Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Dr. Susan Fan


There were 133 billion pounds of food that went to waste in the United States in 2014, leading to $161.6 billion in economic loss. Of this waste, 89 billion pounds occurred in restaurants and other food service facilities. A case study was used to explore the strategies small, independent, family-owned restaurants owners used to reduce food waste. Four small independent, family-owned restaurants owners located in the Washington, DC, metro area participated in the study. These owners were selected based on their revenue and years of survival. Stakeholders theory was the conceptual framework in which the study was grounded. Face-to-face interviews with participants and company financial documents comprised the data. Interview transcripts, member checking results, and financial documents were analyzed for emergent themes. The 3 themes that emerged from this study are employee training, communication among stakeholders, and customer loyalty. The implications for social change include the potential to provide new strategies that can help small, independent, family-owned restaurants reduce food waste, increase profits, and improve the economic conditions of communities in the Washington, DC metro area.

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