Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


This research investigates and explores the quick service segment (Fast Food) of the Irish Foodservice Industry, with a particular focus on how independent owners of Fast Food outlets manage their business. This growing sector of the Irish Foodservice market is experiencing dramatic changes, in terms of their “food offer”, the legislation governing the industry and the level of increasing competition within the market. As a result of year on year growth and increasing consumer trends towards fast casual dining, this sector of the market is attractive to the plethora of both international and national food franchises who are seeking further expansion and growth at the expense of the independently owned and managed outlet.

This study relies on the research philosophies of positivism and phenomenology, and a mixed methods approach of qualitative and quantitative research, which was adopted to triangulate data from a variety of sources to ensure the validity of the results. This research comprised of a survey questionnaire sent to a data base of Independent owners of Fast Food outlets, and four semi structured interviews with key stakeholders in the Irish Fast Food industry, representing businesses from the complete spectrum of the Fast Food business in Ireland. This research found that there is need for the independent owner to seek professional advice and expertise in managing their business in a more effective and efficient manner, which will allow them focus more “on their business” rather than be subsumed “in the business”. This study found a model for future practice to help the Independent owners manage their business more efficiently and professionally, and which will stem the ever increasing market share being “eaten up” by the Food Franchises of Multi-National Corporations, (M.N.C.s).

This research will be of benefit to owners of independent Fast Food outlets on how to better manage their businesses, to Franchisors who may want insights into the way independent owners in Ireland operate and who may benefit from a franchise operated model, and to food wholesales who may wish to provides added value to their customers other than value for money and good delivery service. The study concludes with the Researcher’s suggestions of other topics that may warrant further research, particularly in an Irish context, which will benefit the many stakeholders in the “Fast Food” industry, and also the many consumers of their product.

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