The Burger King

Charles H. “Chuck” James III has snatched up enough Burger King restaurants to make him the fast-food giant’s largest African American franchisee.

Most recently, the chairman and CEO of C.H. James Restaurant Holdings L.L.C. (No. 74 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $50.3 million in sales) acquired three additional Burger King establishments in the Chicago area for an undisclosed amount.

With 40 restaurants, and the acquisition of another three in the works, C.H. James Restaurant Holdings’ revenues may grow to $60 million per year, and gross margins (the difference between the total sales revenue and the cost to the seller of the items sold) have reached 71%, an increase of 4%.

Though James had never operated a chain of franchises before founding the company in 2004, the serial entrepreneur had two other food-related businesses ranked among the BE 100S: PrimeSource Food Service Equipment Inc., a distributor of fast-food and casual dining restaurant equipment, and C.H. James & Son, a holding company for a produce processor. James is also CEO of C.H. James & Co., which was named BLACK ENTERPRISE Company of the Year in 1992.