Posted: June 21st, 2015

The Lotus Garden Restaurant


The Lotus Garden Restaurant

Please see below Feedback from Instructor:

– Missing strategic cost analysis

– Missing discussion on strategic issues

– Missing comprehensive discussion about strengths and weaknesses


Internal Analysis

A brief history and background

The Lotus Garden is a Thai restaurant in the heart of Coral Gables, Florida, one of the most affluent cities in South Florida. The restaurant has been in existence since 1986. The matriarch of the family, Mrs. Nguyen was working at another restaurant when she decided to open her own. They have been open ever since, although they were forced to change locations in 1997. The space they originally had was lost due to the expansion of an adjacent Publix Supermarket.

The Lotus Garden has always been a family run established. They were all born in Vietnam and fled that country after the war. Mrs. Nguyen has three sons and two daughters and all of them worked at the restaurant from time to time. They worked part-time while they were still in school. The restaurant is now run by the oldest daughter Cathy. While Mrs. Nguyen still helps in the kitchen, Cathy does all the cooking and is in charge of the day- to- day operations. The youngest son, Swadee, is the face of the restaurant. He is in charge of the dining area. He takes orders, runs food, and also handles the beverage inventory.

The Lotus Garden closes but five days out of the year, all the national holidays. They open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday. Once weekend, they only open for dinner. Peak time for the restaurant is lunch time. Their lunch menu is very popular and they are located near several office buildings. In the evening, dinner is a little slower. However, they do quite well with patrons that order take-out. The dinner crowd is very inconsistent during the week. The restaurant does much better on the weekends.

SWOT Analysis


Location of Factor Type of Factor
Favorable Unfavorable
Internal Strengths


Great Location

Friendly Staff

Quality Food




No Delivery

No Online Order



External Opportunities


Expand by adding out door dinning









Rising Operating Expense


More Competition (Several Corporate-run restaurant)






The Lotus Garden Restaurant has a well-stipulated mission statement and from the access, it is evident that the company has strategies that are in line with its mission statement. Additionally, there is flexibility in the mission statement that always gives room for changes as the business environment changes and evolves. This is also crucial as it makes it easy for the employees to understand and share in the mission of the organization (Duncan, Ginter & Swayne, 1998).

The organization has sales strategies that indicate a well-written plan to make their sales. The restaurant’s menu can accommodate anybody, but what it is convenience is that anyone can add or subtract any ingredients from any dish. The family, being of Vietnamese origin, has knowledge of the meals unique to any cultures that works as a competitive advantage for the business. The menu planning is flexible and amicably allows insertion of any new type of product. As identified by Duncan, Ginter and Swayne (1998), this has been one of its core competencies and has enabled the organization establish a unique relationship with the customers. As a result, the organization’s sales volume and profits have been increasing as it has been able to access potential customers based on the quality of their goods and services in addition to extensive marketing of the company via different forums such as the social media.

The Lotus Garden is a family-run restaurant that has a flexible budget that allows for accommodation of any change. The management is Cathy and Swadee, and they work in different departments. As a result, they have the daily running of the restaurant that calls for drawing of a realistic budget. To monitor the progress of the restaurant, the management uses the budget and compares actual against the budget expenditures. In the monitoring process, all the errors are identified and are corrected early to avoid expenses over the budget. It’s flexible pricing policies works to its advantage to balance between their prices and those of their competitors.

Being a restaurant, The Lotus handles their customers diligently. The management ensures that the employees are motivated for quality services assurance to their esteemed customers. The customers are treated courteously; their needs and requests are processed promptly. The restaurant management has devised effective mechanisms to get the customer’s feedback and complaints. This is made easy as the family members participate in customer service that enables them to get the feedback directly from their customers. The Lotus Garden follows appropriate housekeeping procedures, and many of their customers rate the management as knowledgeable due to quick and reliable services that they get from the organization.

The Lotus Garden potential customers know about the business; this mostly arises from its recognized and respected quality services since 1986. Establishing the conclusion from the restaurant’s menu, the meals served are very specific and fits any target cultures. Some foods on its menu are more familiar to people of both Japanese and Chinese culture. This shows comprehensive understanding of their customers. The restaurant has significant customer turn up that indicates the appropriateness of the location. The area has a considerable number of people from the mentioned cultures and due to special diets; there is a significant inflow of customers into the restaurant.

The organization utilizes modern technology in preparation of their dishes and has evolved with social trends. The Lotus Garden restaurant has both Twitter and Facebook accounts besides having online customer care who responds to any query from the customers. The restaurant does not have the option of delivering. They do not offer online booking system where their customers can order. However, they do offer take-out. The company lacks clear ways in which it improves its menu. In the competitive market, it is essential to have research strategies to add new products to the menu and improve in the already existing list of products (Duncan, Ginter & Swayne, 1998). This weakness can work to its disadvantages bearing in mind presence of competitors like California Pizza Kitchen and Season 52 in the area.



Duncan, W. J., Ginter, P. M., & Swayne, L. E. (1998). Competitive advantage and internal organizational assessment. The Academy of Management Executive, 12(3), 6-16.






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