The pay-what-you-can nonprofit restaurant model: A case study

by May, Christina M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 222 pages; 3667920


Qualitative case study research was carried out to examine the pay-what-you-can nonprofit restaurant model in order to understand how it is operated and managed. A single nonprofit restaurant in the eastern United States was the subject of the study, which included interviews, observations, and document review to obtain data relevant to four research questions. Framed by resource dependence, co-production, and equity theories, this study sought to expand what is known about how community cafes are operated and how resources, volunteers, and pricing mechanisms are managed and led in these unique nonprofit settings. It was determined that the model is operated by cutting costs, managing expenses in creative ways, and obtaining extra income through fundraising in order to compensate for the anticipated shortfall in revenue that results from allowing people to pay whatever they can for a meal. Data analysis also revealed certain management and leadership skills that promote sustainability of the model. The findings hold weighty implications for how hunger relief and other issues might be approached by nonprofit organizations. Substantial recommendations for future study of this emerging and evolving topic were made.

AdviserR. Boyd Johnson
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsSocial work; Management; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3667920

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