Strategic Assessment Of Five Guys For Expansion Into Italy

Story of Five Guys

The Five Guys enterprise is one of the most famous food brands in the province of USA which has expanded into the European Union through various strategies and developments. The company was established in the year 1986 under the genre of fast casual restaurant by Jerry Murrell and Janie Murrell (Five Guys 2018). The company is headquartered at Virginia in USA. The company is known to be focussed on the hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries which is one of the most famous fast food options for the people. The restaurant is one of the first restaurants in the country that has franchises at over 1500 locations worldwide with the tag of being the fastest growing fast food chain in USA at approximately 32.8% growth from 2010-2011 (Five Guys 2018). The overall revenue for the company is at $831.95million which is one of the greatest for any local-based restaurant (Five Guys 2018).

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One of the major challenges that is being faced by Five Guys is the inclusion of the competitive forces in the market which can hamper their expansion into the different nations of European Union (Telegraph UK 2018). The presence of rival companies like Mc Donald’s and even the indirect rivals such as local restaurants and other fast food companies like KFC and Subway serve as potential challenges which the company needs to adhere to (Telegraph UK 2018).

The following report analyses the external and internal environmental analysis along with the competitive strategies and strategic direction for the market of Five Guys in their expansion to Italy, one of their desired expansion countries in European Union. The following paragraphs highlight the strategic recommendations for the expansion in the period of time.

The PESTLE analysis for the targeted expansion country, Italy is as follows –

Political – Moro Visconti (2016) states that the political scene of Italy is of a parliamentary system which is of democratic and republic nature. The system of the political system is modified every seven years with the election of new president. The system of politics is of stable variant in the country that encourages the establishment of the new companies in the province. The overall analysis of the political situation is of the fact states that Italy is one of the potential countries for the establishment of Five Guys.

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Economic – Kumar, Gaur and Pattnaik (2012) states that the high GDP of Italy being one of the developed capitalist in the world is one of the major factors for the establishment of companies in the country. The establishment of the company will have economic stability in the country which will enhance the economy of the country in the span of time. The overall analysis of the economic development of the nation is positive in case of Italy (Moro Visconti 2016). The economy of the country being stable for the establishment of the company serving fast food is generally one of the prime in the matter.

Challenges for Five Guys in the European market

Social – The social system of Italy is based on the system of class which accounts for a majority of differentiation in the overall span. The social system of Australia is one of the major phases in which the three comprises of 10% of the higher class of the social order while there is approximately 20% of the people belonging to the lower and the middle lower class comprising of the working and the labour class (Kumar, Gaur and Pattnaik 2012). The rest of the people hail from the middle class people which constitute the majority of the economy in the span of time. The social order of Italy is stable which promotes the establishment of company especially the food companies like Five Guys that promotes fast food among the people. This will enable the people of the country to have special view for the making the enterprise a success in the longer span (Piekkari, Welch and Welch 2014).

Technological – Italy is a technologically advanced nation which makes the establishment of technology one of the prime matters in the spectrum of time. The overall analysis of the technological innovation makes for the fact that the establishment of company is of worth value. Piekkari, Welch and Welch (2014) states that the technological advancement of the company is to accomplish the system of having good prospects of the establishment of the company in the country of Italy. The overall technological implications for the company is in the positive direction.

Legal – The legal system of Italy is based on the Roman law code which holds prime importance in the whole matter. Achtenhagen, Melin and Naldi (2013) states that the overall legal analysis of the situation is of the fact that there are regulations for the establishment and expansion of the economy which in turn helps to solve the legal matters related to the company in the provincial state of time. The establishment of Five Guys is one of the factors in the sect which had legal implications in the matter.

Environmental – The environmental condition of the country of Italy is one of the positive in the world being it one of the leading countries which works against the working of the pollution level and making the environment prone to better establishment of the company and the working of the same (Achtenhagen, Melin and Naldi 2013). The regulations for the protection of the environment is to be followed by the company which makes the country one of the prime places to be established.

PESTLE analysis for Italy

The Porter’s five force framework is one of the most important ways to determine the level of competition and threat of rivalry among the industry catering to the different types and competition of industry in a particular region. The Porter’s five forces for the organization Five Guys in their expansion to the continent of European Union, especially to the country of Italy can be seen in the following ways –

Competitive Rivalry – The competitive rivalry is defined as the amount of competition that is there in the market for the company for which the analysis is being done. Banalieva and Dhanaraj (2013) states that the competitive rivalry of the company is one of the factors that determine the entry of a company into a new market as smaller the rate of competition the greater chances for entry. For Five Guys, the competitive rivalry in Italy is less with relatively few competitors and a large size for the industry making the expansion a positive idea in the span.

Bargaining power of the suppliers – The bargaining power of the suppliers is defined as the amount of power that is in the hands of the suppliers for the expansion of the business. There is a large number of raw material needed for the production of the fast food genre which comes from a large number of supplier chain (Banalieva and Dhanaraj 2013). Moreover, there is a great amount of competition among the suppliers of the firms which make the bargaining power of the suppliers’ way lesser. There is a diverse channel of distribution among the supplier that provides ample amount of way for manufacturing the product. The company can easily switch between the suppliers where and when needed and so Five Guys have a benefit in this case (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick 2012).

