Q Paper on Competitive Advantage- discussion on the strengths,weaknesses,opportunities,threats, & trends (SWOT) analysis Home, - Competitive Advantage Competitive Advantage FAST FOOD INDUSTRY Major Competitors in the fast food industry Major Players in Fast Food market are: • McDonald’s • Chick-fil-A • Subway • Dunkin’s Donuts • Wendy’s • Sonic Drive-In • KFC • Taco Bell • Domino's Pizza McDonald's Corporation- Competitive edge In simple terms, competitive advantage is just the positioning of the corporation in relation to the other players in the industry. McDonald is a cost leader offers food at affordable prices that can not be matched by any competitors in the industry. In order to achieve this, McDonald ensures the stores are efficient and maintains daily operations at lower cost (IBIS 2018).. By serving food at lower prices, the corporation can retain cost leadership in the industry. The second important competitive advantage of McDonald's is that the speed of delivery. The corporation has built a strong chain of the network for the supply of food. A strong chain of store’s network can promise the time of delivery and deliver the food well within the timelines promised. McDonald's has the major eatery footprint across the world (IBIS 2018). When persons need a quick, cheap meal on the go, McDonald's is often at the right place, at the right time to gratify this need. Starbucks - Competitive edge Starbucks is the market leader in terms of innovating new products. They continuously strive to innovate new and attractive services which are affordable for most of the classes of the economy. This is because they make coffee with highly affordable coffee beans known as Robusta beans. They open stores in economically backward areas and provide superior services and, they are the master in capitalizing on the changing consumer preferences. Trends in the fast food industry Fast food chains have been showing impressive performance in the food processing industry for decades. Had the players in this industry have not shown such a dynamic behaviour, they would vanish from the industry along the back. Because the tastes and preferences of consumers have been changing swiftly. Every moment, the consumers looking for new taste, quality, quantity, design and price requirements. The consumers becoming more health conscious(Forbes 2018). They are now preferring to do shopping while having food at the outlet, recreation, party, celebration, business discussion and many more. Some Of the shifts in consumer preferences have been briefly explained below: Health Conscious Lifestyles This is the boon and bane for the food processing industry. For example, there is a myth that the McDonald, Pizza Hut and Starbucks are food processing chains who offer junk food. However, there is a drastic change in the mindsets of consumers on the view. Food chains are attempting to show that they can help in maintaining fitness by offering healthy and nutritious food products. Innovation Due to extensive competition, the players in the industry are spending more on innovating new food products which can enhance consumer utility and provide maximum value for their money which is a welcoming sign. For example, Starbucks is no more a coffee shop which also offers shopping experiences (Forbes 2018). The food chains are continuously attempting to improve the quality of services they’re by there is a sincere effort to ensure brand loyalty in consumers. New payment methods The food chains like McDonald, Pizzahut and Starbucks have been using new and innovative payment and feedback collection methods which eases the life of consumers during their visit. The consumers no need to stand in the queue for the payment or to take the delivery of food products. The system has been automated(Zion 2018). Issues in the food processing industry Cost of labour Raising the cost of labour is a serious threat to the food processing industry. Raising the level of inflation pushing the salaries and wages of professionals who work for the industry. Consequently, it is putting pressure on the price of food products which impacts the business negatively. Level of Competition The grand success of a few dominant players like Dominos, McDonald, Starbucks has invited new players into the industry. For example, companies like Subway, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Papa John’s and Chipotle have posed serious threats to the business of dominant players in the industry. Fast changing consumer preferences The needs and preferences of the consumers have been changing continuously. The food processing players are striving hard to trace and feel the pulse of consumers. Those who are able to sense the needs quickly in the market will become the market leaders. For example, Starbucks. Dominant players in the industry and their capability to sustain the challenges posed by the industry McDonald's Corporation, Starbucks and Domino's Pizza are the dominant players in the industry. Despite, a series of ups and downs they can sustain the competition and stand out of the pack due to their inherent strengths. They have a series of successful items with a strong stores network. They have spread their operations in different corners of the world. Therefore, they can sustain even if they are encountered with cost pressures like labour cost, cost of raw material, cost of infrastructure etc (Jaaskelainen 2018). Further, the dominant players like McDonald's have exposed to multiple currencies. This helps them in capitalizing on fluctuations of currencies. Even when a currency is losing value, the other currency will be picking up to save McDonald's margins. Further, these players have built a strong brand image which brings business even if the market is flooded with multiple players.