Shakespeare and Co: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning Strategies


Shakespeare and Co have been a business venture operating in the food industry in the UAE since 2001 (‘Shakespeare and Co’, 2014). The headquarters of the business is in Dubai, and it serves the widespread clientele through the philosophy of providing high-quality foods while ensuring that efficient services are offered at home. Right from only one outlet in Dubai in 2001, the venture has grown to command significant influence in the EAE, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Iraq, and in the United States. Having been successful, Shakespeare and Co has its commitment to expanding and exploring new opportunities in other countries through the pool of great employee teams as well as through the ever-increasing customers.

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Currently, the venture runs a chain enterprise of over 25 hotel outlets within the UAE, about 12 international franchises across the globe, and has an estimated target of running about 40 stores by the year 2017. Besides, the great success has enabled the venture to have a large pool of employees, which is now estimated to be about 1050 people. The organization’s vision is to become the leader in the global independent casual-dining industry (‘Shakespeare and Co’, 2014). Accordingly, this record analyzes the organization’s segmentation strategy and target market.

Marketing: The Product Concept

The organization’s operation is based on the café restaurant model that is distinct ‘Shakespearean’ by design. While the company runs a chain of outlets, the distinction concept ensures that every store is unique from the others through unique décor, colors, and layout. The uniqueness of such designs ensures that Shakespeare and Co stand distinct from the other competitors. Moreover, the concept thrives through the provision of an excellent menu in the restaurant. Shakespeare and Co’s menu embraces a holistic approach by including most classic dishes, the world’s favorite cuisines (‘Shakespeare and Co’, 2014). The idea of embracing diversity in the menu provision was supported to ensure that the rich diversity of global patrons visiting the joints is reflected. Therefore, the restaurant offers classic meals with fresh ingredients fetched from across the globe. Besides offering in-house services to ever-increasing customers, the organization has adopted a new model of providing outside catering services. The catering division created in 2010 has seen the company reach the demands of diverse clients, especially such that would not visit the physical outlets. The unique desires of the populace necessitate that the restaurant offers the catering services to ensure that the elegant Shakespearean flair is felt at special events.

Among other foods that feature on the menu of Shakespeare and Co are Lebanese saj, Italian pizzas, and other Italian pasta, various types of meat as well as a myriad of selected seafood. Besides, in 2004, the company introduced different patisseries that complemented the main foods on the menu. A wide selection of viennoiserie, pastries, petit fours, marshmallows, and macaroons appear in the list of patisseries highly esteemed by the restaurant’s customers. The creativity of the employees has enabled the company realize significant results, especially in the introduction of new components in the menu. For instance, the company offers a wide range of chocolates as part of the pastries that are baked and packaged thereby representing the distinctive features of the restaurant. The presentation of different ingredients in the menu, as well as the diversity of patisseries and pastries, ensures that nearly all the cravings and needs of the customers are met within the restaurant. Besides, the unique designs in planning the restaurants and specialized services ensure that the customers enjoy the Shakespearean flair even outside Dubai as the feeling originally inspired the family idea (‘Shakespeare and Co’, 2014).

The Product Market

Shakespeare and Co have been operational for approximately 14 years, since it was established in 2001 in Dubai. The company has grown in the scale of operation from one outlet to multiple stores within the region and across UAE. The company operates within the casual dining industry as a multinational company and, therefore, faces stiff competition from other players. The operations of the company within various locations expose it to both opportunities and challenges. Among the opportunities are the increasingly large market sizes and the company’s many customers. On the other hand, the large-scale operations expose the company to higher competitive forces from competing firms (Shaw, 2012).

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The target customers for the company are multicultural and widely spread across the globe. While the company operates over 21 franchises within the UAE, many operate outside the country. Therefore, the target clients differ in culture, tastes, and preferences as well as in social and economic status. The UAE has become a trading hub. As such, the provision of different menus and ingredients enables the chain restaurant to target a wide range of clients, especially from the business class. Accordingly, the restaurant fetches raw materials from across the world, and it prides itself on skilled employees who realize customer expectations. The company’s adoption of the ideology of outside catering has also enabled it to reach many other customers, especially at events and parties. The company confirms that the primary dream is to grow and expand more but is guided by the principle of offering services to exceed the expectations of every customer through professionalism and integrity. While such is the dream, the company esteems what would be perceived as old-fashioned values that embrace diversity (‘Shakespeare and Co’, 2014).

