Celebrities live pretty busy lives when it comes to their line of work. Actors are always booking movie and television roles for themselves, athletes are always training for their next game right after their last game, fashion designers are always planning out their next big design, etc. The fact of the matter is no matter how famous a celebrity gets, they can never slow down without falling back. They always have to work just as hard as they worked on their way to superstardom.
That hard work becomes consistent after a certain amount of time and when a celebrity does manage to somehow get some downtime to themselves, they decide to pile on some more work to their already busy work schedule. More often than not, celebs decide to spend their free time working in the food industry. In some cases, they invest in popular food chains. In other cases, they start up brand new restaurants from the ground up. Here are some examples of both cases.
These celebs keep their food industry work on the down low so low that even their biggest fans may not realize that they also do business in the restaurant chain industry. Below, our readers can find 25 celebrities who they may not have known own restaurants or food chains.
25 ASHTON KUTCHER OWNS SEVERAL (unsuccessful) RESTAURANTS
Ashton Kutcher has always been an entrepreneur, but some may not know he also invests big into the restaurant business. Kutcher has opened up a good chunk of restaurants onto the market. These restaurants include Ketchup, Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante, and Geisha House.
Kutcher opened Dolce with his That 70's Show buddy Wilmer Valderrama in Atlanta as an Italian eatery. It proved to be one of Kutcher's worst investments, as business failed to boom for Dolce, and it quietly closed down in 2012. Geisha House and Ketchup suffered the exact same fate.
24 SCARLETT JOHANSSON OWNS YUMMY POP
While she is world renowned for her acting ability, few people know that Scarlett Johansson also cooks up one mean gourmet popcorn recipe. So mean, in fact, that she decided to release it to the world.
With her now ex-husband Romain Dauriac and his sister, Scarlett Johansson opened up a gourmet popcorn shop in Paris, France called Yummy Pop. As of last October, Yummy Pop has been open for business for two years and the reviews have been consistently stellar ever since.
23 SHAQUILLE O'NEAL OWNS KRISPY KREME AND FIVE GUYS
Ever since Shaquille O'Neal retired as an NBA basketball player, he has made some interesting transitions in life to keep his hands busy. Not only as an NBA analyst, but as a businessman. As a businessman, Shaq has made some wise investments into the food industry.
During these past couple of years, Shaq has taken the time to buy a few restaurants. In total, Shaq owns 155 Five Guys restaurants, 17 Auntie Anne's Pretzels, and a Krispy Kreme in Atlanta.
22 DRAKE OPENS UP LOCAL TORONTO PICK 6IX
Drake has always been a musician who prided himself on being a man from Toronto. Drake has more than made his home city proud and always reminds us he hasn't forgotten where he's come from by constantly making significant contributions to Toronto, Canada.
This year, he made one of his biggest contributions to The Six to date by opening up a local restaurant called Pick 6ix. Collaborating with Canadian chef Antonio Park, Drake opened up Pick 6ix last February hoping to attract families and couples.
21 WALKING DEAD'S NORMAN REEDUS OWNS NIC & NORMAN'S
If any single one of our readers were to ask the average fan of AMC's The Walking Dead who their favorite character among the cast was, the average answer that we would get would probably be loose cannon Daryl. Little do some of his fans know is that the actor behind the character - Norman Reedus - has a side gig in the food industry when he isn't in character on the set.
In 2016, he and Walking Dead director Greg Nicotero opened up a restaurant that offers customers gourmet burgers, cocktails, soup, spinach, and many more options.
20 CHANNING TATUM OWNS SAINTS AND SINNERS
From background dancer to Hollywood superstar, it should be indisputable that Channing Tatum has conquered the world of acting. After passing through Hollywood with flying colors, Tatum decided to look into achieving the same success in the food and drink industry.
In 2012, alongside his business partner Keith Kurtz, Channing Tatum decided to pay tribute to New Orleans's red light district by building a bar-restaurant combo in the area. The restaurant has strong reviews and is especially praised for its long list of cocktails on its menu.
19 LADY GAGA OWNS JOANNE TRATTORIA WITH HER PARENTS
At 19-years old, before the glitz and glamour back when she was still just a kid with a dream, Lady Gaga used to work as a waitress at a restaurant. It seems rather poetic that 13 years later, Gaga would be on top of the world and running her own restaurant.
Lady Gaga's parents run a local New York City restaurant called Joanne Trattoria named after the singer's grandmother. In 2010, Gaga would become a part owner of the restaurant. The menu includes a wine list that feature's the starlet's own Gaga Collection.
