is public events who need quality and not expensive food.
Information about the Industry
By 2015, Wil’s Grill served nearly 50 events, and it also catered to Flagstaff, Prescott, and Sedona to the south, Williams to the west, and most of Northern Arizona (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). The foodservice industry was full of competitors; the big one’s worth mentioning, Big Foot BBQ and Satchmo’s, were seen as barbecue restaurants. In order to have clients in this area, Wil’s Grill launched specialties such as cured meats and barbecue. A feature that set the company apart was that John used organic products. Meanwhile, there were changes in the industry that encouraged business owners to use “clean products” for their cooking; thus, most restaurants started to follow the same methods that John did (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). Consequently, competition in the industry increased, and decisions had to be made to maintain a position in the market.
The corporate motto is that the grill should be traveling. In this way, John wants to develop the concept of a transportable restaurant under the Wil’s Grill brand. The mission of the company has become a fine reputation, the sincerity of the employees and the quality of the meals (Hostetter & Paden, 2017).
At this stage, Wil’s Grill’s primary objective is to create a well-functioning chain, from a profitable supply of food to quality service and hospitality. In addition, John’s goal is to expand the business and be able to serve multiple events simultaneously (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). Correspondingly, the key challenge is to find or attract more financing for the business.
Analysis of Information
Company Competitive Strategies
The main competitive strategies are the low price compared to large rivals in the industry. It is also possible to change trading locations due to the fact that the grill can be relocated (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). At the same time, competitive strategies include the reputations of a company that has immediately used “clean products” to prepare the cured meats and barbecues that have already become specialties.
Analysis of External Environment and Internal Resources
Although Wil’s Grill utilizes higher-quality and cleaner products, they still have not gained paramount value in the marketplace. Indeed, it is precious when a business focuses on healthy and organic food, but competitors are increasingly imitating such an advantage. Meanwhile, the portability of Wil’s Grill can be considered an advantage. That is, if the weather is not favorable or there are few visitors at a particular location, John’s can move to another without the high cost. Other valuable strengths are the company’s website and mobile app, where the menu can be viewed (Bocken et al., 2020). In this way, it promotes better service to customers, which is a rarity for a street-level business. These are two attractive areas that he should continue to show the public. In the future, John should consider differentiating himself from his competitors and continue to improve Wil’s Grill reputation. John also has a time benefit when it involves his versatility and a successful start in the food industry.
Figure 1: SWOT
|Opportunities:||The increasing demand to eat “clean food”. |
According to studies, individuals are generally ready to spend $1 to $6 per person for a clean dish.
Higher margins of about 40% at event catering events.
Prospects for catering.
|Threats:||Increased number of entrants in the healthier food section. |
The industry has large competitors.
Changing preferences and trends of customers.
|Weaknesses:||No regular office spaces. |
No standard pricing.
No available funds for new facilities.
Still a new actor on the market.
|Strengths:||Following the current trend of healthy food consumers offering clean food. |
Web presence through website, app, and social networks
Street food events have attracted the attention of clients
More focus on healthy food rather than appearance and quantity.
Good feedback from local writers and food
Business with zero debt.
Many types of food.
It is worth noting that the level of competition in street food is extremely intense. This is because many businesses are interchangeable and offer a similar set of prepared meals. Wil’s Grill clients can buy food from restaurants, fast-food chains, and other street vendors. In fact, John’s main rivals Big Foot BBQ, Satchmo’s, Mainstreet Catering, and Thorneger’s Catering already have more than twenty years of operation in the market (Johnson, & Sohi, 2017). Thus, the presence of such giants in the area creates a significant inconvenience to the growth of the street vendor business. Despite this, new street food dealers are bankrupt every day because of the weather and the absence of customers. However, the idea of catering is more promising now because such an obstacle as the weather does not affect the conduct of this business. Accordingly, the greater predictability of profitability has encouraged many entrepreneurs to enter this business market (Machulska, 2017). However, the development of this concept requires a significant initial investment, such as staff salaries, technology, and equipment.
Figure 2: Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
|Competitive rivalry:||High for both catering and street food. |
Food trucks are emerging onto the market.
Big Foot BBQ, Satchmo’s, Mainstreet Catering, Thorneger’s Catering.
Local Catering Market is well established (20 years).
|Supplier power:||Low. |
Customers in both street food and catering are cost sensitive.
Number of Suppliers/ Replacements are high.
Other caterers and street traders.
|Buyer power:||High. |
Substitute foods are readily available to customers.
Low cost of changing from one type of business to another.
Custom standardized foods.
Company sales are dependent on customers buying directly.
|Threat of substitution:||High. |
Barbeque and smoked meats.
Many businesses in both street food and catering.
Diner, fast food chains.
Quality and productivity not higher.
|Threat of entry||Moderate. |
Attractive sector: low entry barriers.
