Women's Leadership: McDonald's Owner Celest Quintana

As part of our "Women in Leadership" series, Celest Quintana, Owner/Operator, McDonald’s, shares successes and challenges for women leaders in and out of the C-Suite and state of women business leaders today.

12/11/17 #2090






"We are pleased to welcome Celeste Quintana, who is owner, operator at McDonald's, an entrepreneur. She's a successful entrepreneur who just happens to be a woman. The key to... the number one key to success as a female entrepreneur is? Just to be a hard worker. Be honest, be organized, and love whatever you are doing. Just love it with a passion that you wake up every day and you go into a party. How did this whole thing happen for you? I don't know, I'm just living this dream. Yeah, but did someone come and say, "We want you to take a McDonald's franchise, grow it?" I mean how did that happen? So I had a clothing store on Ferry Street. Well we should tell people... we were talking before we got on the air, we're both from Newark, New Jersey. I was from the northern end of the city. Like it's Italy. North and South... not Sicily. But you were from the Ironbound? Correct. Which is over by Penn Station, extraordinary... otherwise known as the East Ward of the city, and so what happened there for you? So I had a clothing store because I always, from the time that I was... On Ferry Street? On Ferry Street. On the corner of Jackson and Ferry. I know Jackson and Ferry. And I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Always. Did I know what I wanted to do? No. So I had... this customer came in and she said to me, "You know what? Why don't you apply to become a registered applicant at McDonald's?" I said, "Oh my God!" I said, "I go to McDonald's..." "I'm not doing any of that." So then she persisted, and thank God that she persisted, and that's how I ended up in the registered applicant program, but you have to go to school for two years and you have to train, and you have to do everything that everybody else is expected to do at the McDonald's. How hands-on are you with your 12 restaurants? Oh... How hands-on? Oh very hands-on. Describe hands-on. Hands-on is that you can, you know how to make a burger, I could take a toilet apart, I could fix a grill, I can take a shake machine apart, whatever that they are doing... But you're the boss? Oh no, the boss has to work harder than everybody else, so that you can lead by example. It's funny... we, I talk as a... we created our production company as an entrepreneur and people here are fabulous, that's why we're good, but I often try to imagine... do other people understand what it's like to be the one with the most responsibility? Do you..."