Founded in the year of 1976, in Western Australia, Chicken Treat has gradually established itself as one of the most recognized barbecue chicken fast food restaurants of Australia (Chickentreat.com.au 2017). The freshly cooked chicken, traditional stuffing along with an innovative approach to product development has helped the management authority of Chicken Treat successfully handle its third decade of operation. With new products, like Royal Burgers and Fresh Wraps, which are as dainty as healthy, have helped the company achieve huge brand recognition and expand in other parts of the country as well. Although the market insights claim that the company has been witnessing unprecedented growth in its sales, it is important to evaluate the business environment in which the company is operating as well as the marketing strategies adopted by the company in order to achieve competitive edge as well. Hence, the present business report intends to critically analyze the business environment of the company, examine the effectiveness of its marketing strategies as well as sustainability initiatives undertaken by the company.
The micro environmental analysis of an organization helps in analyzing the forces within the organization that directly or indirectly affects its ability to serve the consumers. While trying to analyze the micro environment of Chicken Treat, the strength and weakness of the organization should be analyzed. As far as the strength of the restaurant chain is concerned, its strong brand recognition in Australia as well as its expanded network of restaurant chains across the country (60 in Western Australia itself) is worth mentioning (Lang et al. 2015). Another important strength of the company is its innovative approach in business that allows it offer a rich variety of food items to the consumers. On the other hand, as far as the weakness is concerned, the company has not yet expanded outside Australia, and as such its market as well as brand value is confined within the Australian market only. Further, the company encounters fierce competition from other restaurant chains like Red Rooster and Pizza Hut. Besides, there are other core micro-economic factors as well that do affect the company as well and are discussed in detail as follows:
Consumers: The consumers of Chicken Treat primarily consist of the people belonging to the age group of 18 to 40, taking interest in spicy fast food Chicken products at affordable prices (Thorntn et al. 2016). Besides, the company also offers catering services to families and business organizations, and hence its large customer base helps the company enjoy huge amount of annual revenue every year.
Employees: A huge number of employees work under the company, and their salaries are being continually revised and each employee enjoys flexible working schedule that helps to keep them motivated to work more productively in the long run.
Competitors: KFC, Henny Penny, Oport, Pizza Hut and Red Rooster are some of the popular restaurant chains operating in Australia that offer fierce competition to the company.
Media: The very reason as to why the company has managed to grab the attention of a huge number of consumers over the years is that it has been able to engage the media actively in each of its promotional strategies. The company has not only hired celebrities like Ricky Grace that has helped to boost its sales, but has also introduced the CGI rooster named Chicken Nick, as its official mascot. The public appearance of the mascot over digital and social media channels has largely helped the company gain immense recognition over the last years (Brindal et al. 2015).
The general environment within an economy in which a company is operating is referred to as its macro environment, and in order to analyze the macro environment of Chicken Treat, the PESTEL Analysis is being conducted as follows:
· A variety of important food safety standards have been outlined by Food Standard Australia New Zealand on fast food restaurants and hence Chicken treat has to abide by these rules in order to ensure the production of fresh, healthy products.
· Among the public health policies of Australia, such as the OECD policy intends to safeguard the Australian children from getting exposed to too many fast food adverts. This affects the marketing strategy of Chicken Treat.
· The political environment of Australia is relatively stable.
· The economic condition of the country is strong with a high rate of GDP that is at par with four dominant West European nations.
· However, in the recent period of economic recession, the consumers are considering the fast food restaurants like Chicken Treat to be the cheaper alternatives to the traditional restaurants.
· The Australian people have become more health conscious with the rise in health problems like Diabetes and Obesity in Australia, and people are less interested in fast food products.
· A large part of the population consists of elderly people, who usually stay away from junk food (Shahnahan et al. 2014).
· Australia is very famous as a tourist destination, and the Chicken Treat being located in places like Perth, Sydney and Adelaide make its products popular among the tourists.
· The technological infrastructure as well as the road and rail infrastructure of the country is very well-developed, that helps Chicken Treat in its easy distribution and marketing process.
· Technological improvement in inventory management, vendor management and supply chain management has proved to be highly beneficial for the company.
· There is moderate scope of research in product development in Australia.
· The Australian government does not have any strong legal framework for minimizing the impact of the industry on the environment.
· However, basic policies protecting the environment require the company to minimize its wastes, and maximize recycling of products.
· The company operates in Australia and hence it is required to continually assess workplace safety in compliance with OHS Acts (Miller et al. 2015).
· The Australian Institute of Employment Rights mandates that the companies ensure the employees minimum wages, and flexible work schedules at least once a month.
