This HBCU Grad Went From Worker to Franchise Proprietor at Chick-Fil-A
Ashley Lamothe started working at Chick-Fil-A when she was 15 to earn money for her first car purchase. Little did she know that at the age of 26 she was going to become the youngest franchisee in Chick-Fil-A history.
“Chick-Fil-A has been a part of my life since high school so I don’t feel like I was making history,” Lamothe told Rolling Out. “Still, it’s really cool that so many people have been inspired by my trip, and it feels like a great honor.”
Lamothe was selected to open the first Los Angeles restaurant. Then she opened her second location in downtown Los Angeles. With nearly a decade of experience as a franchisee, Lamothe is focused on building a team of great leaders. Her mission is to help others get the same support that enabled them to capitalize on a franchisee.
Creating a basis for success
Lamothe began her journey at Chick-Fil-A as a team member in Atlanta. During her studies at Spelman College, she continued to serve as a director on the restaurant management team.
“Back then, I thought it was just great to have a job while studying theater,” said Lamothe on the company’s website. However, working at Chick-Fil-A became a window into their future. One day her restaurant owner asked about her long-term goals and suggested that she consider leadership opportunities. This interaction inspired Lamothe to switch her economics major in order to build a solid foundation in economics.
Lamothe adds: “I had never thought about it. Sometimes you just need someone to help you realize your potential. “
After graduating from college, Lamothe participated in Chick-fil-A’s management and development program. Three years later, she achieved her goal of becoming a franchisee.
Lamothe shared her best advice to other aspiring franchisees with Rolling Out: “Get work experience in a local restaurant. Many people say they want to own a franchise but have never worked in a restaurant. It’s hard, hands-on work and you really have to know what you’re getting into. “
Growing Chick-Fil-A-Franchise Owners
According to Lamothes website, she has traveled around the world talking to women about economic empowerment. In 2013 she traveled through Europe and offered commercial training on behalf of Chick-Fil-A. A year later, she led one of the first women-centric business retreats for franchisees.
Lamothe continues to be a resource for those interested in becoming a franchise owner. She is a member of the Chick-fil-A Operator Support Council and gives tips on social media and their website.
While Ashley doesn’t shy away from sharing the challenges of being an entrepreneur, she also wants others to know that it is possible to achieve their goals. “Sometimes you just have to get out of the faith. You will never feel 100% sure about your readiness, you just have to choose, ”Lamothe wrote on Instagram. “I cannot stress enough that your journey will not be a straight line, but the results will be worth it in the end. I am living proof that entrepreneurship dreams come true. “