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McSuccess Featured

9:55am EDT June 28, 2006
Cynthia O. Booth was a successful banker, serving as senior vice president of community development and president of the Firstar Foundation, but she wanted something else.

She found that something in McDonald’s restaurants, and for two years, kept her banking job as she worked an additional 20 to 25 hours a week training to become a McDonald’s franchisee.

In 2000, she cashed in 90 percent of her savings and bought her first franchise, where she became president and CEO of COBCO Enterprises LLC. She replaced the entire management team to ensure she had the right people in place, and was on her way to fulfilling her dream.

Over the next five years, Booth bought four more restaurants, and expects to add a sixth this summer, with a goal of 10 by 2010.

When Booth adds a restaurant, it isn’t business as usual. Instead, she upgrades them with amenities including fireplaces, Wi-Fi service and plasma screens, and she encourages her employees to take ownership and pride in their work, referring to her five restaurant managers as CEOs. She has trained each of them to share her entrepreneurial spirit and to be accountable for COBCO’s success..

Booth firmly believes in giving back, operating under the motto, “It’s not an option for COBCO Enterprises to give back to the community. It is our responsibility.”

COBCO partners with Taylor Elementary School in a program in which teachers become McDonald’s staff for a night, and revenues go directly to the school. It also sponsors the Good Citizen Award, a program that allows students to have lunch with their principal.

Booth is also involved in the YWCA, United Way, McDonald’s Black Owner Operator Association, and the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Community Development, University of Cincinnati Business School and the US Bank - Cincinnati. And in 2003, COBCO Enterprises was named Employer of the Year by Goodwill Industries for its strong commitment to hiring physically challenged individuals.

How to reach: COBCO Enterprises LLC, (513) 841-2444