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Buenas Diaz – status quo or pivot!

Monika Hudson (Department of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA.)
Frank Ohara (Department of Finance, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA.)

Publication date: 3 July 2017



The family matriarch dies without a written succession plan, leaving her children to determine how to cope with the continuity of the family’s expanding food empire. This becomes increasingly difficult when one of the siblings wants to incur expensive, yet required, renovations to the family’s original restaurant. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the two older siblings are focused on corporate expansion efforts, while the youngest is trying to demonstrate her competence in running the family’s historical restaurant. A central focus of the case is to understand and identify effective strategies that should guide the firm-related choices each sibling makes.

Research methodology

This case, which was developed from field interviews and personal experience, highlights the array of competing financial and personal objectives and tensions involved in a family business. An interactive tool allows users to conduct multiple scenario analyses to determine if the company’s manufacturing expansion goals can be achieved while simultaneously honoring the family’s restaurant roots.

Relevant courses and levels

This case was designed specifically for the undergraduate junior or senior business or economics student who has already taken basic finance, economics, strategy, entrepreneurship, or psychology courses. Typically, by the third or fourth year of study in a traditional undergraduate program, virtually all of the core themes, concepts, theses, and theories associated with the case have been addressed in previous business or economics coursework.

Theoretical bases

The case provides an intentional opportunity for students to demonstrate their emerging financial analysis competencies, while concurrently synthesizing the so-called “soft” skills associated with rational decision making, organizational behavior analysis, business strategy, entrepreneurship, and negotiations.



The names of the institutions and individuals involved have been disguised, however the material facts of the case are authentic.

This case was prepared by the authors and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. The views presented here are those of the authors based on field research and professional judgment and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Case Journal. The names of the individuals, the firm, and its location have been disguised to preserve anonymity.

An earlier compact version of this case was presented by Aubrey Leung at the Baylor Student Case competition in January 2014.

Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The authors may have disguised names; financial, and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Hudson, M. and Ohara, F. (2017), "Buenas Diaz – status quo or pivot!", , Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 494-512.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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