BJ's Restaurants, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by BJ's Restaurants, Inc. managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a handy technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) BJ's Restaurants, Inc. is facing in its current business environment.

The BJ's Restaurants, Inc. is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. BJ's Restaurants, Inc. maintains its prominent position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis an immensenly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the organization such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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The SWOT Analysis framework facilitates an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the BJ's Restaurants, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
BJ's Restaurants, Inc. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The primary purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect BJ's Restaurants, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to BJ's Restaurants, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of BJ's Restaurants, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading companies in its industry, BJ's Restaurants, Inc. has numerous strengths that enable it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of BJ's Restaurants, Inc. are –


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  • Strong distribution network – Over the years BJ's Restaurants, Inc. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to BJ's Restaurants, Inc. products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years BJ's Restaurants, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of BJ's Restaurants, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – BJ's Restaurants, Inc. has built expertise at entering new markets and making success of them. The expansion has helped the organization to build new revenue stream and diversify the economic cycle risk in the markets it operates in.
  • Strong Free Cash Flow – BJ's Restaurants, Inc. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Successful track record of integrating complimentary firms through mergers & acquisition. It has successfully integrated number of technology companies in the past few years to streamline its operations and to build a reliable supply chain.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.


Weakness of BJ's Restaurants, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where BJ's Restaurants, Inc. can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a company can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.


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  • Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
  • The company has not being able to tackle the challenges present by the new entrants in the segment and has lost small market share in the niche categories. BJ's Restaurants, Inc. has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry BJ's Restaurants, Inc. has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • Days inventory is high compare to the competitors – making the company raise more capital to invest in the channel. This can impact the long term growth of BJ's Restaurants, Inc.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • Not very good at product demand forecasting leading to higher rate of missed opportunities compare to its competitors. One of the reason why the days inventory is high compare to its competitors is that BJ's Restaurants, Inc. is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of BJ's Restaurants, Inc. are below the industry average.

Opportunities for BJ's Restaurants, Inc. – External Strategic Factors


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  • New environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for BJ's Restaurants, Inc. to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable BJ's Restaurants, Inc. to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of BJ's Restaurants, Inc. products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to BJ's Restaurants, Inc. to practices differentiated pricing strategy in the new market. It will enable the firm to maintain its loyal customers with great service and lure new customers through other value oriented propositions.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the BJ's Restaurants, Inc. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for BJ's Restaurants, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided BJ's Restaurants, Inc. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • New customers from online channel – Over the past few years the company has invested vast sum of money into the online platform. This investment has opened new sales channel for BJ's Restaurants, Inc.. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.

Threats BJ's Restaurants, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for BJ's Restaurants, Inc.   in those markets.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and BJ's Restaurants, Inc. may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the BJ's Restaurants, Inc. profitability.
  • No regular supply of innovative products – Over the years the company has developed numerous products but those are often response to the development by other players. Secondly the supply of new products is not regular thus leading to high and low swings in the sales number over period of time.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • As the company is operating in numerous countries it is exposed to currency fluctuations especially given the volatile political climate in number of markets across the world.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of BJ's Restaurants, Inc.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for BJ's Restaurants, Inc.

Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.

  • Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
  • SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
  • The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of BJ's Restaurants, Inc.
  • SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
  • SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.

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Weighted SWOT Analysis of BJ's Restaurants, Inc.

In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.

This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis BJ's Restaurants, Inc. managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.

Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of BJ's Restaurants, Inc.

This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.

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Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Worksheet & Template

If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.


References / Citations & Bibliography

  • M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
  • A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
  • O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
  • L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
  • R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)