Since Chicken treat is a fast food selling organization, the main area of its operation is its kitchen. Although as per the layout of the restaurant chains, there is no distinct area allocated for the kitchen, it is almost merged with the dining space itself. The outlets are not as spacious as Pizza Hut and hence the kitchen area is kept small. The cooks working inside the kitchen space act as a waiter as well. As a result, the consumers coming in, ordering the food would require to go to the kitchen area and ask the cooks cum receptionists for the food they are willing to order. It is important to mention here that during the peak hours, such as during the evening or the noon, the cooks take the orders, while only one of them is entrusted with the duty of welcoming the consumers and receiving the money (Zhang et al. 2015). On the other hand, at other times, when the workload is not very huge, three staffs are entrusted with the duty of preparing the food as per the orders, while one of them welcomes the guest, one sits at the billing desk and the other one follows up with the requirements of the consumers.
Since the time, Chicken Nick has been declared as the official mascot of Chicken Treat, the mascot has been shown surfing as well as Hula dancing on the television channels as well as the social media sites, making the company and its brand largely popular maong the young consumers. Although the celebrity marketing strategy of the company is not incredibly impressive unlike its competitors like Eagle Boys, the company has nevertheless roped in celebrities like Perth Wildcats star Ricky Grace and Australian Idol contestant Chris Murphy (Smith 2017). It is equally important to note here that the recent marketing strategy of the company is highly aggressive, as different adverts are doing the rounds on internet websites and Facebook, where Chicken Treat claims that it does not ask its consumers eat out of a bucket. In this way, the restaurant chain is mocking at its rival giant, KFC, and the tongue-in-cheek humor is not only making the brand popular among the masses but is also letting its consumers laugh at the most trusted brands of the world. Further, the company has recently introduced Betty the Chicken as the face of the company. Although the company might have lagged behind due to its inability to hire a renowned celebrity endorsing its brand, it has selected the animated character Betty, as its brand ambassador that is winning hearts over social media sites. The Facebook page of the company not only has Betty as its profile picture, but it also shares interesting, funny and humorous posts with hash tag “Chicken Tweet”. The Twitter account of the company is also apparently used by Betty the Chicken, with each of its tweets being shared and re-tweeted over thousand times.
Since Chicken Treat operates its business in a service based industry, it becomes highly important for the company to ensure that it is able to successfully reinvent its consumer experience. In order to improve the experience of the consumers, the organization has already introduced various staff skill developing training programs for its working staffs, helping them improve their soft skills and the communication skills. Besides, the company also offers the opportunity to its consumers to order customized meals, meant for personalizing the customer experience of the consumer. The online presence of the company has also helped the customer support team work actively 24*7 for solving the doubts and queries of the consumers via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (Ravichandran et al. 2015).
The company continually updates information about the nutritional content of each of its food products on the social sites, so as to help the consumers and the entire society make the informed decisions on their own. The company has recently also created a recycling program for aluminum, glass and papers in Australia (Chickentreat.com.au 2017). This move meant to safeguard the country from environmental degradation. Besides, as part of its environmental sustainability mission, the company has also recently engaged itself in tracking its environmental performance on a regular basis. Each of the restaurant chains measure its water consumption, energy consumption and water diversion to ensure a more sustainable world.
To conclude, it should be noted that Chicken Treat is on its way to attain much recognition in future. The active engagement of te company I different humble yet powerful sustainability initiatives, as well as its aggressive marketing strategy is sure to boost the sales of the company in future. However, it is advised that if the company wishes to sustain itself in future, it must expand outside Australia very soon.
Brindal, E., Wilson, C., Mohr, P. and Wittert, G., 2015. Eating in groups: Do multiple social influences affect intake in a fast-food restaurant?. Journal of health psychology, 20(5), pp.483-489.
Chickentreat.com.au. 2017. Chicken Treat. [online] Available at: https://www.chickentreat.com.au/ [Accessed 10 May 2017].
Lang, T. and Heasman, M., 2015. Food wars: The global battle for mouths, minds and markets. Routledge.
Miller, P., 2015, August. Is the risk management model and hierarchy of control relevant for psychosocial risks?. In Proceedings 19th Triennial Congress of the IEA (Vol. 9, p. 14).
Ravichandran, S., Cichy, K.E., Powers, M. and Kirby, K., 2015. Exploring the training needs of older workers in the foodservice industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 44, pp.157-164.
Shanahan, D.F., Lin, B.B., Gaston, K.J., Bush, R. and Fuller, R.A., 2014. Socio-economic inequalities in access to nature on public and private lands: a case study from Brisbane, Australia. Landscape and Urban Planning, 130, pp.14-23.
Smith, S. 2017. Float on the cards for Red Rooster, Chicken Treat. [online] The West Australian. Available at: https://thewest.com.au/business/retail/float-on-the-cards-for-red-rooster-chicken-treat-ng-b88326126z [Accessed 10 May 2017].
Thornton, L.E., Lamb, K.E. and Ball, K., 2016. Fast food restaurant locations according to socioeconomic disadvantage, urban–regional locality, and schools within Victoria, Australia. SSM-Population Health, 2, pp.1-9.
Zhang, J.J., Lawrence, B. and Anderson, C.K., 2015. An agency perspective on service triads: Linking operational and financial performance. Journal of Operations Management, 35, pp.56-66.
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