Case Study: The Rise of Finagle A Bagel

Case Overview

The case study is a success story of the efforts of a couple who believed in themselves and were responsible enough to apply ethical standards in their business. Laura Beth and Alan Litchman started their business venture by thinking of selling bagels in Hong Kong and ended up owning a chain of Finagle A Bagel in Boston, USA (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2015). This is a really good example of making a business a success with continuous effort and a great sense of corporate social responsibility. In this paper, I have answered the questions posed at the end of the case study in the text book.

  1. How has the business cycle affected Finagle A Bagel?

The business cycle affected Finagle A Bagel with a positive impact. The business grew rapidly and is not having an annual turnaround of $20 million. When they first started their business in partnership with Smith, the founder of Finagle A Bagel, they had planned to have an aggressive strategy of expanding their business to more locations. This is what they actually did and expanded rapidly with no looking back. They did not stick to on type of bagels only and introduced many more items like sandwiches, salads and soups. They also increased their production capability and started to sell in wholesale.

Finagle A Bagel has been successful in attracting more and more customers. The increasing customer base points to the fact that they have been providing quality products and been able to win loyal customers. They have also kept their prices realistic. Research has indicated that realistic price is a factor that influences sales positively (Keen & Wang, 2007).  Overall speaking, Finagle A Bagel has moved in a positive direction with their business and they continue to grow irrespective of the market situation.

  1. What is Finagle A Bagel doing to differentiate itself from competitors that want a share of customers’ dining dollars?

Finagle A Bagel has adopted a business model that give them a competitive edge and enable them to differentiate their services from their customers. It is a tough job to convince people to make a purchase at your business, still, Finagle A Bagel has been successful in it. There are many reasons that has enable them to successfully differentiate from others. Following are some of the reasons.

  1. Wholesaling: Finagle A Bagel has adopted a business model where they sell to thousands of universities, hospitals and corporate cafeterias in wholesale. This makes sure that their sales increase enormously.
  2. High-quality: Finagle A Bagel do not compromise on quality. They are committed to providing their customers high quality products with the lowest prices possible.
  • Fresh products: This is another area where Finagle A Bagel has a competitive advantage. Everything they sell is freshly made.
  1. Competent employees: Finagle A Bagel has over 320 employees but still they manage all of these employees effectively. All of the employees are competent and believe in the organizational goals.
  2. Attractive environment: The environment at all of Finagle A Bagel locations is attractive to the customers. Cleanliness is given a greater priority.


  1. Why would Finagle A Bagel donate bagels to local charities rather than give them away to customers or employees?

Finagle A Bagel believes in giving back to the society. Corporate social responsibility or CSR calls for all corporates to protect the interests of the societies they are functioning in (Holme & Watts, 1999). This is what Finagle A Bagel is trying to do. They offer the unsold bagels to schools, shelters, and other non-profit organizations instead of throwing them away like their other competitors. They could well offer them to their customers or employees but this will not come under fulfilling their corporate social responsibility, instead it would serve their corporate interests by trying to motivate their employees to work more efficiently or by winning the loyalty of their customers.

  1. If you wanted to open a bagel restaurant in Hong Kong, would you license the Finagle A Bagel brand? Why or why not?

If I had to open a bagel restaurant in Hong Kong, I would definitely try to license. The main reason for this decision is their experience in the field and not their name as I do not think that Finagle A Bagel is that much famous in Hong Kong. I think that if I have their license and support, it would definitely help me in starting with a restaurant that has all the requirements fulfilled that a bagel restaurant must have. Their experience would guide me to reach out to customers effectively. It has been mentioned in the case study that Trust, one of the owners said” our typical day never ends.” Pointing to the fact that they continuously visit their stores and keep a check on their suppliers, finances and planning for the future. If I have their license, I would come under their circle of visits as well as they do not compromise on the quality of their products and they won’t allow anyone anywhere in the world to damage their name. This is how I would have a continuous opportunity to grow and take advantage of their experience. Hong Kong attracts millions of tourists each year, with many from the US. Most of them are already aware of Finagle A Bagel and would definitely visit my Finagle A Bagel based in Hong Kong.



Holme, R., & Watts, P. (1999). Corporate social responsibility. Geneva: World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Keen, B., & Wang, Y. (2007). What is a realistic value for price adjustment costs in New Keynesian models?. Applied Economics Letters, 14(11), 789-793.

Pride, W., Hughes, R. and Kapoor, J. (2015). Foundations of Business, 4th Edition.            Independence, KY: Cengage Publishing.