10 pieces of business advice from McDonald’s Black franchisees

Julio and Andre McDonald's Franchisees

December 16, 2022

Second-generation McDonald’s Owners/Operators Julio Morgan Gillis and Andre Hill have navigated the experiences of being Black entrepreneurs, and as members of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association (NBMOA), they take pride in running Black-owned businesses. 

Here are their 10 pieces of advice for entrepreneurs and aspiring McDonald’s Owners/Operators. 


1. Take advantage of the resources available for your community  

"The NBMOA has been a huge part of my success, and I've seen them advocate for not only the Black Owners/Operators but also Black employees. Resources like these are essential to ensure all voices are heard and that the people who haven't had the same starting point as others can receive the support they need." 

- Julio 

2. Your previous work experience can prepare you to be a McDonald's Owner/Operator 

"I've worked in corporate, flipped homes, and even did mortgages in my early 20s. So, all these different experiences have impacted my work, I also look up to my mom's previous experience because she worked at General Motors and took her learnings from there, and incorporated them into being an Owner/Operator, so you can always utilize previous work experience you think might not apply." 

- Andre 

3. Be aware of the commitment that comes along with being a McDonald's Owner/Operator  

"You're in these restaurants every day, not just Monday or Tuesday, and the days someone might not show up, it's your role to step in for them. It's a hands-on business, and you must be ready to fulfill any role, not just Owner/Operator."  

- Julio 

4. Serving as representation is a part of the job 

"I take pride in being able to showcase to people that look like me and question whether they can achieve something like this. I'm proud to serve as the example to remind them they can achieve it." 

- Andre 

5. Know how you want to define your business

“These are questions I like to keep in mind or ask people when they’re looking to define or start their business that have helped me along the way.” 

How do you treat your customers?

What are your expectations of your customer? 

Is there an ordering process?

Do you have an LLC?

What are you striving for? 

- Julio

6. Don't be afraid to ask for additional experiences 

"I would suggest shadowing if you're interested in learning what it takes to be an Owner/Operator, speaking with the general manager and seeing if they can put you in contact with the owner to get a better understanding of what they do and deal with on a day-to day."  

- Andre 

7. Maintain a "forever" student mentality  

"If you're not learning, there's no way you can excel at being an entrepreneur, you may not have a degree in social work or accounting, but best believe you might be doing that work even when you don't expect it."  

- Julio 

8. Don't let the size of McDonald's deter you  

"It can be overwhelming when you look at the size and magnitude of McDonald's, but they will work with you as a direct applicant if they feel you have the skills and drive, they're looking for, so still apply!" 

- Andre 

9. Remember the three things that help make a successful Owner/Operator  

Value learning new things 

People skills  

Hard work  

- Julio 

10. Exposure can help build confidence  

"Learn from those around you; I had a family friend that was an Owner/Operator growing up, so seeing him gave me the reassurance I could do it; I didn't care if I was at the top or bottom; I kept the same confidence in myself and being able to bounce back is what can set you apart."   

- Andre 

If you’re interested in becoming a McDonald’s Owner/Operator, learn more here.

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