Bargaining power of customers – The customers are the main source of income for any business organization and so it is very important for the business to have a decent buyer number. The customer base for Five Guys is very high because of its high reputation among the people of the native as well as the expanded country. Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick (2012) states that due to their provision of both traditional and modern food items in both veg and non-veg genre, the amount of customers is large and makes the company less dependent on the distributors. The price sensitivity of the company is lower which make the company have advantage position.

Porter’s 5 Forces analysis

Threat of the New Entrants – The new entrants always pose a dual situation to the existing companies especially in the case of fast food genre where the taste of the people change within some days. Lovelock and Patterson (2015) states that the threat of new entrants is one of the prime factors in any of the cases as with greater threat to the entry of the products, it becomes way important for the companies to have good backing. In case of Five Guys in the province of Italy, the amount of threat of new entrant is comparatively less as the customers of the place are loyal to the existing brand of the food. In addition, the brand names play an important role in making sure that the customers are attracted to the same brand with the same point of time. The strong distribution network to the existing brands are important for the Five Guys and their expansion to Italy (Lovelock and Patterson 2015).

Threat of Substitute of products – The substitute is defined as the kind of product which is used as a replacement to the original product in terms of the quality and the differentiation of product. The overall threat for the substitution of the products is one of the most important in the expansion for any of the companies into a new country or place (Hartley and Claycomb 2013). In case of Five Guys, the threat for substitution is lesser as the customers would not settle for inferior grade and low quality product with less amount of differentiation in the sect of time. The overall threat for the product is low which makes the expansion one of the great in the company.

VRIO analysis is one of the major analysis for any company or brand in terms of the internal environmental analysis in terms of the competitive advantage of the company as well as the resources that are being used by the company to evaluate the dimension of the brand. The VRIO analysis of the company is assessed in terms of Value, Rareness, Imitability and Organization of the place.

Value – The value of a resource is defined as the amount of money that is being allocated for a particular resource and the amount of ease that is there for the allocation of that particular amount of resources. Hartley and Claycomb (2013) states that the resource that is being used in the company Five Guys comprises of all the three types of financial, physical as well as the human resources. The physical resources inclusive of labour has medium to high value due to lack of apt labour forces, the financial resources are available at a well manner whereas the human resources are available at a major rate (Babin and Zikmund 2015). The overall value of the company in terms of the resource analysis is therefore high.

Internal and external environment analysis of Five Guys

Rareness – The resources that are being used by the brand for the manufacturing of the products are not rare as the raw materials needed for the manufacturing of the food item is sourced from organic and local firms and places making the overall product nor rare in any sense. Babin and Zikmund (2015) states that in addition, the overall rareness of the product is in coordination to the amount of limited resources which is not the case.

Imitability – The difficulty in imitating the sources is medium to low as the sources from which the company attains its raw materials and other resources are easily available and can be attained without any difficulty (Czinkota and Ronkainen 2013). The amount of difficulty for the attainment of the sources is very low making the products and the sources one of the less imitable in the period.

Organization – The sources from which the raw materials and other forms of resources are attained by the company can be well utilised by the brand in making the overall internal environment of the sources heavily attainable. Czinkota and Ronkainen (2013) states that the organization which is used for the manufacturing of fast food items is wholly able to make the food item worth for its customers making the competitive advantage of the food better.

Analysing the VRIO analysis for the company, the internal environment is being assessed which means that the possibility for setting up of a good food item and its production is of worth value.

Michael Porter in the year 1985 established the factors that led to the identification of competitive strategies for the strategies related to the concepts of cost leadership and differentiation in the focus. Hull (2014) states that the creation of a special product for the market and also providing a special service for the niche market. The ways of competing among the different types of concepts in the market condition of the firm is being assessed here.

There are two basic types of competitive strategies in the market that provides advantage to the company for the better business in the future (Dobbs 2015). The overall analysis leads to approximately three generic strategies for making sure that the amount of performance in the industry is at par the cost leadership strategies and in keeping mind with the differentiation and focus.

Figure – Porter’s Generic Strategies

(Source – Dobbs 2015)

Strategic options and recommendations

Cost Leadership – One of the chief marketing plans for an organization is to have the lowest cost in the industry which makes the cost of the company one of the most advantageous position for the economy. Cardeal and Antonio (2012) states that the variation in the cost advantage of the company varies from the technological point to the economies of scale which is helpful in making the company less probable for cost amount in the span of time. The overall cost leadership for Five Guys is not that low as the company is more focussed on producing more quality food rather than focusing on the cost of the product. Though the company tries to keep the cost of the product at a bare minimum, the work is done not at the expense of the quality which is of prime importance in the organization (Cardeal and Antonio 2012). The cost leadership of the organization is therefore of medium to low value in the overall cost leadership strategy in the firm. 

