Feb. 16: From Crew Member at 13 to McDonald’s Owner at 27

Michael Bland is a next generation McDonald’s owner and operator and one of the local faces of Black History Month.

Twenty-two years ago, Bland’s mother, Anne Bland, bought her first McDonald’s restaurant in northern Virginia and never looked back.

In 1998, at the age of 13, Bland began helping out in his mother’s restaurant. As the years passed, he excelled in the restaurant business and graduated in 2008 from Frostburg State University in Maryland.

After graduation, Bland decided to follow in his mother’s footsteps by becoming a McDonald’s owner and operator.

“The day I was approved as a McDonald’s Owner and Operator is my most memorable moment thus far. It was such a great milestone. I had put in so many years that when I finally achieved my goal, it was a wonderful blessing. I was 27 years old, and I owned my own business.”

Bland says working at McDonald’s taught him leadership, management and accountability skills that prepared him for the role.

However, it’s the people element that Bland really enjoys. Meeting with different people and different cultures while creating lasting relationships with his customers has been his most rewarding experience. Every day feels new to him because no two days are the same.

In addition to running a business, Bland is active in his community. One of his passions is working with children and hopes to be a positive role model in young lives inside and outside of his restaurant.

He is the assistant coach for a local basketball team, volunteers at his church and gives back to the local Boys and Girls Club in addition to mentoring crew members.

McDonald’s has been a part of Bland’s life for as long as he can remember. As a next generation owner and operator, and the next generation of Black History Month, he wants nothing more than to continue helping his community.

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