Some young people choose to open a franchise right out of college, but for most, franchising is often a second or third career. This perfectly suits military veterans, and sometimes, professional athletes.
We have seen a surprising amount of retired pro footballers embrace franchising. I had not heard of any retired basketball players in franchising until I read the most recent edition of Franchising Times, which features a profile of Junior Bridgeman, who played with the LA Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks before he started working at Wendy’s. After a long time and a lot of hard work, Bridgeman now owns that Wendy’s, plus 161 others on top of more than 120 Chili’s. Franchise Times says that Bridgeman’s businesses are now worth over $500 million.
Interestingly, Junior’s two children, Justin and Eden, are now working with their father and working at an executive level within the company. Franchising is sometimes a franchise affair.
“They’ve all worked hard,” Paul Thompson, president of Bridgeman Foods, says about the second generation. “They know if you don’t have the passion for the restaurant business, you can’t wake up one morning and decide to get involved.”
I’d encourage anyone looking to read a positive story about a family in franchising to read the story. It’s proof that you can build a franchise from scratch, no matter what career you’re coming from.