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Senior Member
What does "family-owned" mean?

Maybe it means that for example restaurant was belong to one's family?

(Edited so that the phrase the question is about is in the message box rather than in the title only. -- JustKate, English Only moderator)
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  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Family-owned" is given to distinguish a business from a "large unfeeling corporation". The inference being that you can expect more personalized service from an independent company.

    Properly it is probably more accurate to call it "independently owned", but "family" is a nice catch word nowadays and people are capitalizing on that fact.

    You will also see "locally owned" used in the same sense.

    To be truly "family owned" more than one member of the family would have to appear on the ownership documents.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    For a small store or restaurant, it usually means that everyone working there is a member of the same family. It is a "family business". The whole family (including cousins and uncles) works there, and this business supports the entire family. So the people there are highly motivated to make the business successful, by making customers happy - much more motivated than a stranger hired to work there, whose only motivation is his paycheck. It is often a nice place to shop.

    But if a "family business" is very successful, it may grow bigger and bigger, ending up as a business where most of the employees are not family members. Walmart is an example of a huge worldwide business that started as a family store. It is still owned by one family, but that has little meaning to customers.
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