Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Annie Brown


Ineffective leadership strategies can negatively affect the sustainability of small business restaurants. Leaders of small business restaurants who do not implement effective leadership strategies may face challenges sustaining their business in the first 5 years of operation. Grounded in entrepreneurship theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore leadership strategies that successful small business restaurant managers employ to help sustain their businesses beyond the first 5 years of operation. The participants of this study included three individuals who successfully managed small business restaurants in the Midwestern United States. Data collection procedures included semistructured interviews and a collection of company documentation such as business mission statements, organizational charts, and job descriptions. Data were analyzed using coding, theme development, member checking, and methodological triangulation. Four themes emerged: maintaining good customer relationships, quality of product, employee satisfaction, and importance of community involvement. A key recommendation is for small business restaurant owners to build honest relationships both within the company and with suppliers. Small business owners may engage directly with customers and employees while working alongside their staff and being hands-on with the business operations. Implications for positive social change include information that can support small businesses to remain successful. In return, a successful small restaurant business may lead to more job opportunities, encourage employee advancement, and increase local business-to-business transactions.

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