Burger King SWOT Analysis & Recommendations

Burger King SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, internal and external strategic factors, recommendations case study
A Burger King at College Street, Toronto, Canada. Burger King’s SWOT analysis shows that diversification, service quality and innovation are the most significant concerns in the business. (Photo: Public Domain)

Burger King’s ability to keep its position as one of the biggest players in the quick service/fast food restaurant industry is partly based on the business strategic balance shown in this SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis model examines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats most significant to the firm. As a food service business, Burger King must use its strengths to compete against giants like McDonald’s. In addition, the company must consider the threats and risks linked to the global fast food restaurant market. It is expectable that Burger King will remain one of the major players in this market.

This SWOT analysis of Burger King indicates the company’s need for product diversification, quality enhancement, and product innovation.

Burger King’s Strengths (Internal Strategic Factors)

Burger King’s strengths are based on the company’s business capabilities. This part of the SWOT analysis determines the internal strategic factors that create business capacity for continued development. Burger King’s main strengths are as follows:

  1. Strong brand image
  2. High market penetration
  3. Moderate differentiation of products

Burger King has one of the strongest brands in the industry. This condition makes it easier for the company to open new restaurants and introduce new products. Higher market penetration is a strength based on the large number of Burger King restaurants across the globe. Also, Burger King’s moderate differentiation (e.g., grilled burgers) is a strength that allows the company to ensure uniqueness of some of its products. In this part of the SWOT analysis, Burger King’s strengths are mainly based on branding and market penetration.

Burger King’s Weaknesses (Internal Strategic Factors)

Burger King’s weaknesses are linked to its business model and general strategic approaches. The internal strategic factors that reduce or limit the firm’s effectiveness are identified in this part of the SWOT analysis. The following are Burger King’s main weaknesses:

  1. Easily imitable business
  2. Limited product mix
  3. Low control on franchise model

Even though Burger King has moderate differentiation, one of its weaknesses is that its business model and products are easily imitated. For example, other firms could offer similar grilled burgers. Also, Burger King’s limited product mix is a weakness because it prevents the company from attracting customers looking for more options. In addition, even though Burger King grew internationally through franchising, the franchising model is a weakness because it limits corporate control on franchisees’ approaches to management. In this part of the SWOT analysis, the limited product mix is the weakness that Burger King can most easily address.

Opportunities for Burger King (External Strategic Factors)

The opportunities for Burger King present options for business growth and development. This part of the SWOT analysis shows the external strategic factors that the firm can use to improve its performance. Burger King’s opportunities are as follows:

  1. Diversification/product mix widening
  2. Market development
  3. Service quality improvement

Burger King has the opportunity to widen its product mix by adding new product lines to attract more customers. Also, the company could establish new businesses or subsidiaries as part of market development to gain more revenues while reducing the effects of market risks. In addition, Burger King has the opportunity to increase service quality as a way of differentiating its business from competitors like McDonald’s. In this part of the SWOT analysis, Burger King’s opportunities require new strategies, especially for diversification and market development.

Threats Facing Burger King (External Strategic Factors)

The threats against Burger King emphasize market conditions. The external strategic factors that limit or reduce business performance are shown in this part of the SWOT analysis. The following are the main threats against Burger King:

  1. Aggressive competition
  2. Imitation
  3. Healthy lifestyles trend

Burger King faces the threat of aggressive competition, considering other firms like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. The company’s business model is also imitable, leading to the threat of imitation by new entrants. In addition, the healthy lifestyles trend is a threat because Burger King’s products are criticized as unhealthy. In this part of the SWOT analysis, Burger King can easily address the threats of aggressive competition and the healthy lifestyles trend.

Burger King’s SWOT Analysis – Recommendations

Burger King’s current focus is on market penetration, with a considerable degree of product innovation. However, based on this SWOT analysis, the company needs to adjust some of its strategies to maintain competitiveness. Burger King can implement the following recommended strategic adjustments to address some of its most significant concerns:

  1. Diversify/widen product mix to address current product mix limits
  2. Increase service quality
  3. Improve products to address the healthy lifestyles trend
References
  • Burger King Corporation (2015). About Us.
  • Burger King Corporation (2015). Diversity.
  • Jackson, S. E., Joshi, A., & Erhardt, N. L. (2003). Recent research on team and organizational diversity: SWOT analysis and implications. Journal of management29(6), 801-830.
  • Jacobs, T., Shepherd, J., & Johnson, G. (1998). Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. Exploring Techniques of Analysis and Evaluation in Strategic Management. London: Prentice Hall, 122-133.
  • Pickton, D. W., & Wright, S. (1998). What’s SWOT in strategic analysis?. Strategic change7(2), 101-109.
  • Piercy, N., & Giles, W. (1989). Making SWOT analysis work. Marketing Intelligence & Planning7(5/6), 5-7.
  • Valentin, E. K. (2001). SWOT analysis from a resource-based view. Journal of Marketing theory and Practice, 54-69.
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