Title: The Blue Chicken Case
Subject Area: Positioning Strategy, competitive strategy
Region: United States
Industry: Fast-casual food industry
Company: The Blue Chicken
Challenge: The Blue Chicken was a food start-up that has served fried chicken at the Smorgasburg food market in New York City for nearly a year. Since its opening in May 2019, The Blue Chicken experienced high demand and often sold out of its menu items. The founder, Aaron Ratner, was looking to increase The Blue Chicken’s presence in New York City by either claiming a spot in a food hall or through opening a food truck. Food halls would have adequate space for The Blue Chicken to prepare and store a greater volume of food, which would address the space issue Smorgasburg presented. However, the mobility and minimal financial resources required to set up a food truck was also appealing to this recent college graduate with little industry experience. The application process for both options required lots of time and patience and the longer Aaron waited to make a choice meant more missed sales and the increased likelihood of competitors stealing The Blue Chicken’s spot in the fast-casual space.
Personal Capital: Elucidating Our Professional Core
We elucidated our core to collaboratively work with a fast-casual food startup, The Blue Chicken, in solving a challenge of expansion that they were facing. The Blue Chicken served fried chicken at the Smorgasburg food market in New York City for nearly a year and was looking to increase presence by either claiming a spot in a food hall or through opening a food truck. We developed trust by collecting and analyzing data and generated value by formulating recommendations and implementations for The Blue Chicken. Lastly, we excited The Blue Chicken by presenting them with a thorough presentation in solving their strategy challenge.
The team included:
- Kristy Chen: Combined Computer Science and Finance
- Rebecca Chen: Finance and Accounting
- Richard Glasser: Finance and Entrepreneurship
- Elizaveta Pereguda: Journalism, Marketing & Entrepreneurship
- Luisa Plata: Finance and Entrepreneurship
- Zulan Ruan: Finance & Accounting
Social Capital: Embedding to Industry’s Realities
- Collected background data of a real company, and learned how to analyze trends and determine and elevate the strengths and weaknesses
- Communication and interpersonal skills gained through primary data collections such as interviewing founders and Blue Chicken customers, to extract informative materials necessary for case writing and consulting report
- Through the PESTEL framework and Industry Analysis, we learned to gain a deeper understanding of business, alertness to threats and a method to exploit opportunities through a cost effective manner.
- Created networks and developed mutual trust with the company to fully invest ourselves into the case, while practicing reciprocity that creates empathetic support
Professional Capital: Generating Value through Solving the Challenge
- Relied on our critical thinking abilities to used the data compiled for The Blue Chicken, the fast casual industry, and New York City to develop successful, yet feasible recommendations and determine relevant relationships amongst different topics
- Embedded our knowledge of the strategy frameworks in our breakdown of the Blue Chicken’s resources and the industry factors of the fast casual space to apply textbook concepts in the context of real businesses
- Assessed potential strategies and eliminated approaches that did not fit The Blue Chicken’s values based on practical judgment and ideologies from previous business courses.
Utilizing Capital: Getting Ready for New Projects
- The Blue Chicken, to provide clarity of focus – has allowed us all to gain immense management and strategy experience in a fast-casual food startup. Therefore, in terms of how it has impacted us as authors – we all respectively want to pursue startups or help companies grow in the future.
- Psychological readiness and maturity-the team gain the ability to grow as professionals in the new venture industry. We develop the necessary business skills and work ethic to become successful in the area.
- The team worked to resolve an expansion challenge, in which we researched and analyzed if The Blue Chicken should invest in food trucks or food halls in their next few years of business.
- The Blue Chicken expansion taught us essential skills to develop our expertise in the area and as strategic thinkers. The team became sensitive to cultural diversity, well-spoken, self-aware, humble, and constant learners.
- In totality, we are a group of 6, composed of different business concentrations, work experience, and backgrounds. Because of this, we were able to cultivate a competitive CORE, which resulted in a strong output/recommendation for The Blue Chicken to pursue, solving their expansion challenge.