18 SANDRA BULLOCK OWNS WALTON'S FANCY AND STAPLE
Sandra Bullock first decided to join the food industry a few years back when she decided to open up a French restaurant called Bess Bistro. Unfortunately, it was not a very successful endeavor and she wound up having to close up shop in 2015.
However, Bullock does still own the long running bakery / takeout deli hybrid chain, Walton's Fancy and Staple. Among flowers and coffee, Walton's also happens to sell biscuits, shrimp, grits, and dessert cake. The chain also offers catering for anyone interested.
17 DREW BREES OWNS JIMMY JOHN'S AND WALK-ON'S
New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees should never be mistaken for some dumb NFL football jock. When he is not tossing footballs across the field and slamming into dudes on a regular basis, Brees is making leaps and bounds in the food business world.
He started in 2012 by buying a string of Jimmy John's restaurants; 15 to be exact. As of 2017, he kicked off plans to open up 73 new Walk-On's locations, proceeding to open a few in Orlando. That same year, he opened up 69 Dunkin' Donuts.
16 JON BON JOVI OWNS THE JBJ SOUL KITCHEN
As a singer, Jon Bon Jovi was world renowned for crafting unique classic songs. These days, he spends most of his days running a rather unique concept for a restaurant.
The Soul Kitchen was created by Bon Jovi and his wife through the Jon Bon Jovi Foundation originally in just two locations in the New Jersey area. What makes this restaurant so unique is that when customers look at the menu, there don't see any prices. Rather than slapping expensive price tags onto each dish, Bon Jovi opts to make money through a donation system where he only makes diners pay what they can if they can.
15 HUGH JACKMAN OWNS LAUGHING MAN COFFEE SHOP
While he hung up his Wolverine hat a few years back after bowing out through his finale film Logan, Hugh Jackman has not hung up his acting hat. He just wanted to take his career in a different direction. He's even doing just that when he's away from a Hollywood set.
When he is not acting, Jackman is running his very own coffee shop. Jackman was inspired to open the Laughing Man Coffee Shop after meeting an inspiring Ethiopian coffee farmer - who admitted to working to pull his family out of poverty- in Ethiopia in 1999. Jackman donates all of his proceeds from the shop.
14 MICHAEL JORDAN OWNS HIS OWN STEAK HOUSE
In 1993, during his first retirement as an NBA player, Michael Jordan opened up a restaurant and sports bar chain in Chicago that was literally called Michael Jordan's Restaurant. It stayed open right until it was closed in 1999 - during his second retirement - following a legal case with business partners with Joe and Gene Silverberg.
Jordan dipped his toes into the restaurant business again in 1997 with Michael Jordan's Steakhouse. It currently has locations opened in Chicago, Washington, New York, Uncasville, Ridgefield, and Connecticut.
13 LEBRON JAMES OWNS STAKES IN BLAZE PIZZA
Current Los Angeles Laker Lebron James is no stranger to the fast food industry business. It was only in 2012 that Lebron had invested a 10% stake into Blaze Pizza, an affordable "build your own pizza" dining restaurant originally established in Pasadena, California. As it turns out, Lebron's investment paid off as it quickly became the fastest growing restaurant chain in America.
Since he started backing Blaze Pizza, Lebron has earned $35 million from his investment as the restaurant chain is steadily growing around the world. It was announced last October that Lebron and Co. are working on bringing a Blaze Pizza spot to Miami, Florida.
12 TY BURRELL OWNS THE EATING ESTABLISHMENT
Ty Burrell is best recognized as the Emmy winning star of Modern Family, where he plays the lovable doof, Phil Dunphy. When he is away from the set and the cameras of the show over at ABC, Burrell concerns himself with running a dining businsess.
In 2016, Burrell bought and became one of the new owners of the plainly - yet accurately - titled restaurant called The Eating Establishment in Park City, Utah. Since joining the establishment, Burrell has since updated the drinking menu by adding brands like Bar-X and Beer Bar to the menu.
11 PHARRELL WILLIAMS OWNS SWAN & BAR BEVY
Pharrell Williams has been called many things, including a genius, in whatever field he decides to dip his hand in whether it be singing, rapping, record producing, or fashion design. Above all else, he is an entrepreneur and as an entrepreneur, he was smart enough to see the money that the food industry holds.
That's why he teamed up with business partner David Grutman to produce a restaurant and bar combo called Swan & Bar Bevy. It only just opened up a couple months back, but so far, the reviews seem positive.
10 ROBERT DE NIRO OWNS NOBU AND TRIBECA GRILL
At 75-years of age, the acting legend is not as active in the movie world as he used to be back when he was still a spring chicken. Instead, he spends his time running a string of successful restaurants. Most famously, he owns Nobu with celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.
