A man went from earning £25 a week to owning more McDonald's stores than anyone else

iStock / MichaelJay

We all love a good rags-to-riches story.

Cinderella got her wealthy Prince, Oliver Twist was adopted by a wealthy family and - in a tale for modern times - a badly paid worker is now Britain's biggest McDonald's franchisee.

Paul Crocker started his career aged 14 in Leicester working at his parents riding school for free. After finishing his A Levels, he earned just £25 a week teaching kids, looking after horses and show-jumping.

​Now, he owns nearly every McDonald's branch in Kent, employs more than 1,700 people and drives a Porsche.

Crocker's entrepreneurial career dawned when the family moved to Kent, and he and his father started to run multiple petrol stations across the county.

Crocker told KentLive:

My father and I spent around 13 years running petrol station forecourts across the county.

The 58-year-old added:

Initially, it was, like any new business, a backwards step for me.

I had to restart completely, in terms of a management team. I had to work a lot more hours, there was a lot more work and lot more risk.

What I liked in the petrol business was that you were trading behind a fairly reputable petrol brand.

People trust the brand names, so in a way, by going into a franchise what I was looking for was a brand name that people could relate to and that could give autonomy to make my own choices and employ my own people.

It took just under 20 years for the father-of-four to purchase 16 restaurants across the country.

A regular day for him includes unannounced visits to his restaurants, where he helps out staff and awards his best restaurants with a treat.

He said:

In every single one of the restaurants I took on the sales stepped up significantly.

HT KentLive

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