Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
The recent economic crisis in Puerto Rico has created decreased health department fiscal capabilities, adding more responsibilities to health department officials in charge of restaurant inspections without adding more operational funds, which in turn led to less regulatory capacity. This situation instigated increased food safety regulation violations, and food safety legislation changes, imposing more economic pressure to restaurant owners, which leads to a lack of restaurant sustainability. The purpose of this case study was to explore strategies six business visionaries, smart entrepreneurs, who have positioned themselves as successful restaurateurs, in the restaurant industry in Puerto Rico. They were key factors in the understanding of the business strategies applied to comply with food safety regulations for the sustainability of their business. The study was grounded in the socio-economic theory of compliance. Semistructured interviews and company documents provided the data for the study. Through thematic analysis, 4 themes emerged, legislative impact and food safety regulations, reducing economic stress and cost controls, customer conduct, and employee knowledge transfer. Although, the fiscal crisis has severely affected the entire restaurant industry and the economy in general, also undoubtedly holds great opportunities for developing new strategies appropriate to the fiscal situation. One recommendation is to build cooperative relations with government agencies such as the CDC, or the state health department, use of mystery shopper programs, and embrace social impact strategies to improve food service practices that may optimize healthier food consumption for restaurant patrons and increase profitability.