Sandwich Shops and Dentists: Eliminating Competition

Making competition nonexistent

Here are two sandwich spots, right next to one another in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego. Both have been here for years, but it seems unusual they’re both thriving.

Just for a sense of the area, the specialty bread place to the right, and the Chinese restaurant to the right of that, both have gone out of business in the last year.

So how do these two sandwich restaurants seem to coexist? Well, let’s look at their customers. The typical person who goes to Subway will be someone who has been to Subway before, knowing the menu along with the prices. So they’re someone looking for consistency at a more affordable price.

Now those who go to Sidny’s may also be repeat customers, who value the presumably higher quality, and accept the higher prices. But, Sidny’s will also attract those who are certain they do not want Subway, for whatever reason it may be, but are seeking sandwiches. Sidney’s also has the edge on those seeking Bagels, while Subway has the edge on hours, staying open hours longer than Sidny’s.

So we have two seemingly similar businesses staying profitable (if we assume long-term existence equates to profit) by serving different demographics, although it’s still people who mainly want sandwiches. Let’s look at a different world, like dentists. There seems to be an over-saturation of dentists on San Diego- and we have endodontists, prosthodontists, and orthodontists. Obviously these specialities are in their own niches and would not compete with a general dentist. but what happens when we have two dentists across the street from one another? Is one a more “affordable” practice and one more luxurious, with a higher end customer service, while maintaining an above rate above the national average?

If both were to try to out-price the other, by offering lower prices each week, the race to the bottom would have both crash, thus not a viable option. So the easiest option I would recommend is doing the most on the customer service side so that the patients have the best possible experience so that they become your advocate through recommendations.

Agree or disagree? Any other things you’d recommend?

Feel free to write here or to email me directly!

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