Athletes buy restaurant franchises to build financial futures

Quentin Richardson was cut from the Orlando Magic late last month, but even if another team doesn’t pick him up, he has another career option as a restaurant owner.

Shortly before the Magic waived him, Richardson signed a deal to open restaurants in the Orlando area for North Carolina-based East Coast Wings & Grill. He’s planning his first early next year and at least nine more over the next seven years.

Richardson is one of many athletes who have turned to franchising as a way to diversify incomes and plan for life after sports.

Earlier this year, former Magic player Drew Gooden, now with the Milwaukee Bucks, opened his first Wingstop in Uptown Altamonte. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning last month signed a deal to own 21 Papa John’s franchises. Former Magic player Shaquille O’Neal has an investor group that owns some Auntie Anne’s pretzel shops and tennis star Venus Williams has opened Jamba Juice outlets.

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