REGION – 10 McDonald’s restaurants across Northern Michigan now have a new owner. Longtime McDonald’s Owner/Operator Cynthia Villaire and her family have purchased two restaurants in Petoskey, as well as locations in Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Indian River, Mio, Oscoda, Roscommon, Rose City, and Tawas City.
“It’s very exciting. We just felt like these communities were a good fit,” says Villaire, who already owns restaurants in Genesee, Ortonville, Otisville, and Metamora. “These are all small towns that have our small-town values: God, family, and community come before business.”
Villaire, a Saginaw native, has been a McDonald’s owner for 28 years. After earning her Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University, she spent several years working for General Motors before joining the McDonald’s organization as a franchisee. She now employs and oversees nearly 700 people across her and her family’s 14 restaurants.
“For the person that comes to work for us, I want them to know that the sky’s the limit,” added Villaire. “You can go as high as you want. You can start as crew person and one day you may run an organization for me and be a general manager.”
Villaire is one of 20 female McDonald’s owner/operators in Michigan. She became Michigan’s second ever female owner/operator when she bought her first restaurant in 1994. Now, she works to mentor and inspire the next generation of female franchisees in the company.
“They’re all hardworking individuals,” says Villaire. “The path that we’re all on allows us to support other women. I tell them they can reach me whenever they need me, except for the hour I’m in church on Sunday morning.”
Globally, by the end of 2025, McDonald’s expects to increase representation of women in leadership roles to 45 percent with a goal to reach gender parity in leadership roles by the end of 2030.
- Charlevoix – 1440 Bridge St
- Cheboygan – 1020 S Main St
- Indian River – 6153 M-68
- Mio – 503 Morenci Ave
- Oscoda – 5050 N Huron Rd
- Petoskey – 1178 Hwy 31 N
- Petoskey – 747 Spring St US 131
- Roscommon – 405 N 5th St
- Rose City – 2770 S M 33
- Tawas City – 605 East Lake St