This Boss Lady Owns 12 McDonald's Restaurants

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 09/25/2015 | 01:30 PM EDT

(Photo: Denise Bentham via Facebook)

Denise Bentham explains fast-food love story

Denise Bentham's path to success was a unique one to say the least.

Though it wasn't part of the master plan, Bentham, along with her husband, Steve, is the owner of 12 McDonald's restaurants in Houston.

The dream, she says, was all her husband's. The two had met as young adults working in a McDonald's in Bronx, New York. He was a cook and she worked the front counter.

"It was not love at first sight, I just saw he could dance," Bentham tells "I wanted to know how to dance like him. After that we went to clubs where he continued to show me how to dance. That was the beginning of our love story."

Now the couple are the proud owners of a dozen franchise owner-operator stores, and have been together for 33 years with three children to show for it.

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Bentham says while she worked in Corporate America, her husband worked at an owner-operator. When he was offered a store in Houston, he decided to take it. From there Bentham worked in the store, while still working in Corporate America, and went to school to study the business. This was done all while taking care of their children at home.

In 1999, she enrolled in Hamburger University, where she earned her degree to help share reign of the business.

With their success, Bentham and her husband want to keep the business in the family, so now they're grooming their daughter to take over for them in the future. 

"She will complete college in 2017 and it, take three years after that. This business I can’t will it to my daughter. She has to earn it," she says. 

As for what it takes to own and manage an entire store? Bentham saus it's all about back office experience.

"A lot of times people think the operations part of the business is it, but there is so much back office paperwork, sales tax, permits, etc. You will need administrative and organizational skills because everything comes at you constantly," she says.  

"McDonald’s is a fast-paced business, you learn one procedure and another one awaits, but it is a very rewarding business. It has given us the opportunity to give back, travel to places I would have never gone."

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