Last Updated 10 Aug 2020

Business Environment SWOT Analysis

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Opened in 2008 Franco Manca is an Italian restaurant dedicated only to make the best pizzas in London, as it was confirmed by William Skidelsky (The Observer). Franco Manca is a conventional italian pizzeria trying to create Neapolitan pizzas, the original ones. HISTORY. The history of the Franco Manca starts before 2008, when in Brixton market there was an italian restaurant named “Franco’s”. This restaurant was not only devoted to make pizzas, but all kind of italian food including pastas, salads, bread, polenta dishes, risotto and soups.

In 2008 Franco, the owner of the restaurant, went back to Italy and he closed the place. A couple of entrepreneurs, Giuseppe Mascoli (Italian) and Bridget Hugo (South African) took the same place of Franco’s restaurant to allocate their pizzeria; Franco, the previous owner, used to have a lot of loyal customers who had continued to turn to the place looking for Franco, asking “Where is Franco? ”. The most original answer Mascolini and Hugo thought was to say “Franco manca” which means “Frank is missing” in italian.

That became the name of the new pizzeria. SOURDOUGH. Mascolini is originally from the southern italian town of Positano; Hugo is from South Africa, and despite the fact that he is italian, both of them are an unlikely pair of pizza pioneers. The chefs from all Franco Manca’s restaurants are from Naples (Napoli), Italy, trying to conserve the original napolitan pizza recipe and flavor. Before Mascolini and Hugo opened Franco Manca they were obsessed working with the dough, until a few months later, they perfect the recipe.

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They started to work with dough stolen by a friend from a bakery on Ischia (a small island off the coast of Naples) that dates from 1730. Franco Manca’s pizzas are made from slow-rising sourdough, that takes a minimum of 12 hours. Each night around 9 pm the Head Pizza Chef or Pizzaiolo, makes the batch of dough that will be used for the next day’s pizzas. A combination of flour, water and salt are mixed for an hour in an electric mixer (imported from Naples); then it is left to rise in a special proofing cabinet until the next morning.

By this time the dough is very elastic and it is shaped into individual balls with a specific weight, which are ready to be converted into pizzas. WOOD OVEN. The oven used for cook the pizzas is an authentic wood-fired oven made for an artisan in Naples specifically for Franco Manca. It has to be between 90 and 130 cm wide and no more than 35 cm high on the inside. These dimensions matter because they determine the oven’s heat and humidity. Franco Manca’s pizzas are cooked at more than 500°C, twice as hot as in a domestic oven.

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In an ordinary gas oven, with that temperature, the pizza would turn to charcoal. But because the Franco Manca’s oven is so low, it is very humid, which means the pizza cooks without burning. The pizza only stays for exactly 40 seconds to get the right combination of crispness and chewiness. INGREDIENTS. All Franco Manca’s ingredients are organic and sourced from the UK and some of them exported, mainly from Italy. The ham is from Gloucester Old Spot pig (an English breed of pig), and the cured ham, salami and sausages are from Brindisa (pish food shop).

All the cheeses (buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino, goat) are from Italy from buffalo and cow herds. The tomatoes are from a group of producers in Salerno who only picked them during July and August. The olive oil comes from a particular producer in Spain, and the olives directly from Puglia, Italy. BRANCHES. The first Franco Manca restaurant opened in Brixton Market in 2008. In 2009 a second branch was opened in Chiswick. At the end of 2011 the third one was open in Stratford, in the food court of Westfield shopping center. The last one was recently opened during the last October 2012 in Battersea.

FINANCIAL SITUATION. Franco Manca is a private limited with share capital company, incorporated in England and Wales on 15th October 2009 and located only in London with a business activity as Licenced Restaurants. The company has a team of 3 directors, and 1 shareholder own the total shares within the company and it is a part of a group. At this time Franco Manca has not reported any financial, as it is either too young or exempt for filling accounts.The latest Annual Accounts for the year 31/10/2010 reported cash at bank of ? 30,737, liabilities worth ? 637,746, net worth of -187,551 and assets worth ? 53,626. SWOT ANALYSIS - Description The SWOT (Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is a tool for understanding and decision-making for all sorts of situations in business and organizations. According with Malcolm McDonald (2008, pp. 42-43) “a SWOT analysis is a summary listing of internal differential strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis competitors and key external opportunities and threats”. The objective of performing a SWOT analysis is to detect the internal and external key factors to achieve any objective in the company.

The internal factors are the strengths and weaknesses internal to the organization, for example factors relating to the 7P’s, costs, quality, people, skills, adaptability, brands, services, reputation, infrastructure, etc; the external factors are the opportunities and threats presented to the company by its external environment, for example factors related to market, sectors, audience, fashion, trends, competition, economics, politics, technological, environmental, law, etc. “Strenghts and weaknesses represent where the organization is now, and opportunities represent where it whishes to be at a given time in the future” (Luck, 2010).

