McDonald’s Corp. has agreed to buy out one of its longtime franchise groups, the Caspers Company of Tampa, Fla., the companies confirmed Tuesday.
Blake Casper and his brother-in-law, Robert “Robby” Adams, the third generation of the company that has operated McDonald’s since 1958, plan to retire after the sale of 60 restaurants in the Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla., markets on Oct. 1, the Chicago-based parent company said in a field office message viewed by Nation’s Restaurant News.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Fritz Casper opened the first McDonald’s in Florida n South Dale Mabry Highway after meeting Ray Kroc in a men’s clothing store outside of Chicago,” the Caspers Company said in a statement. “Three generations of Caspers have ‘Shined the Arches,’ serving millions of happy meals along the way.”
In the internal memo from Jason Clark, vice president of the Atlanta field office, he noted: “The Casper legacy with McDonald’s began in Chicago 64 years ago in a men’s clothing store. Ray Kroc and Fritz Casper became fast friends with their love for great clothes, a winning optimism and a keen eye toward the customer.
“Fritz would open Ray’s first McDonald’s in Florida in 1958 and would go on to expand McDonald’s throughout the growing city of Tampa. Fritz’s son, Joe Casper, took over in 1970 when Caspers had five locations. He would go on to grow the organization to 44 McDonald’s restaurants,” Clark noted.
Blake Casper and Adams joined the Caspers Company in 1996.
“They worked as shift and salary managers, restaurant managers and area supervisors before entering the McDonald’s Registered Applicant Program,” Clark said. “Both were approved in 1999 as McDonald’s owner/operators. Robby successfully built and bought five restaurants. In 2000, Blake bought all the restaurants in the Tallahassee market and proceeded to double sales on the way to building the Tallahassee market to 27 locations before returning to Tampa.”
Since 2005, Casper and Adams have overseen Caspers Company McDonald’s restaurants in Tampa and Jacksonville. Some of the 60 restaurants have registered the highest average sales, guest counts and cash flows in the business unit, McDonald’s noted.
The Caspers’ units often tested new initiatives for the system. For example, Caspers Company modernized nearly all their restaurants during the pilot phase of the Major Remodel Program in the early 2010s.
The company noted that Blake Casper collaborated with the McDonald’s government relations team over the past two decades and helped owner/operators systemwide build relationships with key government officials.
“We owe Blake much gratitude for his tireless efforts at the federal and Florida level for his work in helping shape public policy influenced by the voice of McDonald’s small-business owners,” Clark wrote.
Casper also helped form the independent McDonalds National Owners Association in 2018 and served as its chairman.
“I thank Blake, his sister, Allison Casper Adams, and Robby, for their commitment to the brand over many decades,” Clark’s field office memo said. “We all wish them well in their future business successes and the next chapters in their lives.”
McDonald’s USA LLC has 13,500 restaurants across the United States.
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