The Company’s Target Market

The company operates over 27 outlets in the UAE and external franchise outlets. However, the website shows that it aims to have established about 40 more such international and local franchises by the year 2017 to meet the ever-growing demand for its services. The company embraced the franchising model through which it has been able to identify and co-work with different partners to develop the concept of maturity. The franchising model is the most reliable business tool the company is embracing to grow and extend the company’s target market not only in the UAE but also across borders. The company targets and opens outlets in regional supermalls, mixed-use developments, and stand-alone locations (‘Shakespeare and Co’, 2014).

Marketing Strategy

Among other unique marketing tools that the company embraces are periodic renovations and branding of the outlets with different colors to ensure that customers always feel the uniqueness of the restaurants. Besides, the company invents and introduces new designs and dishes, and emphasizes the need for personalized service, features that define and set the restaurants apart from other competitors. In addition, the company operates departments of franchising and marketing that co-work to ensure that brand awareness is increased through print materials. External advertising is equally esteemed, but word of mouth is highly regarded for reputation promotion. Finally, the marketing activities of the company create awareness for the brand by public relations, social media, paid publications, and alliances with event organizers (Barbieri Lima & Carvalho, 2010; Park & Johnston, 2005).


Shakespeare and Co serve within an industry that encourages undifferentiated positioning (Kohls, 1998). The company equally embraces the strategy of undifferentiating the customers because, in many instances, the customers served at any outlet are majorly unexpected. The undifferentiated positioning strategy offers relatively high-priced services to pop-in customers whose orders are prepared at an impromptu request. All customers are treated equally, with speed being encouraged while serving all the customers. The reputation of the fair treatment at the company-owned outlets enables the company to partner comfortably with other companies with franchised outlets. Nevertheless, it must be appreciated that the company may use a differentiated strategy while serving the special needs of specialized groups especially through the outside catering strategy. Through positioning, the company is able to distinguish the needs of particular groups of customers prior to selling the service. Prior ticketing for the service needs is done, and depending on the nature and ability of the company, some advantages in the pricing mechanism could be in accompaniment. The company also operates in a specialized system where all the needs of the company in terms of design and fittings are met by an internal department, which is wholly set apart for that purpose. The aspect ensures that the specialized needs of different clientele in different locations regarding sitting preference and the local designs are met.

Perceptual Mapping

The company has excelled greatly in the home market, as indicated by the operation of many outlets in the market as against the number of outlets operated outside. The UAE region offers the primary target market for the company, especially due to the cultures embraced, which entertains the development of local merchandise more than foreign commodities. The company has also been able to meet the specialized needs of the tastes and preferences of the people in terms of differentiated menus, beautiful layouts, and decor for the outlets at various points. Moreover, the stores are distributed in the trading hubs of large regional cities, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, and Fujairah, among other highly populated areas. The thriving economy of the region, especially in trade, tourist destination, and transport hubs connecting to the western economies, enables the company to operate profitably within these strategic outlets (‘Shakespeare and Co’, 2014). Therefore, it is worth noting that the company has been strategically mapping the operating areas by strategically targeting the ‘old school values’ embraced by most of Shakespeare and Co’s customers.


Shakespeare and Co is among the fastest-growing operators within the industry of casual-dining industry in the United Arab Emirates region. The company operates chain outlets wholly owned by the company and some franchised outlets. The concentration of these outlets is in UAE, while other outlets are found in other regions like in the US. The main products on offer are food products that are offered at the stores or through outside catering provisions. Traditional menus take preference in the outlets, with innovations being embraced to ensure that the modern needs of the customers are met in style. The company targets majorly all classes of people from all over the world, with undifferentiated positioning being embraced.



Barbieri Lima, G., & Carvalho, T. D. (2010). Marketing strategies and brand positioning in the hotel sector: an exploratory study. REMark, 9(3), 98

Kohls, R. (1998). Positioning: Marketing’s 5th ‘P’. Marketing News, 32(6), 6.

Park, M. H., & Johnston, T. C. (2005). The essence of marketing strategy. Allied Academies International Conference.Academy of Marketing Studies.Proceedings, 10(1), 35-38

SHAKESPEARE AND CO, .. (2014, January 1). SHAKESPEARE AND CO. CORPORATE PROFILE. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from

Shaw, E. H. (2012). Marketing strategy. Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, 4(1), 30-55.

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