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The hospitality industry has become fiercely competitive given the globalization and liberalization of the economy and Switzerland has been a hot destination for leisure and hospitality purposes. Leysin is one such place, a high-altitude center, known more popularly for the well-maintained ski-resorts. Since the place is frequented by tourists and business visitors from all over the world, it is ideal for a casual dining restaurant that will offer formal dishes/meals from 3rd world countries, such as Thai, Indian, Japanese, South American cuisine, etc. The restaurant is to be named ‘The Banana Republic’.
In general, various sociological, technological, environmental, political, legal, and economic factors influence the way a company operates within any marketplace. The extent of variations in these factors, from one market to another, determines the strategic moves being planned by the company. Therefore, to make the Banana Republic a successful venture, we need to understand well the target markets and the segments that will be the focus for such marketing efforts. The Banana Republic initially plans to offer formal dishes from 3rd world countries like Thai, Indian, Japanese, South American, etc. Such cuisines are liked not only by the natives but by the European and American visitors as well. In the hospitality and restaurant business in particular the customer is consistently on the lookout for the best available services at reasonable prices. In this section, efforts would be made to have an insight into the hospitality industry, the present business prospects, challenges under the globalization regime, and the organizational efforts required to make an impact. An effort would also be made to understand some of the successful restaurant chains in the countries like Thailand, Japan, and India to understand the preferences of the natives and how best these tastes could be implemented under the climates of Leysin or if possible, what improvisation efforts could be put into the venture.
Identifying Market area and Characteristics
No business can prosper without approaching the existing as well as prospective customers. Intense marketing efforts, therefore, happen to be the key elements of a success story. We need to segment the market with the help of the demographic information i.e. the statistics of the people within Leysin, the number of tourists that frequent the region, and what are the peak seasons for such activities. Since our main target market will be people in the age groups of 25-55, therefore the market can be broadly segmented by classifying the population into the categories like;
- Students/ Youth
- Middle class
- Affluent Sections
- Business houses
- Tourists from Europe
- Tourists from the Asian region
To assess the average retail sales volume we need to study the business of some of the existing restaurants in the area. This will help us in assessing our business prospects. To assess the spending capacity of the business visitor we need to ascertain the number and types of business activities/organizations operating within the area. Assessing the tourism potential of the area also helps in preparing for the peak seasons. For example, till a couple of years back Leysin used to be known for its giant August rock festival, but with increasing popularity controlling the crowd became a difficult task. This difficulty coupled with some financial problems resulted in converting this festival into a low-key Alpine Music Festival. Well, this indeed points towards good tourist inflows at times.
Means of transportation happen to be the lifeline of a city. Tourism potential and nightlife are key for any restaurant business. The working class gets to unwind only during ht evening hours. Therefore, dependable transport is key to a restaurant business. Leysin is known for its Clubs, Bars, movie theatres for having fun at night, Leysin could therefore prove to an attractive place to start ‘The Banana Republic’, the new restaurant. But at the same time, it might prove to be a challenging venture because there are already around 25 restaurants in Leysin.
Location for the Banana Republic
An ideal location for a restaurant is a place much frequented by different types of people, having easy access from different localities. At the same time, the restaurant business requires a place with not many business ventures all around because a lot of space is required for vehicle parking as well. It works wonders if the customer can have a glimpse of a snowy mountain while enjoying his/ her meal in the restaurant. Therefore the main criteria for site selection;
- Not very far from business/ office activities
- Easy connectivity using reliable transport services
- A soothing environment with mountainous surroundings
- Away from heavy traffic congestion areas
- Availability of ample parking space
- Easy accessibility and some privacy for the youth
Definition of the Target Markets
- Students/ Youth: The youth segment, comprising school students, young couples and neo-IT professionals forms key elements of a restaurant business.
- Middle class: The middle-class society often prefer to go out on weekends and holidays with family and friends
- Working-class: The working class sometimes requires a break from the routine jobs and they go out in groups to celebrate occasions like the birthday of some colleagues, promotions, etc.
- Affluent Sections: This section prefers to eat out after the days’ work. As they’ve plenty of money to spend, this class needs a lot of pampering as well.
- Business houses: Business houses require the services of a restaurant to arrange for parties or business meets
- Tourists from Europe: European tourists will of course like to have a taste of cuisines like Thai and Indian curries.
- Tourists from the Asian region: The Asian community will like to have a go at the preparations to figure out the differences/ improvisation.
Such an analysis requires gathering relevant information about:
- Location of competitor restaurant/ pub i.e. how far from the Banana Republic
- Which are the types of restaurants located in the nearby Banana Republic. Whether they are Cafes/hotel restaurants, pubs, etc.
- What is the capacity of such rival restaurants i.e. the number of seats they have and their business size.
- Source and volume of their business. Here we will ascertain how busy the rival restaurants are during different times and seasons
- What are the normal operating days and hours that the existing restaurant offer to the customers.
- What are the varieties and items on the Menu of the competing restaurants and how competitive are the prices
- Which are the other services being offered by the existing restaurants besides wining and dining, like nature therapies.
- Are the existing restaurants affiliated with some big chain of restaurants/ tourist bodies/ hotel chains, worldwide or within Switzerland
- What types of entertainment are being provided for the guests. For example, Lynx and Yetti sometimes have live music concerts.
Business strategies and a launch campaign must be added.