The 5 ingredients for your business strategy


In my experience with different and very diverse businesses, I have realized that good intentions are often insufficient.

The entrepreneur needs a clear and concise Plan, with a clear direction to reach success, and for that reason, for a few years, I have dedicated myself to teaching on this subject and to advise professionals in the approach of their strategies.

Ours sector Horeca, is one of enormous difficulty. A sector in which, to continue to lead or make a place … it is necessary to work very hard and incorporate new operational forms, team management or marketing.

This October 9th I had the opportunity to present in San Sebastián Gastronomika the new project that I lead, HorecaSpeakers. A project that aims, precisely, to provide the sector and each employer with the necessary tools to evolve in a sector as changing and hostile as ours.

San Sebastián Gastronomika is the space for the presentations of great gastronomy professionals who generously share recipes, ingredients, techniques and ways of understanding their profession, the kitchen and what the future will be like.

In the Kursaal Palace, where HorecaSpeakers has been presented to the world in a session that we will always remember, we have listened to Carme Ruscalleda, Diego Guerrero, Dani Garcia, Elena and Juan Arzak, Martín Berasategui, Paul Pairet, Kiko Moya, Ramón Freixa, Mario Sandoval , Oriol Castro, Andoni Aduriz, Eneko Atxa, Paco Pérez, Josean Alija, Ricard Camarena, José Andrés, Virgilio Martínez, Albert Raurich, Pepe Solla, Angel León, Joan Roca, Rodolfo Guzmán, Qique Dacosta …

So, from the maximum humility, I want to contribute to this evolution of the sector and your company with a recipe that is not in the kitchen, but that is cooked in the head of those who have the great responsibility of leading a Horeca business project.

This recipe has a name that you will hear more and more: STRATEGY. And so that you can cook it over a low heat, without haste and with the necessary reflection that this precise cooking, allow me to put on the table, as if it were a showcooking, the basic ingredients that you have to use, before giving it the personal touch necessary to make it an author’s dish.


This mise en place of the Strategy is inside your head. It manifests itself in the way you face each challenge, each decision to make.

Switch to ‘Strategic Mode’. How? With intention, global perspective, opportunistically, thinking in the long term, considering the past and the present, and under hypothesis.

Keep your eyes open, attentive to opportunities, to trends (trends in the fron of the house and kitchen have seen a lot and good in this edition of San Sebastian Gastronomika). Strategic thinking is the perfect preparation, the ideal mise en place to start cooking, with these 5 basic ingredients, the strategic recipe.


Every organization, from a small bar to a large chain, passing through the most gastronomic restaurants, is subject to changes in their environment. Globally and in its closest micro-environment.

Predict your next movement from 4 forces of change: political, economic, technological and social.

Knowing and analyzing reality helps us understand the changes that lie ahead. And that knowledge allows us to situate ourselves.


Align yourself with the trends. Remember: in a matter of trends, not everything goes. The key is to align with those that fit into your business model.

As a hotelier, you have to be smart and focus on those trends that are good for your business model.

In the Trends tab of my website I have left you a selection of articles in which I talk about the most important trends of the moment. In addition, I explain the difference between fashion and trend, so you can elaborate your strategy better.


In Spain we have almost 305,000 restaurant establishments, which give direct work to more than 1,600,000 people and which represent an annual turnover of almost 120,000 million euros (according to the report of the FEHR for the period 2016 – 2017). Some impressive numbers on the dynamics of the sector: high competitiveness and a fabulous economic power. So, remember:

Design your Strategy, evaluate your business scenario beforehand


Design a unique model for success, in which you will identify eight key points:

Objective customer segments.

Your true value proposition

The relationships with your customers.

The income streams.

Your available resources

The key activities

Your key associations and your cost structure.

Understanding these 8 blocks and their connections, we can polish the model and fine-tune all the mechanisms that make a Horeca business, whatever its size, work.


Without clear objectives, you cannot project your business to success.

Set KISS & SMART objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented and with deadline


The cooking of these ingredients is based on four steps:

Analyze, find your address, formulate and execute.

To cook the recipe of the Strategy in your Horeca business you need a LEADER, as well as having road partners who believe in the vision of the LEADER, forming a stable and enthusiastic block committed to the Plan and its objectives.

To this LEADER, to you, I recommend you incorporate the Techno-Digital into the Strategy.

One last point: technology IS NOT INNOVATION: IT IS ONE OF THE TOOLS THAT HELPS US TO INNOVATE, at the same time as being more effective, allowing us to find the real information between the back office dynamics (purchases and processes) and the front office (sales).

In addition, tecnodigital allows us to place the Horeca business on the digital map, giving it a new commercial and reputation dimension.


This one that I just told you is the strategic recipe that I shared yesterday in my presentation of the HorecaSpeakers session in San Sebastián Gastronomika.

Also, I want to share with you five notes, of the five papers that formed the Session. My “conclusions” of the day. These are:

“Measuring is deciding: the more you measure, the more decision possibilities you will have

Ramón Dios

“Do not run a family: build and lead a TEAM

Eva Ballarin

“Training is fundamental to ALL LEVELS of the organization

Óscar Carrión

“Customer segmentation is key. Segment your customers according to criteria that help your business grow

Beatriz Romanos

“Profit is the trend that does not go out of style

Federico Fritzsch

I invite you to continue the conversation on my Social Networks. Do you have questions that you would like to ask me? You can do it at [email protected] and at #AskBallarin.

We have an objective: Share knowledge to grow together and generate business that build a sustainable and happy society.

Keep in touch. Virtual hugs

– Discover more about my activity and especially what we can do together.

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2020 Trends in the Horeca Sector