If there’s anything that Black HBCU grads are going to do, it’s take over corporate America.

Nicholas Perkins acquired the Fuddruckers franchise for an estimated $18.5 million dollars, making him the largest franchise owner and the first African American to have total ownership of a national burger business. Perkins’ Black Titan Franchise Systems LLC reached a deal with Luby’s earlier this summer to take over ownership of the Fuddruckers brand from Luby’s, a Houston-based reported cafeteria chain that last year began liquidating its assets and dissolving the company.

“We’re excited to be purchasing Fuddruckers and look forward to working with Fuddruckers’ many dedicated, highly capable franchisees to further build this brand,” Perkins said. “As a Fuddruckers franchisee, I have a vested interest in ensuring that all Fuddruckers franchisees have the resources, infrastructure, and operational and marketing support they need to maximize their return on investment. This strategic alignment, when combined with the fact that we sell the ‘World’s Greatest Hamburgers’™, will ensure the long-term success of the brand and our franchisees.

Perkins was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina to a single mother and grandmother, Mrs. Laurene Perkins who sparked his interest in cuisine. His passion for cooking, influenced by his grandmother and business were conjoined and thus birthed the Perkins Management Company. The HBCU alum received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Fayetteville State University and later went on to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Howard University.

“I always wanted to become a part of this iconic brand. I just didn’t realize that one day I’d end up owning it,” Perkins said. Perkins grew up on Fuddruckers and claims “you cannot buy a better burger.” Not only is Perkins ambitious and working hard to change the statistics of the brand, his drive stems from his genuine passion to want to improve any area of the business that can be stronger.

Perkins explained in an interview, “Our strategy long term will be to grow our franchise operations individually, to bring in new franchisees both internationally and domestically as well as looking to find strategic marketing partnership opportunities to be able to grow and sustain the brand long term.”

The Fuddruckers restaurant chain once had over 500 locations and is now down to 92.

This story was first published in Essence