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Multi-Unit Franchisee Turns One Restaurant into Nearly 400

Multi-unit franchisee Guillermo Perales is always looking for the next opportunity and begins each day evaluating opportunities for expansion and growth.

What’s in an opportunity? Consider the idea that one opportunity could yield 400. This is the real-life story of Guillermo Perales, who came to the United States in the early 1980s from Saltillo, Mexico. He could not have imagined in his wildest dreams that the one franchise which was entrusted to him by Golden Corral would become almost 400 restaurants spanning seven brands in both Texas and Florida.

This is truly the business case for inclusion as a growth strategy.

Perales founded Sun Holdings, LLC and is the president and CEO. Since the company was awarded its first Golden Corral franchise in 1997, he hasn’t looked back. His success has been linked to his keen business sense and operational knowledge. Today, he operates 33 Golden Corral restaurants and is the franchise’s largest franchisee.

Guillermo Perales

Guillermo Perales

Each Day Offers a New Opportunity

Perales has strategically added more brands. He started in the Texas designated market area with one Burger King and today operates 167 of its restaurants there.

And, he now owns all the Popeye’s restaurants in Dallas, not to mention the fact that he is that company’s second largest franchisee in the country, holding some 69 restaurants.
Oh, by the way, Perales operates 52 Arby’s restaurants, is CiCi’s largest U.S. franchisee, operating 46 restaurants.

But wait, there’s more. Sun Holdings’ restaurant domain also includes six Del Taco restaurants.

And if a savvy, successful franchisee can run restaurants, why not other concepts? He has extended his portfolio to include 12 T-Mobile stores as well.
It will be interesting to see where Guillermo Perales ventures next. He is always looking for the next opportunity and begins each day evaluating opportunities for expansion and growth.

Diamonds in the Rough Equal Growth to the Bottom Line

Under Perales’ leadership, his company has experienced an annual growth rate of 50 percent since it was founded. In 2005, Sun Holdings was named one of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area by Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business’ annual Dallas 100 rankings. From 2012 to 2013, the company enjoyed a 62 percent growth rate at a time when the economy was strained. Last year, it almost doubled in size by adding 185 stores.

In just 16 years, Perales has guided his company through rapid growth by instilling a strong foundation for strategic business development. His expertise in restaurant operations and his development choices quickly vaulted him to become the largest Latino franchisee in the United States, according to 2012 and Latino Leaders.

Obviously, Perales has an eye for finding the diamond in the rough. He has brought new life to brands and communities.

Community Outreach

But giving back to the communities it serves is important to Sun Holdings, which was recognized recently by the City of Dallas for its impact. Perales co-founded the Latin American/DFW Fund to raise money for Latino-based programs and initiatives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He also created a Certificate of Achievement Award program to encourage students to stay in school, which has provided more than five million free meal certificates for local students.

Burger King also crowned Perales its 2011 Developer of the Year, and he’s been honored by Ernst & Young with its 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

In addition, this year, the entrepreneur was also awarded the Franchise Dealmaker of the Year Award by Franchise Times magazine, plus the American Dream Award during the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference.

We have been able to provide so many jobs for people, more than 10,000.

Perales is certainly a sought-after franchisee. He is a leading example of demonstrating that one opportunity can be turned into 400 with hard work, strategic action and dedication.

When asked what his key accomplishments were, he said, “There’s a kind of synergy there when you have your brain always working that gives me the chance to keep a close eye on my goals. I like the fact that we have been able to provide so many jobs for people, more than 10,000. We have helped get more Latinos into franchising, both as franchisees and suppliers. But I’m also proud to be the largest Hispanic multi-unit franchise operator in the country.”

Perales exemplifies the business case for inclusion or a return on inclusion. He seized the opportunity and dared to dream of having more and making an impact on the society. He is truly living the American Dream.

Earsa R. Jackson, CFE

Earsa R. Jackson, CFE

Earsa R. Jackson, CFE, is a partner with the Dallas-based law firm Strasburger & Price, LLP. Jackson is a member of the IFA Diversity Institute Board of Directors. She can be reached at 214-651-2394 or


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