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Music Execs Kevin ‘Coach K’ Lee and Mel Carter Become Owners Reportedly of Largest Black-Controlled Bojangles Franchise

Two prominent hip-hop music executives Kevin “Coach K” Lee of Quality Control and Mel Carter of Warner Records have gone into partnership with popular fast food chicken chain Bojangles.

Republic Records executive Mel Carter (LEFT) ((Image: Warner Bros.) and Quality Control’s Kevin “Coach K” Lee (Twitter)

Bojangles announced it has signed a franchise development agreement with Melanbo, a franchise group partly owned by Carter and Lee. Carter and his ownership group will develop 14 new locations in the greater Atlanta area. Melanbo has already acquired 18 existing Bojangles restaurants in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Bojangles’ Largest Black-Controlled Franchisee

The acquisition now makes Melanbo the largest Black-controlled franchisee in Bojangles’ system.

Melanbo is a North Carolina-based franchise development company, of which Coach K and Carter are co-owners.

“Over the last few years, we have been aggressively seeking opportunities to grow our footprint in Atlanta, and we are thrilled to have reached an agreement with two influential voices in the city’s community,” said Patricia Halpin, vice president of growth at Bojangles. “Mel and Coach K bring a unique perspective and energy to our network of operators that will be extremely beneficial to the brand’s growth going forward.”

Behind the Deal

Coach K, the man behind the successes of The Migos, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty and City Girls, has a net of worth $45 million.

Carter owns a Warner Bros. record label called Second Estate Records.

“I’m proud to do this with Mel and to keep pushing forward Black entrepreneurship,” said Lee, the COO of Quality Control Music. “We built our way up in music and it’s exciting to branch out in so many ways and to join forces with the No. 1 Black-owned franchise.”

“I am very excited,” said Carter, “and I hope to be able to inspire teens and Black youth who grew up in underserved, low-income homes. I want them to know they can be successful businessmen, and with an accomplishment as great as this, I am honored to embody that.”

Bojangles has been concentrating on growing its franchises since 2015. While the chicken spot is beloved and best known throughout North Carolina, Bojangles has been opening chains in areas where it is not a household name. However, according to The Charlotte Observer, the decision to open in uncharted regions has resulted in the chains’ poor performance.

In an effort to reassess its growth plan, Bojangles closed 10 of its operated stores in four states: Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

Still, the Southern chicken and biscuits chain plans to open more than 100 locations in predominantly Black metropolises, such as Dallas-Fort Worth, Cleveland, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

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