Patricia Williams and her daughters, Nicole Enearu and Kerri Harper-Howie, have built an empire of McDonald’s franchises in the Los Angeles, California area. Combined, they employ more than 700 people in the community and generate annual revenues of almost $50 million.
How they got started
More than 30 years ago, Patricia, inspired by other family members who also owned McDonald’s franchises, took the leap herself. She was working at the time as a rehabilitation therapist, and her husband was a police officer for the LAPD. But they decided to cash out their retirement plans, and take out a small business loan to enter the world of fast food.
Their first McDonald’s location was in Compton, but Patricia says it wasn’t easy. To become a certified McDonald’s owner, you have to spend some time working in the store yourself and take required classes.
How they grew
Because the McDonald’s brand was growing so rapidly in the 1980’s, the first location became a quick success enabling Patricia and her husband to purchase a second store.
However, shortly afterwards, their marriage fell apart and Patricia ended up buying out her husband’s share of the company. But through the years, she continued to work hard on customer service and marketing, which helped significantly to increase the revenue at both locations.
In 1995, she made the smart move of selling both of her stores… and purchasing five more!
Getting her daughters on board
It was never really Patricia’s plan, but in the early 2000’s, both of her daughters ended up getting involved.
After making a major career change, her daughter Nicole went through the McDonald’s franchise training program for owners and purchased a store. She later went on to became the first female, African American Chair for the McDonald’s Southern California Regional Leadership Council.
Her other daughter Kerri, who is a lawyer, started out first by providing legal and HR help to her mother’s franchise locations. But, she went on to get training too – from the Next Generation program at McDonald’s, a program for children of McDonald’s owner operators.
Today, the three of them are running a multi-million dollar company that provides hundreds of jobs to the local community. They also provide scholarships to local students, and the funds for various local and national charities.