Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Approximately 52% of food and accommodation businesses survive 5 years or more. Small business restaurant owners face greater challenges in marketing and sustainability than larger and well-established chain restaurants. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the successful marketing strategies of small business restaurant owners who sustained their businesses 5 years or more. The population was small business restaurant owners in Eugene, Oregon. The conceptual framework for this study was Porter's 5 forces. Data collection included semistructured interviews with 4 business owners, and data analysis consisted of coding and thematically analyzing interview data and data collected from the business and marketing documents of research participants. Five themes emerged: adherence to fundamental restaurant marketing principles; migration of restaurant promotions to websites and social media; innovation and flexibility in marketing; diner loyalty, reputation, and relationship marketing; and marketing evolution from hospitality experience. Each research participant emphasized the importance of food and service quality, flexibility in marketing, budgeting, and relationships with diners as marketing strategies for sustainability. Each restaurateur recognized the prohibitive costs of traditional television, radio, and print marketing and disclosed how social media and word of mouth were effective promotional channels with minimal costs. Findings may be used by small business restaurateurs to increase opportunities for duplicable and predictable sustainability and to increase revenues, job growth, and funds for environmental and philanthropic programs.