Differentiation – The differentiation of products is defined as the amount of uniqueness that the product has in the industrial dimension. Knott (2015) states that the differentiation and the uniqueness of the product is directly proportional to the sales of the product and the amount of interest that it generates in the minds of the customers. The differentiation of product can be either in terms of the variant of products and also in terms of the ingredients that is being used which makes the product one of the most differed products in the market. However, Tanwar (2013) states that in terms of the products that is being available in Five Guys, there is no element of proper differentiation as well as no addition of any of the ingredients that is being attached which makes the differentiation part of the product not as much.

Focus – The focus of a strategy is defined as the amount of narrowness that is there in the competitive scope of the industry and within a particular realm of product. The company or the product that is being used in the company realm is to analyse the amount of concentration that the company has on the particular set of products. In the generic strategy analysis, Moon et al. (2014) states that there are two types of focus which are used to assimilate the differentiation of strategy namely the cost focus as well as the product for the target segment of people. The cost segment of the Five Guys is well achieved as the cost of the product is competitive when compared to the rest of the products from various parts of the span. The overall analysis of the Five Guys make the fact that the product and ingredient differentiation is not much in the company which can give it an edge over other brands. Moreover, Teeratansirikool et al. (2012) states that the brand is focussed on only one particular type of burger which will ensure the quality of the food. The main motto of the company is to be focussed only on one type of product which will have better effects on the business.

Market – One of the major strategic directions for the market is to include more market into the forces and also to have detailed analysis for the market that is being included. The market forces which are being included are the European markets which still are not touched by the strategic forces for the market. The overall analysis for the market as stated by Banker, Mashruwala and Tripathy (2014) which is to be done in a proper way to have a detailed analysis for the expansion in the future. Italian market is full of opportunities that can be grabbed by the fast food companies for their expansion into the province and do detailed business making more profit in the market. The market analysis is one of the major instances of the cases which means that the market survey is a must in the expansion for every kind of institutions and have detailed analysis in the sense (Banker, Mashruwala and Tripathy 2014). The market forces help to reckon with the demands of the places and also to have analysis for the betterment into the expansion of the market world and proper analysis should be done before entering into each of the markets.

Product – The products that are being produced by the Five Guys needs to be expanded and to be included more varieties in their menu like their core competition Mc Donald’s and even include many of the varieties in the food arena. The inclusion of more food items in the whole menu card will surely attract more of the customers into the company and will make them have good amount of response in the provision of market. The product overall analysis is one of the prime factors which determine the product variant in the organization (Rabellotti 2016). The overall product variation is to be managed and also improved according to the needs and demands of the market province. The product variation is to be analysed keeping in mind the ways and means of the customer demands which have to be adhered to the means.

Services – The inclusion of services is one of the major aims for establishing a better business prospect for the organization. Five Guys is of the rare organizations that does not provide delivery service to the people or the customers which means that the services like other companies are missing in this case. Rabellotti (2016) states that this lack of services is one of the premium reasons for the lack of competencies in the other organizations which means that the Five Guys have on the sector. The overall services for the organization is lacking which makes the company have less potential in the span. The overall services for the company is in line with the lack of prime factors which means that the overall analysis of the services should be added to the range of products (Rabellotti 2016). Moreover, the services related to more customisable burgers and sandwiches can be made which will be a better provision in the span of time.

There are a number of methods that are there for the expansion of the fast food company into the province of Italy like gaining appropriate knowledge about the market, applying for permissions and legist for the perfect planning for the organizations. Bresciani, Thrassou and Vrontis (2015) states that the business plan and the marketing plan should be curated as per the needs of the organizations and the labour forces need to be reckon with to have potential sources for the licenses and supplies. Schlosser (2012) states that the Italian market is full of potential for the expansion of business in terms of physical, financial and human resources which need to be addressed to have detailed plan for the expansion of the business. The Fast food business is one of the major business prospects which needs to be made into effect as per the requirements of the people. With the variety of food and services for the betterment of the business profile of the organization, it is mandatory to work in an explicit manner to have the right kind of public relations for attaining the market in the span of time (Bresciani, Thrassou and Vrontis 2015). The overall analysis of the expansion method needs to be catered with the market and business proposition to have detailed analytical sources in the overall instigated market reputation. Overall, analysing the factors it can be stated that Italy is one of the potential expansion target countries for Five Guys which they need to consider to have a better foothold into the European nation.


In conclusion, it can be stated that the expansion plan of Five Guys to the European province of Italy is surely one of the best ideas as that would give them the required amount of exposure to the European market and would also ensure that the company attains the required amount of profit and business in the required field. The overall analysis of the business perspective of Italy in terms of the establishment and expansion of Five Guys in the required field makes for the detailed analytical plan and also ensures to have provided the required amount of business places. The overall expansion of the business is being done keeping in mind the needs of the country as well as the product requirements of the people in the provincial amount of time. The overall analysis of the expansion of the Five Guys into the realm of Italy is therefore expected to be a success and profitable to the whole business scene.


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