This 36-Year-Old McDonald’s Owner/Operator is Already Becoming a Pillar in His Community
February 29, 2020
Meet Andre Hill of Columbus, Ohio.
The 36-year-old became one of McDonald’s newest owner/operators in December 2019 – and he's already committed to becoming a pillar in his community.
“Being able to provide job opportunities along with exposure, and access to leaders in the community is special,” he says. “Kids that look like me don't see this in their homes every day.”
Andre’s connection to McDonald’s began when he was much younger, growing up in metro Detroit. He and his older brother loved visiting the Golden Arches whenever they could – but his brother, who has special needs, was especially drawn to McDonald’s.
“Sometimes we had to avoid driving past a McDonald’s,” Andre laughs. “He’d throw a fit if he saw a McDonald’s and we didn’t go there.”
As a single parent, McDonald’s also happened to be a convenient choice for Andre’s mom, Gale. “She loved to cook, but it was not always easy or convenient,” he explains. “McDonald’s was our favorite place to go as kids.”
While raising two sons, Gale worked her way up at General Motors in Detroit for more than 20 years. It was only about 12 years ago when she decided to become a McDonald’s owner/operator in Columbus, Ohio.
“I’ve seen nothing but success from my mom,” Andre says. “Thank God I’ve always been able to look up to her.”
Gale never pressured Andre to go into business with her. In fact, Andre initially set out on a much different path, getting his MBA and then working for a well-known and long-established automobile company in Detroit.
“I had the opportunity to learn excellent business acumen from a company that’s been around for years – and I took those lessons learned to help enhance our business,” Andre says.
Still, Andre had an entrepreneurial itch he needed to scratch. In 2016, he decided to move to Ohio to enter McDonald’s Next-Gen program and eventually take possession of one of his mom’s four restaurants.
Already, he’s excited about the role he can play for his community.
“I was very fortunate to grow up in Metro Detroit surrounded by successful and influential people who have led very successful lives, owned businesses that have stood the test of time, and rose through ranks in corporate jobs,” Andre says. "Many kids of color don’t get to see that. It’s very important that my mom and I serve as an example for the community that we serve.”
Today, Andre is a major presence at their four restaurants and strives to have a meaningful presence in the lives of his employees.
“My staff knows me, they see me regularly, and have my cell phone number,” he says. “I’m very aware of the role model I have to be and the impact I can have.”