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At age 21, college student owns a Webster burger restaurant

Jennifer BoltonMay 23, 2019

When Humza Fareed graduated from Clear Springs High School in 2016, the Friendswood resident had no idea that in just three years at age 21, he would open a franchise restaurant in Webster while working on a civil engineering degree.

Amid stormy weather the week of May 6, Fareed opened Checkers, a diner-inspired drive-through eatery serving classics like burgers, fries and shakes.

“It was a hell of a bad storm out there, and I was expecting the first day to be terrible,” he said of the restaurant, which is at 601 E. Nasa Parkway. “It was pouring, the lightning was bad, streets were flooded, but we still made $6,200 that first day. I couldn’t be more happy.”

Clear skies weren’t guaranteed on the long path to opening day, either. The yearlong process required ample support from Fareed’s parents, Faisal and Noshin.

“It’s a long process,” Humza Fareed said. “The application has to be filled out perfectly. Then they start narrowing them down. I was the only person out of hundreds of applicants to be awarded a franchise this year. That was 100 percent because of my parents.”

“My dad owns his own businesses,” he said. “He not only owns a company that builds for people, he owns Dude Stop, which is a gas station. He moved here in 1988 and worked two jobs to build up his own company. So, when I told him I wanted to own this franchise, he and my mom worked with me to get it started and get the application process going.”

Fareed said that he chose Tampa, Florida-based Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants Inc as the franchise to open in Webster because of the food. The company has almost 900 restaurants.

“There is something for everyone here,” he said. “We have burgers, chicken, sundaes, shakes, funnel cake fries, boneless wings — if you’re hungry, there’s definitely something here for you. I also spent a lot of time in Florida, and I know that Checkers is really popular there and you can’t just drive a short distance and find one here. I wanted the community to have that.”

While most Checkers restaurants are drive-through only, Fareed successfully submitted plans to the company to include a small dining room. His 2,200 square-foot business employs 42 people. The general manager is Wayne Silcox.

For now, the restaurant is open from 9 a.m. until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, but Fareed eventually plans to be open 24 hours a day.

“We have to build to that,” he said. “It won’t be over night, and for right now, I’m here for most of the day so I’ll have to expand to those hours when I know the staff is completely comfortable on their own.”

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