Mother, daughters run Los Angeles McDonald’s franchise empire
Patricia Williams is the first African-American female chairperson of the McDonald’s Southern California Regional Leadership Council.
Patricia Williams (center) and her daughters, Nicole Enearu (left) and Kerri Harper-Howie, have built a McDonald’s franchise empire in the Los Angeles area, employing more than 700 and generating annual revenues of nearly $50 million. Photo: Jon Didier
First McDonald’s franchise was in Compton; now own 13 franchises around Los Angeles area
COMPTON — More than 30 years ago, Patricia Williams, 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 Los Angeles Police Department.
Years later, 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 Williams says it wasn’t easy. To become a certified McDonald’s franchise owner, she had to spend time working in the store and taking required classes.
How they grew
Because the McDonald’s brand was growing so rapidly in the 1980s, the first location became a quick success, enabling Williams and her husband to purchase a second store.
However, shortly afterward, their marriage fell apart and Williams 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!
It was never really Williams’ plan, but in the early 2000s, her two daughters ended up getting involved. After making a major career change, daughter Nicole Enearu went through the McDonald’s franchise training program for owners and purchased a store.
Daughter Kerri Harper-Howie, who is a lawyer, started initially providing legal and HR help to her mother’s franchises. But, she took the McD training course, as well, the Next Generation program at McDonald’s, for children of McDonald’s franchise owner operators.
Today, mother and daughters sit at the top of a multi-million dollar company that provides hundreds of jobs to the local community. They also provide scholarships to local students and fund various local and national charities.
Williams also took another giant step within the McDonald’s organization, becoming the first African-American female chairperson of the McDonald’s Southern California Regional Leadership Council.