67-year old Reginald Webb started his career at McDonald's in 1973 and was manager and then regional vice-president for 12 years when the company offered him an opportunity to own his own franchise. He and his wife, Rene, did not hesitate.
Now, the Webbs have 16 locations and all of them are located in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario and other cities in the Inland Empire, a region in Southern California about 70 miles from Los Angeles. Their business model is so successful that in 2014, they were awarded the 2014 Black Enterprise Small Business Award Franchise Company of the Year.
Getting the whole family involved
Two of their three children have also joined them in the business. It has truly become a family-owned enterprise, according to this Black entrepreneur who admits that his children "do it better than I ever could.”
But their children did not join him right away; his daughter Kiana owned a clothing store and his son Kyle worked for ABC. But after Webb grew his business into 6 franchises, his children decided to join him in the family business.
Reginald says that his children were able to work well with the younger fast-food employees, and had the willingness to put in the hard work necessary to keep the businesses going. It was important to him that first, they finished their education, and second, that they made their own decision that this is what they wanted to do.
Other Black-owned McDonald's franchises
As of 2014, there were more than 335 franchisees in the National Black McDonald’s Owner’s Association, with 1,200 restaurants throughout the United States. The franchises combined gross more than $2 billion annually in sales.
In 1968, Herman Petty of Chicago became the very first Black owner-operator of a McDonald’s.