Danesha Smith gives advice on how to become a McDonald’s owner-operator

Danesha Smith, owner of a McDonald’s restaurant in Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of H and D Partners)

Danesha Smith is passionate about people. So much so, that after 17 years in human resources, she and her husband Andre decided to make the move to McDonald’s and open Sunshine and Sunrise Enterprises. “Moving from corporate to self-employment to entrepreneurship was a way for us to not only have an impact in our community but to build something very different for our children. And to [be] role models,” she said.

As the vice president of the Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Operator Association, Smith continues to lead by example.

What was the process of selecting McDonald’s as a franchise?
So what you need to know going into franchising, do your homework on the brand. … We had a lot of faith in the leadership and still have a lot of faith in the strategic direction of the company. [We believed in] the investments they were making in terms of infrastructure, technology, people.

Believe in the brand. We, in essence, have become brand ambassadors not just as a franchisee, but when [we] are out there talking about McDonald’s, we believe in what we’re saying, we believe in the service, we believe in the product.

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