With Father’s Day around the corner, we wanted to highlight Norman Carter, and his son Nathan Carter who own and operate four McDonald’s franchises in Southern California. They took time from their schedule to speak to our readers on being in the business for nearly two decades, the importance of Norman passing the business to Nathan, and how Nathan stepped into that role.
2UG: What led you to become a McDonald’s franchisee?
Norman Carter: Owning my own business was always a career goal. After meeting another African American Owner Operator, I realized that McDonald’s provided realistic opportunities for people of color. It was an easy decision to join the greatest Franchise in the world and so I did, in 1991 I began the process and 5 years later I got my first location.
2UG: Did you see the opportunity as one to pass on to your son?
My objective was always to pass the business to one of my kids. At an early age, Nathan took interest in McDonald’s. During his days off from school, he would always visit the restaurants and wanted to work. I think it was this early exposure to McDonald’s the lite the flame. As he got older, his interest and passion for the McDonald’s brand grew. Then my mission changed to preparing him for success.
2UG: At what point did you realize your career path involved continuing your father’s legacy of ownership of the franchises?
Nathan Carter: Whether it was basketball or career, I have always looked up to my father and wanted to emulate everything he did. At an early age, I wanted to be with my dad when he worked. So, I grew up in the restaurants. I believe the light bulb went off after I tried a few career paths of my own. Coming to the realization that working and learning from my father and try to continue his legacy outweighed working for someone else. Understanding the benefits and responsibilities associated with this career was something I wanted to pursue.
2UG: How important is it for you to pass down the family business to the next generation?
Norman Carter: My philosophy will always be for them to choose this career on their own. I will and have exposed them to what I do for a living. But I would never want to force a career that they aren’t passionate about. Now, would I love for my boys to continue the family legacy, ABSOLUTELY! Ketchup is in our veins, and I would be thrilled if they continued with McDonald’s.
2UG: What advice do you have for other fathers/parents looking to create something like what the two of you built with your family owned and operated McDonald’s restaurants?
Norman Carter: As a parent, especially fathers of color, it is extremely important to develop a plan and establish goals for yourself and for the family. Expose the kids to a variety of activities so that they can develop their own interest. It’s natural for kids to want to be like their parents and will usually gravitate to a career that helps maintain their comfort in life.
2UG: How important is it for African-Americans, as a community, to build a legacy for the next generations?
Norman Carter: It is very important for African American parents to build a legacy and share family history with kids and grandkids. Building a strong family connection and, through communication of goals and expectations, will make it easier to accomplish. Sharing knowledge about opportunities to maintain and build wealth is important to generational success.
Congratulations to the Carters and much continued success to them in the years to come.
To learn more about becoming a McDonald’s franchisee click here.