A SWOT analysis measures the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by a particular business. In the noodles industry, such as eateries that specialize in serving noodle-based meals, specific market forces will decide whether a new or existing venture is likely to succeed. Noodle shops can become profitable if they can differentiate themselves but face challenges in breaking away from the competition.


Noodle shops tend to specialize in quick, cheap meals. If you’re in a location that draws a lot of foot traffic, your business will hold an advantage over rivals that rely on other forms of transportation to get customers. Any unique product a shop features can be a strength, as can the quality of the meals served and the diversity of the offerings. If you're the only pho restaurant in the area, serve the best pad thai in town, or are the only family-friendly eatery that has spaghetti for the children and pan-Asian noodle dishes for the adults, those can help differentiate you from the competition. Good relationships with vendors and a friendly and capable staff might also represent strengths, if they can generate better pricing or ensure delivery of hard-to-get ingredients. Menu prices at or below market would also be considered strengths in the noodle industry. It’s important to perform due diligence and research local market conditions to make sure you have a comprehensive picture of the landscape.


Lack of brand awareness can be a weakness for many noodles companies. If you don’t have much of a marketing budget to build your brand name, this leaves your business in a precarious position. If customers think your shop is about the same as any other, you are simply relying on chance and convenience to draw patrons. Regarding the menu, your staff might be less experienced than others, and less able to make the country-specific specialties that other noodle shops can offer. Or you might be the best in the state at offering Indonesian food ... only to find that the demand for that cuisine is too low to sustain a profitable enterprise.


Any noodle shop has an opportunity to generate or maintain business if it can give customers a reason to come back. A loyalty program that offers discounts to its Facebook fans or free meals after a certain number of purchases can cause people to seek out your shop instead of just picking the most convenient option. In addition, look at the marketplace to assess whether adding product offerings might expand your business well beyond the cost of the additional resources required. You might find that adding some Vietnamese or Thai offerings to your existing Japanese and Chinese menu can be the added pull that draws traffic away from nearby specialty joints. Or perhaps adding beverages or desserts popular in the regions that your noodle dishes come from could make your business a destination.


Noodle shops are constantly threatened by the low cost of switching. Any rival noodle company or quick-dining establishment can materialize to threaten market share, and unless your business can stand out from the crowd it can lose business if a rival cuts its prices or embarks on a splashy marketing campaign. Prices for key ingredients can also be a threat, particularly if it is difficult to switch to a lower-cost substitute. If your noodle shop specializes in regional Italian specialties and the price of imported cheese goes up, store-bought Parmesan might not do the trick for your customers in its place.