What is a SWOT Analysis – INTERNAL – Strengths, Weaknesses |EXTERNAL – Opportunities, Threats

Why conduct a SWOT? 

  • So YOU understand where you stand
  • So your Management understands where you stand
  • So your Employees of ALL levels understand where you stand

Who should be a part of this analysis? – All Managers – FOH, BOH, assistants as well as Chefs

  • “But Dave, my FOH and BOH don’t get along…”  You might have uncovered your first Weaknesses
  • Once you’ve completed this project, develop a presentation to the entire staff on what you are going to work on

How: SPEND TIME BEFORE – Set a number for the initial list… would recommend a stretch goal.

  • Go thru the list yourself beforehand and make the list five more than you could come up with. 


  • Areas you do best – Have fun and let your staff brag a little… Also, be Self Aware and Honest.
    • Culture, Quality of Food, Profitability, Price Point, Service, Cleanliness, Promotions, Bar Business, Advantage of others in your area – certain Cuisine, Memorable Décor, Marketing campaigns
    • Once you have a list – Go thru and rank the Top 5 that return the best for Operations (PROFITS!)


  • Areas you feel need improvement – Be Honest, Candid and invite the same from your Staff
    • Culture, lack of training, outdated equipment, Slow POS, Turnover…
    • Training is a weakness in most local, independently owned restaurants: OWN IT and Improve!
      • Set up a Training Team to help put together a program for the future.
      • New Hires and Current Staff

Help: – Go thru ahead of time and make a list of all the areas of the Restaurant to help meeting along

  • Culture, Technology, People, Food, Equipment, Suppliers, Communication, Menu, etc.…
  • The More time you spend thinking and planning ahead of this meeting, the better it will go.


  • Opportunities to get better
    • How can Areas of Weakness be improved?
    • How you can double down on Strengths
  • This is a tricky area – just because you identify something as a weakness, it might not yield as good as results if you doubled or tripled down on a Strength
    • Example – You may feel you have a lack of Promotions on slow nights, but Doubling down on ways to find opportunities on your busy nights will most likely yield better results than trying to make the Slow nights busy.  Josh Kopel Example:  Sweatpants vs. Dessert


  • What things could harm your business? What is Competition doing? What Threats do your weaknesses Expose (Bad Culture = More Turnover)
    • Supply Chain, Inflation, New Competition, Missing Trends

WORK ON PRESENTATION TO STAFF – Only include things you are going to work on and thru…


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