A marketing opportunity is an area where a buyer has needs or interests and the company is capable of satisfying them. An environmental threat is a challenge caused by a trend or a new development, which may cause a loss profit or sales, if no action is taken with a good marketing. Some of the questions that can help through a SWOT analysis are the following: Strenghts 1. What advantages does your company have? 2. What do you do better than anyone? 3. What do competitors see in you as strengths? 4. What is your Unique Selling Point? Weaknesses 1.

What should the company avoid? 2. What can the company improve? 3. What are the competitors likely to see as weaknesses? 4. What factors lose your sales? Opportunities 1. What good opportunities can you spot? 2. What interest trends are you aware of? Threats 1. What threats do you face? 2. What are your competitors doing? 3. Is the technology threatening your company? 4. Could any of your weaknesses really threat your company? A SWOT should be short, precise and interesting in no more than two pages and should be not based only in one-person opinion.

Once the company has been developed a SWOT analysis can proceed to determine and specify the goals to achieve for a specific period of time (Kotler, 2009). FRANCO MANCA - SWOT Analysis STRENGHTS 1. Non freeze dough 2. Neapolitan recipe 3. Special wood-fired oven 4. Really cheap price for the quality of the food 5. Fresh and non freeze ingredients 6. Organic ingredients, home made organic lemonade and organic wine 7. Food attracts people of all ages 8. Pizza made in 4 minutes, counting since the dough is expanded, adding the ingredients, putting in the oven and cooked for 40 seconds

9. Take-away option 10. Option of two specials pizzas every day: meat and vegetarian 11. Option to add extra toppings to the pizzas that change on a daily basis 12. Different choices of pizzas for vegetarian people 13. Lessons of “How to make your own pizza” at the Restaurant 14. Only 4 branches which gives a feeling of “exclusiveness” WEAKNESSES 1. Not so many branches 2. There is not a delivery option 3. The menu is based basically on pizzas 4. The pizzas are only one size 5. The options of organic home made lemonade or organic wine are not pleasant for all customers 6.

No sodas are serving at the restaurant 7. Few options for alcoholic drinks (beers and wines) 8. Has a little market reputation OPPORTUNITIES 1. Pizzas with sizes for kids 2. Expand to more places in London 3. Have more options of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks 4. Our competitors may be slow to adopt organic ingredients 5. Improve the wine suppliers, specially for the organic option THREATS 1. Rising competition may result in costumers going for greater convenience 2. Rising the price of the exported products 3. Legislation about exporting fresh products could affect 4. Food inflation

5. Threat from other Pizza restaurants, trying to introduce an organic option 6. Queue for more than 15 minutes in the winter season outside the restaurant 7. Retention of staff 8. Possible negative publicity about the restaurant only serving pizzas and a few more options 9. Currently not using a lot of technology making difficult to adapt to new options CONCLUSIONS Franco Manca restaurant has a lot of strenghts compared with its competitors, because is one of the only restaurants in London that offers pizzas made with sourdough, and organic ingredients; those are its Unique Selling Point.

Besides, the wood-fired oven gives a particular treatment to the pizza, never making it burn and making a special flavour that it cannot be get from a conventional oven. It is really important for the customers as well that they do not have to wait long time to get their food, because it is a quickly process. The pizzas are really cheaper compared the quality is really above competitors as Pizza Hut, and the price is almost half of it. And a thing that customers love is to have the option of “specials for the day” or extra toppings changed in a daily manner, because they can customize the pizzas as they want.

For all these reasons customers really love the restaurant. But some of the concerness are that the restaurant does not have option for delivery, just take away, but sometimes the customers do not feel really good about having to go to the restaurant to pick up the food. Otherwise there is not a lot of variety on the other food (besides pizzas) because the restaurant only offers salads and bites, but just a few of them. Most of the customers always request a “coke” or “diet coke” to drink with the pizza, but as it is an organic restaurant no sodas are sell, but that can be a weakness for some people.

As a threats there are the normal external things that can affect the restaurant, as food inflation, threat from the competitors, need to rise the price, but Franco Manca will be able to deal with it in case they occur, simply changing for a local supplier, which will be cheaper. As opportunities most of the customers ask for a “kid’s size” so it will be very helpful for the restaurant have an option for kid’s menu, because the pizzas are really big to be finished by a child.

And the restaurant can improve, as well, the variety of wines, because some people does not like the option of “organic wine” because the flavor is really different, so they need to have at least any other 2 options in case the customer does not like the organic wine; and maybe they can introduce an organic beer, since the theme of the restaurant is “organic food”, they can complement it with organic beer as well.


1. Luck, D. , 2010. Assessing the Marketing Environment. [e-book] Taylor & Francis LTD. Available at: Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College Your Electronic Library on the Web

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