Example Porter’s Five Forces Model: Fast Food Industry

Here is an example of applying Porter’s five forces industry model to the fast food industry. It is designed as a helpful thought starter for your further analysis.

Overview of Porter’s Five Forces Model

Porter’s Five Forces Model is a framework developed by Michael E. Porter to analyze the competitive environment of an industry.

It looks at five key forces that influence market dynamics:

  1. the threat of new entrants,
  2. the bargaining power of suppliers,
  3. the bargaining power of buyers,
  4. the threat of substitute products or services, and
  5. the competitive rivalry within the industry.

Understanding these forces helps businesses identify their strengths and weaknesses, strategize effectively, and maintain competitive advantages.

Analysis of the Fast Food Industry

1. Threat of New Entrants:

  • Moderate entry barriers due to the cost of establishing brand recognition and customer loyalty.
  • Easy access to basic technology and food preparation processes.
  • Location and real estate access can be challenging in prime areas.
  • Regulatory and health compliance can be a barrier for new entrants.
  • Established brands have economies of scale that new entrants lack.

2. Bargaining Power of Suppliers:

  • Large fast food chains can negotiate lower prices due to high volume orders.
  • Suppliers are numerous, leading to competition and lower power.
  • Fast food chains can switch suppliers with minimal cost.
  • Specialty suppliers for unique ingredients or branded products have more power.
  • Global supply chain networks reduce dependency on local suppliers.

3. Bargaining Power of Buyers:

  • High due to low switching costs between fast food options.
  • Price sensitivity is significant, especially in price-competitive markets.
  • Growing demand for healthy and quality food influences buyer choices.
  • Social media and online reviews amplify customer voice and impact.
  • Loyalty programs have limited influence on customer retention.

4. Threat of Substitute Products:

  • Increasing popularity of healthy eating trends poses a significant threat.
  • Home cooking and meal-prep services offer alternatives.
  • Upsurge in casual dining and fast-casual restaurants.
  • Online food delivery services expand the range of alternatives.
  • Economic fluctuations can lead consumers to cheaper or home-cooked options.

5. Competitive Rivalry within the Industry:

  • High level of competition with many well-established brands.
  • Constant innovation in menu items to attract different customer segments.
  • Marketing and brand image play a crucial role in attracting customers.
  • Geographic expansion leads to competition in new markets.
  • Technology adoption, like mobile ordering and delivery services, intensifies competition.

Overall Recommendation for the Fast Food Industry

To thrive in the highly competitive fast food industry, businesses should focus on innovation, both in menu offerings and service delivery,

Emphasizing healthier options, leveraging technology for improved customer experiences, and maintaining competitive pricing are key. Additionally, effective marketing strategies and exploring new markets can provide a competitive edge.

The ability to quickly adapt to changing consumer preferences and market conditions will be crucial for long-term success.

Sources and External Reading

  • The Five Forces – Michael Porter – An overview of the Five Forces framework by Michael Porter, explaining its importance in understanding competitive forces in an industry.
  • The Five Forces Framework – Harvard Business Publishing Education – Harvard Business Publishing provides a collection of materials for teaching about the Five Forces, including simulations.
  • The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy – Harvard Business School’s detailed article on how competitive forces shape strategy, based on Michael Porter’s original work.
  • Porter’s Five Forces – Research Guides at Baruch College – A resource guide from Baruch College on Porter’s Five Forces, including its application in industry analysis and strategy formulation.
  • Porter’s Five Forces – Business Research — Industry Analysis – UCF Libraries – University of Central Florida’s guide on Porter’s Five Forces, offering insights into the model and its application in industry analysis.
Scroll to Top