In addition to Nobu, De Niro also recently became a part owner for and opened a restaurant in the New York area for Tribeca Grill in late October of this year.
9 GENE SIMMONS OWNS ROCK & BREWS
Unless our readers can find a way to grab tickets to their current Farewell Tour, Kiss fans will never experience what it feels like to be at a live Kiss concert. However, without having to by a ticket, the closest that a fan may come to being at a Kiss concert may be by attending Gene Simmons's rock and roll themed restaurant called Rock & Brew.
The small food chain located at 17 locations specializes in craft beer, pizza, and other fast casual meals.
8 NAS OWNS NEW YORK CITY'S SWEET CHICK
In 2015, New York City born and raised rapper Nas teamed up with a local restaurant called Sweet Chick - which specializes in chicken and waffles - with hopes to "expand in the next year or so," said the Grammy nominated rapper.
This brand extension called for Nas to become a part owner in the restaurant chain and within a couple of years, Nas was able to bring a Sweet Chick to his hometown of Queens. This year, the restaurant opened their fourth location in Long Island, New York.
7 AYESHA CURRY OWNS INTERNATIONAL SMOKE
Ayesha Curry regularly finds herself back in the spotlight whenever her husband - Golden State's Multi-NBA Champion Steph Curry - finds himself either winning the Finals or becomes a runner up. However, Ayesha is far more than just a basketball wife as she runs her own business when she's not supporting her husband's full court ambitions.
In CityCentre in Texas, along with celebrity chef Michael Mina earlier this year, Ayesha Curry took her cooking expertise and opened up a restaurant called International Smoke.
6 DANNY TREJO OWNS TREJO'S TACOS
Easily one of Hollywood's most instantly recognizable "that guy" actors, Danny Trejo has an interesting rags to riches story. After being in and out of prison throughout the 60's and 70's, he became a youth counselor. When one of his teenage patients asked for his help with his problems while working on the set of Runaway Train, Trejo was asked to act as an extra on the film. The rest is history.
Several supporting and starring roles later, the Machete actor is now dipping his toes in the food business. He opened Trejo's Tacos in 2015 in an abandoned Taco Bell building and the business is still going strong today.
5 VENUS WILLIAMS OWNS JAMBA JUICE
Much like her sister, Serena, Venus Williams is often hailed as one of the greatest athletes to ever step onto the tennis court. In fact, Serena Williams has recently hailed her older sister as her best, "ultimate rival." Away from the court, Venus Williams is also a smart businesswoman.
Venus expands her empire by owning and opening up different Jamba Juices around the world. As of 2014, Venus Williams owns five Jamba Juice restaurants in the Washington D.C. area.
4 CHRIS BROWN OWNS BURGER KINGS
As controversial as he is talented, few people are aware of the moves that he has made as a businessman. He is most famous for his dance moves, but the man has invested into some food related business endeavors. Specifically, he has some interesting investments in the fast food industry.
More specifically, he currently owns 14 Burger King restaurants. Brown revealed this fact himself when writing a piece titled "25 Things You Don't Know About Me."
3 KANYE WEST OWNS FATBURGER
Whether it be the content of his music or the awe-inspiring words that come out of his mouth, Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. However, love him or hate him, when it comes to who he is behind closed doors, one thing that we cannot argue against is that West is a smart businessman.
As a businessman, West has made some worthwhile business moves. Even in the fast food industry, where from 2008 until 2011, he owned two Fatburgers in the Chicago area. Originally, he struck a deal with Fatburger to open ten Fatburger restaurants in the area, but only opened two.
2 MARK WAHLBERG OWNS WAHLBURGER WITH FAMILY
Mark Wahlberg has come a long way from bringing forth "the rhythm and the rhyme" with the Funky Bunch and wearing underwear for Calvin Klein. Not only has he grown up to become a box office superstar actor, but he has also become a restaurant owner.
In 2012, he opened up a burger joint with his family - specifically, brothers Paul and Donnie - called Wahlburgers. They started off with just one restaurant in Massachusetts before becoming successful enough to expand with, currently, 31 locations across the United States.
1 RICK ROSS OWNS MULTIPLE FAST FOOD CHAINS
More than just a food connoisseur, rapper Rick Ross is a food entrepreneur. He owns a vast array of different fast food restaurants all around the world. By the end of 2015, Ross was the owner of 25 different Wingstop franchises.
In 2017, Ross also bought himself a Rally's & Checkers franchise in his hometown of Carol City, Florida. Ross has made just as much money in the fast food industry - if not more - than he has in the music industry.
References: vegnews.com, celebuzz, wikipedia