International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management.


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What are the most important critical success factors for small to medium-sized enterprise restaurants in The North West of England?










Background and Rationale

According to Lande, Seth, and Shrivastava (2019), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are considered an essential part of any economy. They are regarded as the critical part of business growth and innovation; thus, the sector attracts several attempts that help support the industry from several industry stakeholders, including governments, researchers and policymakers. The increased attention is also partly contributed by the globalization of the economy and increasingly severe competition. A study by Sefiani and Brown (2013) also observes that the SME sector is considerably diverse and covers all industry sectors, thus is considered an effective mechanism to generate employment for economic growth. To this extent, the SMEs have significantly received attention from business, political and management research areas. However, even with such efforts, there is still a lack of a universal definition of SMEs. Lampadarios (2016) also observes that there are significant variations concerning the concept of success based on different jurisdictions.


Lande, Seth, and Shrivastava (2019) report that in the U.K., SMEs remain the backbone of the economy, accounting for 90% of businesses and providing nearly 60% of employment, which contributes to about 50% of the GDP. The SMEs role is evident in the presence in the economic structure of the country with the top share being taken by real estate, renting and business activities (28%), construction (19%), transport, storage and communication (12%), other social, community and personal activities (12%), wholesale and retail trade (10%), health and social work (7%), manufacturing (6%), hotels and restaurant (4%), and agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing (3%) (Statist, 2021). According to Lande, Seth, and Shrivastava (2019), the U.K. is part of several trade agreements globally; this makes it possible for the U.K. to serve a global market. As such, the U.K. SMEs must adapt to the worldwide business environments by engaging in the processes and strategies that ensure business success. Based on the data provided that hotels and restaurants need to note the socio-economic importance, the U.K. government should also put measures in place to promote the market segment.


As Effiom and Edet (2018) mentioned, several success factors based on particular conceptual frameworks feature in the contemporary research works; however, the author notes the absence of a standard theory that encompasses the critical aspects of small business success. Also, Hung et al. (2011) describe that this situation is exacerbated by the fact that the importances mentioned above appear to be relative and changes based on the SMEs’ environment. To this extent, it is evident that while one success aspect could be critical in a given environment, it may not necessarily be relevant in a different environment. Chittithaworn et al. (2011) add that since SMEs have a considerably high tendency for failure and insufficient performance levels created the need for more empirical investigation on the critical factors of SMEs success in various business settings to help create a unifying theoretical model for SMEs success.


Because of the concerns mentioned earlier, this study endeavours to investigate the facts that contribute to the success of SME restaurants in The North West of England. The study explores the definitions of success of the SMEs from the perspective of the SMEs. To this extent, the study develops a conceptual framework that categorizes success factors in entrepreneurial, enterprise and business environments.


Aims and Objectives

The overall purpose of this study is to develop an adequate understanding of the factors that influence SMEs’ success in The North West of England from the perspective of the SMEs. Therefore, the following constitutes the critical objectives of the current study.

  1. To establish the salient factors for business ‘success from the perspective of the SMEs in restaurants in The North West of England.
  2. Establish the differences between the concept of SMEs success by the SMEs themselves and in the literature.
  3. To establish how the SMEs can ensure success during and post COVID 19


Research Question

The current study intends to answer the following study questions regarding SMEs’ success in restaurants in The North West of England regarding the theoretical framework from the literature review.

  1. What are the success factors of SMEs?
  2. Wat observable differences in defining the concept of SMEs success in contemporary literature and the perception of  managers of SMEs
  3. How Can SMEs ensure success during and after COVID 19?





Chittithaworn, C., Islam, M.A., Keawchana, T. and Yusuf, D.H.M., 2011. Factors affecting business success of small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand. Asian social science, 7(5), pp.180-190.

Effiom, L. and Edet, S.E., 2018. The success of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria: Do environmental factors matter. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, 9(4), pp.117-127.

Hung, W.H., Chang, L.M., Yen, D.C., Ho, C.T. and Chiang, M.C., 2011. ERP Success in the SMEs: The Perspectives of Service Quality and Social Cognitive Theory. Asia Pacific Management Review, 16(4).

Lande, M., Seth, D. and Shrivastava, R.L., 2019. Application of graph-theoretic approach for the evaluation of lean-six-sigma (LSS) critical-success-factors (CSFs) facilitating quality-audits in Indian small & medium enterprises (SMEs). International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management.

Lampadarios, E., 2016. Success factors for SMEs in the European chemical distribution industry: a new integrative perspective. Journal of Research in Business, Economics and Management, 6(3), pp.941-953.

Neneh, N.B., 2012. An exploratory study on entrepreneurial mindset in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector: A South African perspective on fostering small and medium enterprise (SME) success. African Journal of Business Management, 6(9), pp.3364-3372.

Sefiani, Y. and Bown, R., 2013. What influences the success of manufacturing SMEs? A perspective from Tangier. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 4(7).



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