After starting her career with Checkers as a part-time employee, Shana Gonzales is now a Checkers franchisee with four of her own locations in Georgia. Her 20 year journey with the brand is a testament of hard work, a great history with Checkers and building her own dream.
Gonzales began working .....
Gonzales began working at Checkers when she was an 18-year-old college student living in Arizona. While she was studying interior design, Gonzales started working part-time at Checkers to earn a little extra income. That was the beginning of a long and prosperous career with Checkers. Over time, Gonzales’ just-for-fun part-time job grew into bigger and better opportunities within the company. She was promoted to general manager, then to area manager and, finally, regional manager for Checkers corporate. Gonzales continued to climb the ladder and managed four Checkers locations while serving as vice president under its previous owner, Aziz Hashim, managing partner of NRD Holdings. Eventually, she purchased four pre-existing locations in Georgia and became a Checkers franchisee.
Working at the company for over 20 years, Gonzales was confident in her decision to become a Checkers franchisee.
“I chose Checkers, because I know the brand inside and out,” said Gonzales. “It’s always growing and just when you think things are settling down more exciting things begin to happen. We act like a young company when it comes to describing our personality, and I like that.”
It’s also the people that make Gonzales passionate about being part of the Checkers company.
“My favorite aspect is the people,” said Gonzales. “They have a young passionate spirit which drives us all to succeed. My teams in my restaurants have gotten me to where I am. They truly care about my business and that’s not something easy to find in people.
Having a great support system from the company helped. Gonzales was also focused on providing for her three children.
“I was looking for future financial security for my family. I enjoyed my career but knew I had three children to put through college. I had been with the Checkers brand and trained many other franchisees through the years. I also was working for Hashim at NRD. He put me in the position to start thinking like an owner.
And that’s what she did. Gonzales is continuing to think like an owner. In the next five years, she is looking to acquire 10 to 20 more Checkers locations, and hopefully another franchise brand.
From working at every level of the business, Gonzales’ intuition, balance and understanding of the corporation helps her run her business. Her advice for anyone who wants to run their own business is about making your own dreams come true.
“Believe in yourself,” said Gonzales. “If you are doing for someone else you can do it for yourself, take the leap. Build your dreams or someone will hire you to build theirs. That’s where I was, I was building someone else’s dreams. Now, I’m building mine.”