Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2012

Sugar Bowl

by Richard G. Hamermesh and Alisa Zalosh


Shelby Givens, a recent business school graduate, returned home to Raleigh, North Carolina, to help rescue her family's ailing and outdated bowling alley, Westlake Lanes. Although she cut costs and addressed inefficiencies, moving the business from near-bankruptcy to profitability in nine months, market conditions threatened the long-term viability of the business. Givens then sold her family on a new, more youth-oriented concept, an urban lounge called Sugar Bowl that could generate sizable revenues from the food and beverage businesses already embedded in Westlake Lanes. The case follows Givens as she builds Sugar Bowl into a turnaround story through shrewd decision making in finance, operations, and marketing, while contending constantly with challenging surprises and disappointments. The case also captures Givens's reflections on how the entrepreneurial drive has motivated her. Sugar Bowl may be taught alone or after "Westlake Lanes" (4431), which follows Givens through the initial turnaround process.

Keywords: Family Business; Entrepreneurship; Operations; Performance; Business Strategy; Corporate Finance; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Raleigh;


Hamermesh, Richard G., and Alisa Zalosh. "Sugar Bowl." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-537, November 2012.