Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2017

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Dr. R. Joseph Childs

Second Advisor

Dr. Lyle Bowlin


Mirroring its industry, restaurant entrepreneurship is an expansive, evolving topic. This thesis seeks to answer the question, “How do community-focused restaurants, operated by lifestyle entrepreneurs, launch and scale?” A case study approach is taken and literature regarding restaurant ownership, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise is reviewed. Interviews of ten different non-franchise restaurant owners were obtained and analyzed. The interviewees detailed the processing of launching the venture, scaling and growing the business, and supporting and partnering with the surrounding community.