It’s no secret that HBCUs produce some of the best and brightest leaders in America who often make history and blaze trails. Howard alum Nicholas Perkins has continued that tradition by becoming the first Black person to own a national burger franchise when he purchased Fuddruckers Restaurant chain in June.
Here are seven things to know about Nicholas Perkins.
1. Nicholas Perkins is a serial entrepreneur who also serves as CEO of Black Titans Franchise Systems LLC.
In addition to Black Titans Franchise Systems, which was created for the sole purpose of acquiring Fuddruckers, Nicholas Perkins owns Perkins Management Services, which he founded when he was just 24 years old, according to his bio on the company website.
He also serves as CEO of Perkins and Robinson Investment Group.
The empire has brands in the retail fast food industry and offers services in dining, custodial and grounds maintenance services.
2. Nicholas Perkins made history as the first Black person to own a national burger company when he purchased Fuddruckers.
Perkins, 40, purchased all 92 Fuddruckers franchises in an $18.5 million deal after initially buying 13 of the restaurants. The purchase gave him 100 percent ownership of the longstanding burger company.
“I feel very honored. I feel very blessed, excited about the future. I’ve got a lot of work to do but at the same time it’s going to be very very impactful to be a part of what I consider to be a reemergence of the worlds’ greatest hamburger,” Perkins said in an interview with KPRC 2.
“We’re excited to be purchasing Fuddruckers and look forward to working with Fuddruckers’ many dedicated, highly capable franchisees to further build this brand,” Perkins said. “As a Fuddruckers franchisee, I have a vested interest in ensuring that all Fuddruckers franchisees have the resources, infrastructure, and operational and marketing support they need to maximize their return on investment. This strategic alignment, when combined with the fact that we sell the ‘World’s Greatest Hamburgers’™, will ensure the long-term success of the brand and our franchisees.”
3. Nicholas Perkins says he wants to empower others through his history-making work.
“I look very much forward to be able to empower others to be entrepreneurs. If me being the first African American in this position means that I can leverage the asset that I have to be able to improve the lives of other people, it’s one of the most rewarding things that you can do, to help lift others up,” Perkins told NBC 2 Houston.
4. Nicholas Perkins is a double HBCU alum with degrees from Howard University and Fayetteville State University.
Perkins earned a bachelor of science in business administration in 2003 from Fayetteville State and went on to earn his master of business administration from Howard University in 2013. He also received an honorary doctorate from Fayetteville State, according to his LinkedIn profile.
5. Perkins is originally from North Carolina
Perkins was born and raised in Fayetteville North Carolina, according to a report by Black Enterprise. His single mother and grandmother raised him and he graduated from Fayetteville’s E.E. Smith Sr. High School.
As a child, Perkins “was fascinated with the heroes and sheroes of the Civil Rights Movement, igniting a lifelong quest for excellence to ensure that the sacrifices of his forebears weren’t made in vain,” his bio states.
6. He got his love for cooking from his grandmother
Perkins credits his grandmother with instilling a passion for food in him.
“My grandmother was a phenomenal cook, she nurtured my passion for the kitchen, I knew that I loved to cook and had a passion for it but I also wanted to become an entrepreneur, so I merged the two and established Perkins Management Company,” Perkins told Black Enterprise.
7. For Perkins, purchasing Fuddruckers was personal.
“It’s really nostalgic for me. Like many people, I grew up eating Fuddruckers. It’s been my favorite hamburger that you could ever buy,” Perkins said.
Perkins plans to implement several innovations to restore Fuddruckers to its former glory.
According to NBC 2 Houston, Perkins has a “three-phase plan” to reintroduce the beloved hamburger brand and restore it to 500 restaurants.
The plan includes “increased marketing, building a better supply chain and creating a mobile app and customer loyalty program.”
The company will remain headquartered in Houston.