March Small Business
Meet Franchisee Keith Singletary
Keith Singletary didn’t set out to become a role model. Nor did he expect to find himself a long-time owner and operator of Chick-fil-A restaurants. But when the native of Prince George’s County, Maryland, was in need of a job to pay his way through college in 1979, he found an opportunity at a local Chick-fil-A. That’s when everything changed.
“I fell in love with the food, the environment, the people, and the company,” he says. “It left a mark on me.”
Hometown Business Owner and Community Leader
On May 1, 2000, Keith became an Operator of his first Chick-fil-A restaurant. Sixteen years later, he continues to operate two restaurants in Capitol Heights and Largo, Maryland—both located within the boundaries of his home county.
Keith spends a lot of his time in local schools, speaking to students about entrepreneurship and what it takes to run your own business. An advocate for financial literacy, his restaurants sponsor Junior Achievement Finance, a program every middle school student in the county goes through. And, especially close to his heart, Keith sits on the board at Mentoring to Manhood, a local non-profit that works with young men aged 12 to 19 to help them succeed in school and beyond.
“In our community, kids can have a hard time believing they can achieve something unless they see someone who looks like them and is from their community who is successful,” he explains. “I want them to see that if I can achieve it, they can too. I tell the young men I mentor and the team members at my restaurants four lessons I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way: listen to your teachers and your parents; don’t be afraid to ask questions; find your passion; and, most importantly, make an impact.”