Restaurant Grill


October 2009


Introduction 2

History 3

Marketing Mix 4

• Product 4

• Price 6

• Place 6

• Promotion 7

Target Customer 8

SWOT analyses 9

• Strengths 9

• Weaknesses 10

• Opportunities 11

• Threats 12

Recommendations 14

Conclusion 15



We started these study case with a lunch at the Hippopotamus Les Halles the Monday October 19th. It was necessary for us to discover their universe before working on their restaurant chain.

The choice was quickly made because all of us wanted to try a new segment that is nowadays in constant development. We didn’t know the restaurant very much but heard about them andtheir competitors. Furthermore, the chain is very well implemented in Paris.

We started this marketing plan with the history of the restaurant. It’s important to know who the founder is and how the company started. We could see that changes have been made since the beginning and that hard times came with the several mad cow crises. It’s also a segment that has many competitors and it’s veryimportant to be reactive to survive.

In the first place, we started with the analysis of their marketing mix with the 4 P’s. We had to know their products, the range of prices, the place they settled and the way they promote their chain. In this segment, the product is very important. In fact, the prices can be cheap, the location good and the advertising important but if the food isn’t good theclients don’t come back. That’s why the P product has a considerable presentation in this work.

We wanted to describe the target customers of Hippopotamus to understand their internal communication policy and marketing strategy. We had no real surprise with the client’s profile and could see that it was the ones we saw the day we went for lunch to Hippopotamus Les Halles.

With the informationfound, we created the SWOT analysis. We realized an internal study on the company and an external diagnostic on the market. We could see that the chain is strong thanks to several strengths and few weaknesses. Furthermore, the chain has several opportunities that could make them even stronger but has to be very careful one some threats that could appear in the years coming.

Thanks to the SWOT wemade a few recommendations that could be taken by the CEO of the chain to improve their strategy and increase their profits.


Hippopotamus was created in June 1968 by Christian Guignard. His idea was to reproduce a concept existing in the United States: a restaurant where you can eat all sorts of grilled meat. He decided to export the concept to France. The first restaurant was openedin Paris in the Avenue Franklin Roosevelt. Today, the restaurant still exists and is the symbol of the chain.

In 1992, Jean-Paul Bucher director of the group Flo decides to buy the capital of Hippopotamus who had financial difficulties. His will was to enlarge its offer by going in a new segment which introduces an important potential of growth.

In 1996, a terrible international crisisreaches the restaurants Hippopotamus. It’s the start of the mad cow crisis. The chain had to be very careful with the origin of the meats and do several campaigns to reassure its costumers.

In 1998, Hippopotamus starts its development abroad. The first franchised restaurant opens in Algeria.

In November 2000, second mad cow crises with a very strong media impact. Sensitive effect on thefrequentation and rentability of the chain (lost of 20% of the turnover from November 2000 to February 2001).

In 2005, Hippopotamus opens four franchises outside France and keeps growing all around the world.

The group Flo, created in 1968, holds the restaurant chains Hippopotamus, Bistro Romain (acquired in 2000), Tablapizza (acquired in 2006), the Tavern of Maître Kanter (acquired in 2007) and…