The research aims to study the structural and functional characteristics of food and beverage companies, focusing on corporate governance, investment and financing decisions, innovation, profitability, and risk of insolvency. The analysis is based on a mixed type investigation method carried out on a random stratified sample of 274 firms. The empirical findings reveal that a large prevalence of companies is owned by a single person or by a limited number of partners (often of the same family). Owners and their families centralize decision-making power. The prevalence of companies made investment in innovation. The investments are mainly financed (78%) by the self-financing or by shareholders' capital. The investigation of the causal relationships that link corporate risk, profitability, and the propensity to invest and innovate with the other explanatory variables of business management highlighted further significant aspects.