What do the Shaq, Jimmy Buffet and Chris Brown all have in common? Well besides celebrity power, they all have successful franchise businesses. Celebrities both in the entertainment and sports world are often looking for smart business ventures to grow their wealth and capitalize on their fame. You see it every day with celebrities coming out with a new makeup line or perfume or opening their own restaurant.
Unfortunately though, if the celebrity doesn’t have the right business acumen and time to devote to their new venture, their business can sometimes fail. Britney Spear’s Nyla and J-Lo’s Madre are prime examples of this. With a franchise, however, celebrities have a built-in support system that can give them a better shot at success.
Fast food franchises come with an already set menu of customer favorites and a h2 management structure so there is very little guesswork involved. When you buy a franchise, you are buying into a formula that has already been proven successful. Often times they also have a special connection to the franchiser as well.
Whether it is just that the celebrity is a big fan of the food or he or she believes in the values of the franchise, it is the perfect relationship because the franchiser brings the business no-how while the celebrity offers the power of his or her name for advertising and marketing purposes. Here are thirteen celebrities who own a franchise:
Rapper Rick Ross has had a love affair with Wingstop for a long time, so much so, that the tasty lemon pepper wings have shown up in his lyrics and he has purchased almost ten Wingstop franchises in multiple states in the South.
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson purportedly loves the burger joint Five Guys so much that he has been known to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there several days in a row. He has even taken his obsession one step further by buying into the franchise and now owns franchises in Orange County, California.
Tennis superstar Venus Williams first became a champion of Jamba Juice after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can lead to joint pain and fatigue. In her search for healthier living options, Williams discovered Jamba Juice and has since not only become a spokesperson but a franchisee as well. She has several locations in the Washington D.C., and Maryland areas.
Former NFL quarterback, Peyton Manning, owns over 20 Papa John’s in the Denver area. While playing for the Denver Broncos, he would often offer discounts when his team won. Also, to drive business he has been known to make personal pizza deliveries when visiting one of his stores. Talk about being involved in the daily running of your business.
Considered by many as the king of franchises, the NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal owns over a hundred Five Guys and almost 20 Auntie Anne’s franchises as well as many other investments around the country including in the fitness, technology and real estate arenas. Recently, he announced that he will also be going into the Krispy Kreme business as well. One business rule of thumb the Shaq lives by is that he has to believe in the product in order for him to get into the business or endorse the product.
Musician Jimmy Buffett started out with just a few Krispy Kreme locations, but he believed in the pastry deliciousness so much that he joined forces with the Krispy Kreme parent company and other franchisees under the South Florida Partnership to get a corner on the market.
Even R&B singer Chris Brown has gotten into the franchise business with 14 Burger King Franchises. Despite all the negative press from his domestic abuse case, Brown has been able to parlay his fame into business success. Besides food, fashion also seems to draw celebrity interest like Brown who also has his own clothing line.
Baseball great Hank Aaron has launched over 20 Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken in Georgia. He also founded the 755 Restaurant Corporation which has also bought into the Krispy Kreme franchise business. Most of his businesses are in the Greater Atlanta area.
NeNe Leakes, who catapulted to fame with The Real Housewives of Atlanta, owns a Famous Famiglia Pizzeria in Sacramento on top of her many other business ventures. Leakes has also reported to be going into business with fellow housewife Cynthia Bailey’s separated spouse Peter Thomas.
Magic Johnson Jr.
Basketball legend Magic Johnson Jr. is known as a consummate businessman who has his hands in a lot of diversified pots. Among his many business dealings, Johnson has ownership of more than twenty-five Burger King Franchises. At one point he even owned a number of Starbucks coffee shops, but he sold them a few years back.
Burger King is apparently a popular franchise option for celebrities because Michael Strahan who played for the New York Giants and who was recently co-host with Kelly Ripa on Live with Kelly is also a Burger King franchise owner as well. In partnership with other athletes, he owns almost twenty Burger King locations in Virginia.
Cuban American rapper Pitbull does not own individual franchises, but does have equity in Miami Subs Grill which has locations across South Florida and other parts of the United States.
Jimmy John’s has been NFL quarterback Drew Brees’ go-to fast food joint since his college days at Purdue University, so it was a no brainer that when it came time for him to invest in a business that he would choose his favorite sandwich maker. Bree reportedly has at least five Jimmy Johns in Louisiana.
Now of course, not all celebrity restaurant franchises are guaranteed to succeed. Both Kanye West and Montel Williams had to close theirs after only a few years of operation. It is important to find a restaurant franchise that you believe in the product and values of the parent company and that you are committed to offering your customers the best restaurant experience.