Thursday, April 15, 1999

owners expanding
Hawaii operations

The isle's first franchise
is among those sold

Star-Bulletin staff


Two former McDonald's employees who went on to buy their own McDonald's restaurants have added more units to their Hawaii franchise groups.

Glenn Waki, who already owned four McDonald's on Oahu, earlier this month acquired three more, including Hawaii's first McDonald's, the Aina Haina outlet opened in November 1968.

Robert Leopoldino, owner of two Big Island McDonald's, has acquired two more on that island.

Waki started with the company in 1972 as an assistant manager at Aina Haina. He worked at outlets across the state and later became vice president of operations for McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii. In 1989 he acquired his first restaurant, a McDonald's on King Street.

He later picked up two McDonald's at Pearlridge and late last year he turned the King Street restaurant over to McDonald's Corp. and acquired two units in Aiea.

This month he acquired restaurants in Kahala and at Koko Marina, as well as the Aina Haina unit, from private owners, bringing his total to seven.

Leopoldino, started out in 1971 as a part-time worker at a McDonald's in Hilo. He worked his way up to manager and ran several Oahu units, before becoming a McDonald's Corp. field consultant working with the franchise owner/operators in the islands.

He left in late 1989 to open his own Big Island unit, the McDonald's in Waimea. He gained a second one, at the Wal-Mart in Kona, in mid-1995. Now he has purchased units at Kailua-Kona and Kealakekua from McDonald's Corp., for a total of four.

Independent McDonald's franchises have grown in Hawaii. Ten franchisees own a total of 42 of the 75 McDonald's units in the state. The rest are owned by McDonald's Corp.

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