Fast-food giant helps onetime teacher taste long-term success

When William Pickard was a 28-year-old student teacher at Wayne State University, he spent his nights managing the nearby McDonald’s restaurant.

It was down payment for a dream to own several McDonald’s while working full-time as a university professor.

Friday nights gave Pickard pause, as some of his students would stop by for burgers and spot him working in his McDonald’s uniform.

“Those were rough nights,” he said with a laugh.

Now 67, Pickard is happy talking about his association with the Oak Brook, Ill-based company. He just opened a rebuilt McDonald’s on State Street in Ann Arbor — his sixth under his company, Bearwood Management.

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