Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Erica Gamble


AbstractRestaurants are competitive, high-risk enterprises and have high failure rates. In this environment, family-owned restaurant business owners need operational strategies to sustain their businesses. Grounded in the balanced scorecard theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the operational strategies used by family-owned restaurant owners to sustain their businesses beyond five years. Five family-owned restaurant business owners from South Texas who successfully implemented sound operational strategies participated in the study. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and company documents, including training manuals, financial reports, business licenses, permits, press releases, and fictitious business name statements. Thematic analysis yielded four themes: maintaining customer focus and satisfaction, engaging in continuous learning and process development, practicing efficient operational strategies, and committing to innovation and change. A key recommendation is that family-owned restaurant business owners implement a customer-focused strategy that includes assessing customer satisfaction, increasing customer retention, and exceeding customer expectations. The implications for positive social change include the potential for sustainability of family-owned restaurant businesses, which would support local communities through continued job creation, human capital development, economic development, and job sustainability.