At this point in the celebrity machine, you can’t go two feet without running into some sort of a celebrity endorsement deal. Everyone who’s even remotely famous seems to have a clothing line, a perfume, a reality show, or something weird like a car endorsement (remember when J Lo endorsed Fiat?). But when they aren’t busy promoting themselves or the latest product to bear their name or likeness, sometimes celebrities and sports stars decide to open a restaurant or buy some locations of a well-known chain. We’ve already rounded up the best restaurants that are owned by celebrities, and here we’ll take a look at some unexpected celebrities that own franchises of well-known chains.
There are plenty of examples of celebrity-owned restaurants that have failed. See: Nyla by Britney Spears, Madre’s by Jennifer Lopez, and eight other notorious examples that can be found here. Classic cases of opening a demanding business without the required experience, many celebrity-run restaurants are best remembered as the butt of jokes. But instead of going all-in and creating an entirely new restaurant concept, many celebrities who want to dip their toes into the restaurant game actually resort to purchasing franchises of already well-known brands, which come pre-packaged with two of the most important keys to success already built in: a widely known brand name and a pre-determined menu. Everyone from actors to singers to pro-athletes is getting in on the newest way to make a buck in the food game.
Some of you might be familiar with Rick Ross and his Wingstop obsession. The lyric "She thinking Phillipe's, I'm thinking Wing Stop" even made its way into his jam "MC Hammer." So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that he indulged and purchased some franchises of the wing chain. And before reconciling with her now-husband, reality star NeNe Leakes of the Real Housewives of Atlanta was romantically linked to John Kolaj, owner of Famous Famiglia Pizzeria. Insisting Kolaj was just her "business partner," Leakes snapped up a franchise of the pizza chain in California. So if it wasn’t true then... it is now. And these two are just the tip of the iceberg. Click here to learn about 10 unexpected celebrity chain restaurant owners!