The Charlotte Post recently profiled the opening of a new Burger King franchise on the campus of Johnson C. Smith, a historic launch for the university and its growing influence in Charlotte’s economic development.
JCSU, in partnership with its food service vendor Perkins Management Services Company Inc, is on an ambitious goal to bring more jobs and food options to the West End. The area, considered to be a food desert with limited dining and grocery options, has been bolstered by the partnership, which recently debuted Laurene’s Cafeteria and will open a frozen yogurt and Creole-themed restaurant later this year on West Trade Street.
“The opening of the Burger King on campus is the first step in the transformation of the dining service experience at JCSU,” said Nicholas Perkins, CEO and president of Perkins Management Services. “We are excited about the future and the many great things we have in store for the campus and the community.”
The Burger King franchise, the first to open on a college campus in the state of North Carolina, employs 10 JCSU students – a fraction of the 150 jobs expected to arrive in the area by way of the four eateries. In an interview with the Post, JSCU President Ronald Carter lauded Perkins’ vision for economic development around the JCSU community.
“He has a deep commitment to building assets in historic black communities,” Carter said. “He’s unwavering on that and I just admire him for being that bold to address these issues.