Franchises of the Rich & Famous

Posted · Add Comment

If anyone’s primed to prosper in today’s economy, financial savvy is a must – and our beloved public figures are not exempt. In fact, many of them have turned to franchising as a means of ensuring economic growth long after the glitz and glamour of celebrity life fades away.

Take folk country legend, Jimmy Buffett, for example. In addition to several other business ventures, including multiple licensing agreements and a cooperative project with the Anheuser-Busch brewing company, the “Margaritaville” singer signed on with Krispy Kreme as a franchisee in 2000. Buffett has owned multiple locations throughout West Palm Beach, Florida, and even played a critical role in the company’s regional expansion project in 2002. Buffett’s foray into franchising certainly paved the way for additional stars seeking viable business options, including pop icons Mark Wahlberg and Pitbull.

Few celebrity owners have made a mark on the franchising world quite like Grammy-nominated rapper Rick Ross. Known among fans as a loyal patron of WingStop, Ross was so impressed with the cooked-to-order chicken wing franchise’s quality and flavors that he signed a 25-unit deal in 2013. His franchise group, Boss Wings Enterprises, LLC, has since opened units in Memphis, as well as throughout Mississippi and Florida.

Just as noteworthy in the realm of star-studded franchising are TV personalities like Nene Leakes. In 2011, the Real Housewives of Atlanta star opened a Famous Famiglia Pizzeria franchise in the Sacramento Airport – conveniently timed to precede the season four premiere of the Bravo hit.

These are just a few examples of celebrities putting a unique and gainful spin on the franchisor/franchisee relationship. But, what does this trend say about the current state of franchising?

In many cases, public figures are in a prime position to invest in a franchise system – primarily as a means of developing a more diverse portfolio. While celebrity owners certainly have the option of maintaining a hands-on approach in the daily happenings of their franchise businesses, they can also designate well trained managers to do the day-to-day duties.

Nonetheless, public figures function as their own brand. If they can build and maintain lucrative relationships under the pressure of public perception, they can certainly help to boost the brand-building efforts of a franchise system while fostering a healthy business of their own.

Curious about how franchising can pave the way for a more dynamic investment portfolio? Connect with Mary at or call 203-542-0778.

Comments are closed.