How to analyse café competition


First of all, it is important to understand who is my competition? Youcan divide your competition intodirect andindirect. What's the difference between them? A direct competitor is one that does exactly the same thing as you. That is, all the other coffee shops in your area.

Indirect competition is sometimes a little more complicated. Sometimes you might not even think that they could be your competition. What about a coffee machine at a gas station? Or the restaurant across the street? All of these are your indirect competitors to be reckoned with.


Fortunately, there are various strategic methods that can make your job easier. One of the most well-known methods is the SWOT analysis. This is used for long-term and strategic planning for the entire business. This acronym consists of four initial English words:

  • S - strengths (strengths of your organization)
  • W - weaknesses (weaknesses of your organisation)
  • O - opportunities (opportunities from the external environment of the organisation)
  • T - threats (threats from the organisation's external environment)

Spread this analysis out on a large piece of paper, on your computer, anywhere and keep it in sight at all times. You may realize things you didn't even know before.


Another method is called the Porter Model (5F analysis). This method is used to determine your business strategy and set your prices with respect to the company's environment.
It consists of:

  • Existing competition (who threatens you)
  • Potential competition (who can threaten you)
  • Influence of suppliers ( I will only work with 1 or more, this too is reflected in the price)
  • Influence of customers ( creating a persona, see below)
  • Substitutes and complements (cheaper substitutes for your products or services)


The easiest way to get information about your competitors is to become their customer for a moment. Try visiting your competitor's business (mystery shopping). See what they offer daily, what their prices are, how they promote their prices, offers or promotional materials. Take inspiration from what you like about your competitors and offer your customers something a notch better.

If you don't feel like leaving the comfort of your chair, you can quite easily do a similar analysis online.

  • Follow your competitors on social mediaat - you'll be able to see what's new and not miss any important information.
  • Keep an eye on your competitors' PPC campaigns - what key phrases are your competitors using?
  • SEO is also important - see how you and your competitors are doing in the natural search results on Google for example.


Now it's important to sit down with a clear head and take a good hard look at everything. And above all, be honest with yourself. Don't set yourself too big goals and realise that you are only at the beginning of your long but beautiful journey. Try answering the following questions and maybe then everything will go easier.

  • Who are my direct and indirect competitors?
  • Create your own SWOT analysis.
  • Use Porter's model to understand who your customers, suppliers, existing competitors or potential competitors are.
  • Do mystery shopping.
  • Research and be inspired by your competitors in the online environment.
  • Create at least three personas for your business.


Sometimes when we dwell on one thing for too long, our perspective can become slightly distorted. So don't be afraid to reach out to your employees, friends, or family for help. More heads know more, and they may be able to give you a different perspective on the issue. Try brainstorming, write down everything you can think of, where you see a problem and where you see an opportunity. Nothing is wrong. Don't be afraid of your wildest ideas, maybe that's where your opportunity lies.


Competition is a thing you simply have to reckon with. But you don't have to view your competition as a necessary evil. Try to see it as a means to get ahead. Learn from the mistakes others have made before you. After all, that is why you are doing this analysis.