Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Erica D. Gamble


The restaurant industry plays an essential role in the U.S. economy. Approximately 26% of small- and medium-sized enterprise restaurants fail during their first year of business operation and 60% cannot sustain beyond 3 years. The objective of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies that small- and medium-sized restaurant owners used to financially sustain business beyond 5 years. The purposive sample consisted of 4 successful restaurant owners who have been in operation for at least 5 years in the southern region of the United States. The general systems theory was the conceptual framework of this study. The data were collected from semistructured interviews, cash flow statement, and profit and loss statements. Member checking and transcript review were used to strengthen the credibility and trustworthiness. The 3 themes that emerged from methodological triangulation after completing the Yin's 5 steps of data analysis were market research, great customer service, and having passion. The findings of this study might serve as a guide for current and future SME restaurant owners to financially sustain business beyond 5 years. The findings of the study may contribute to social change as successful small- and medium-sized enterprise restaurant owners would help address unemployment issues by generating additional jobs and building wealth for themselves, their employees, communities, and the local economy.

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