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From the Ground Up

This franchisee didn't just wing it: He learned how to run a fast-food restaurant by working there first.

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This story appears in the November 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sometimes employees grumble about their bosses not being able to relate to them or not understanding the hard work they do. But the cooks and the delivery and counter people at Brian Cooper's Wing Zone store in State College, Pennsylvania, can't grumble-their boss probably has more experience at their positions than they do.

Cooper, 27, started out as a part-time delivery driver at the buffalo-wing franchise's first location in Gainesville, Florida. He worked his way up, cooking, managing and eventually becoming a general manager overseeing two Wing Zone stores in the Atlanta area.

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