No substantial initial capital investment is required.
Non-differentiated products and services (street and catering).
Location may make a difference depending on the weather (street food).
Catering has several established brands with existing clients.
Analysis of Financial Data
Liquidity ratios = 5,166 / – =5,166. The liquidity analysis in 2019 shows that the company has no debt and its liquidity is solvent. Profitability ratios = 123,853/ 76,557 X 100 =168, 30. In this way, the company effectively uses the assets and makes a profit. Operating ratio = 347, 341/76,557=6, 16. 0, 616 X 100= 61, 6%. The operating ratio indicates a company’s ability to maintain low costs and generate profits or sales. Solvency ratio = (51,511+ 13,217) / (42,181+ 3,698) =64, 728/45,879= 1, 4= 14%. That is, the company has enough assets to cover possible future expenses.
According to John’s calculations, the revenue of the business is between eighteen and twenty-five percent, which guarantees the successful functioning of the company. At the same time, the pointer between 2014 and 2016 reached one hundred and twenty-nine thousand dollars. On the positive side, the business was able to serve forty events in 2016, generating an income of about eighty-seven dollars (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). Therefore, the business has strengthened considerably in recent years and requires expansion.
It is also significant to note that John has been paying the bills and maintaining the accounting on its own all these years without any additional funds. The first few years of a startup are rarely profitable, but the entrepreneur is on the right path. However, John’s numbers indicate that revenue grows if the startup is active in both segments. Furthermore, entering both components, income tends to increase in the future. (Alfiero et al., 2017). Nevertheless, considering the proportional costs in the separate years, an entry into the catering segment, even with proportional costs, appears to be viable to cover expenses.
The firm owner realizes that he has succeeded in the street food trade. In order to gain more popularity and profit, he needs to determine various strategies and make critical business decisions (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). The only point John is sure of is that the quality of his services is not diminished, but the question arises as to how to gain more revenue and become more significant in the sector.
Identification of Available Strategic Alternatives
There are now three possible alternatives to the continued functioning of the company. The first of these is to change nothing; accordingly, no modifications are required at the level of the organization or the level of the divisions of the business are necessary. In this way, the company will not receive new risks. John will continue to perform the functions of grocery delivery and accounting. He will be assisted in preparing the street food by non-permanent workers. However, the firm will not make progress and will not be capable to achieve significant profits in the long run (Oviedo et al., 2020). Competitors in the industry may expand quickly, leading even to Wil’s Grill’s deterioration in the marketplace.
The second alternative concerns only the expansion of the street food business. Therefore, the benefit to the company would be the absence of major loans and not a high level of risk. This will enable the company to hire qualified workers and expand to more streets. The negative side of this strategy is non-participation in the catering sector, which may reduce the company’s ability to compete. Finally, the last alternative is the riskiest and most time-consuming. A complete rebranding and expansion into the catering business would potentially generate large profits at the organizational level. Meanwhile, it will create multiple departments of employees and separate responsibilities by profile accordingly to ensure quality performance (Oviedo et al., 2020). However, there are high risks of John not paying back the loans that need to be borrowed for a significant amount on time, leading to bankruptcy.
Strategy Recommendation and Implementation Plan
For Wil’s Grill to focus on expanding its street business until it becomes more extensive and more profitable. Hence, John would obtain more street vending locations while borrowing less money (Hostetter & Paden, 2017). Accordingly, he has a better chance of repaying the debt and receiving a return. In a few years, it will be possible to gradually add catering to the list of services in order to remain competitive.
Employees must be hired to manage the new vans and grill operations to implement John’s strategy. The new place should first be located in the Sedona area because of favorable climatic factors. First, the owner will need to invest in machinery and employee training and borrow appropriately. After the first van is profitable, a second van should be purchased and used for city events in about a year. John has to finance the launch of a new advertising campaign. That is, the menu needs to be updated and expanded, to add an online order function and possibly delivery (Lerro et al., 2019). It is also essential to have an active Instagram profile, in order to let the target audience, know about the existence of Wil’s Grill. Indeed, the significant problems are the growth of competitors and the loan that has to be repaid along with the expansion of the business. However, the above ways will succeed over the next four years.
Evaluation and Control Plan
To estimate future growth opportunities, John should maintain monthly accounting records and calculate how much profit he is earning after all expenses are covered. In this way, it will help control the launch of new initiatives that will require substantial funding (Lerro et al., 2019). Based on four years, the company reports should be analyzed in order to make projections for possible investment and expansion.
Thus, the company is quite young on the market, but it is profitable already and requires a clear development strategy. The expansion of street food sales locations will help find more customers and establish a specific Wil’s Grill chain. Qualified workers will also do the job effectively, which will allow the owner to engage in marketing. Accordingly, the proposed strategy will create a network of street food places within four years.
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