Did you know that NBA legend Shaquille O’ Neal owns a number of restaurant franchises? Yes, you read that right. The famous basketball player has successfully transistioned from court into the world of business. Shaq now owns several famous franchises such as Krispy Kreme, Papa John’s Pizza, and Five Guys.

Want to know what Shaq is investing in right now? Read on to know more about the many restaurants Shaquille O’Neal owns and how you can apply these lessons to your investing strategy. You can learn more about franchise investing by taking our 8-minute quiz to get matched with an opportunity. 

List of Restaurants that Shaq Invests In

Shaquille O’Neal owns a number of restaurants. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Shaq answered what he found so attractive in franchising. He said, “It’s just partnering up with another reliable, excellent brand. Being in business with people, and just owning stuff.” Here are some of the restaurants Shaq has invested in.

Shaq franchise

Some of Shaq’s business interests.

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme is a brand known for their doughnuts and coffee. They are a multi-national chain with over 1,400 locations all over the world. They have been operating since 1937 and have sold over 20 million donuts a year. Their revenue is $ 1.53 billion in 2022.

Shaquille O’Neal has cited Krispy Kreme as one of his favorite franchises. He owns one Krispy Kreme location at Ponce de Leon, Atlanta which was destroyed by arson in February 10, 2021. The construction of a new store in the same location is underway and is set to open in the summer of 2023.

Auntie Anne’s

Auntie Anne’s is an American chain of shops that sells different kinds of pretzels from sweet to savory ones. They also sell different kinds of dips with their pretzels such as caramel, cheese, marinara, and honey mustard. Started in 1988 in a Pennsylvania farmer’s market, the brand has grown from just a stand to over 1,900 locations around the globe. Auntie Anne’s global sales have reached $682,180,204 in 2022.

Shaquille O’Neal franchised Auntie Anne’s in 2007 and has owned 17 stores. However, in recent news, the former basketball star said that he sold his store although it is unclear if he sold all of them. As for the reason for letting the franchise go? “I sold my Auntie Anne’s because Black people don’t like pretzels that much. So I had to switch it up,” Shaq said.

Papa John’s Pizza

Papa John’s is an international pizza chain with over 5,700 stores. They started in 1985 in a broom closet in Jeffersonville, Indiana and the owners, John Schnatter and his partner Bob Ehringer, started the business with only $1,600 at that time. At present, Papa John’s can be found in areas like South Korea, China, Spain, Egypt, Qatar, France, and many more. Their global sales in 2022 have reached $4.778 billion.

Related Reading: Will You Be Able to License or Franchise Shake Shack? 

After John Schnatter’s racist remarks in 2017 and 2018, the man resigned as chair from the company. In an interview, Shaquille O’Neal said that Papa John’s called him to be on the board and Shaq replied that he’ll be involved as long as “old boy” is not involved. And that’s how Shaq got to be a part of the Papa John’s Board of Directors.

Shaquille O’Neal has a 3-year contract with the brand that earns him $8 million in stocks and salary. Aside from being part of the board, Shaq also owns 9 Papa John’s stores in Atlanta. He also signed to be an original endorser of the brand.

Five Guys

America is filled with major burger players in the food industry and one of them is Five Guys. The brand is known for their hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, milkshakes, and fries. Five Guys started in 1986 in Arlington, Virginia by the Murrell Family. Today, the business has over 1,700 stores and is located in the United States and internationally. The business is run by the five Murrell brothers at present and has seen global sales of $2,790,474,334 in 2022.

Out of all the franchises that Shaquille O’Neal signed up, Five Guys was the most number of stores he owned. He franchised 155 of them starting in Atlanta in 2008. He has since sold his shares so it is unclear whether or not he still owns a few or has sold all of them. In an interview with CNBC, he said that the Five Guys business had been “very good” to him.

Big Chicken

Have you tried Big Chicken?

Big Chicken

Big Chicken is a fast-casual chain specializing in chicken burgers. Shaquille O’Neal is the founder of this restaurant. Big Chicken started in 2018 with a menu that features Shaq’s “childhood favorites”. The menu includes chicken burgers, sides, and desserts such as their Big Cookie that has the size and circumference of a basketball. Big Chicken currently has over 150 locations with their first location in Las Vegas reaching more than $100 million in revenue.

In addition to investing in all these restaurants, Shaq often serves as the pitch man or spokesperson for the brand. This sets Shaq apart from other investors who might only offer financial support to a brand. Shaq is able to leverage his likeness to promote a company and immediately increase sales.

Other Businesses Shaq Invests In

Shaquille O’Neal isn’t just an entrepreneur when it comes to the food business industry. He also invests in other franchises and brands. Here are some of them:

Health Clubs

Considering that Shaquille O’Neal is an athlete, it would just make sense that the man would own 40 health clubs. In 2004, Shaq was reported to own 24-Hour Fitness clubs though the exact locations of every single one of them were unknown. The only confirmed health club location that Shaq owns are in Florida.

Beachbody Company

Beachbody is a subscription-based fitness platform to which Shaquille O’Neal serves as an advisor. Think of it as like Disney+ but catered to fitness. The company went public in 2021 on the New York Stock Exchange and was expected to see a successful growth. However, recent news have reported that there was less demand for it now that the pandemic is over and people have gone back to gyms and exercising outside.

The Shaq Line (Sneakers)

Shaq used to have a contract with Reebok and he also had shares with them. But he ended it when he apparently met a woman who complained that his shoes were so expensive. Shaq ended up breaking things off with Reebok and made his own Shaq Line of sneakers which he sold at Walmarts. He has sold over 200 million pairs of his Shaq sneakers.

The Alkaline Water Company

The Alkaline Water Company is the owner of Alkaline88, a purified and ionized water drink that’s added with Pink Himalayan Rock Salt. The drink is said to bring more hydration to consumers and is available at more than 80,000 retail outlets nationwide. The business has seen over $60.6 million in revenue for the fiscal year of 2022.

In 2021, it was reported that Shaquille O’Neal would become Alkaline88’s brand ambassador. In addition, Shaq will also join The Alkaline Water Company as an equity partner and member of the Board of Advisors.

Shaq said this in joining the company: ““Alkaline88 is an innovative product in the water category and I am so excited to partner with The Alkaline Water Company to help raise their game to new heights. I am humbled by the opportunity to join the Advisory Board while also being a brand ambassador.”


Google is a multinational technology company most known for its intricate search engine technology and is owned by Alphabet. At present, Google is more than just its search engine. The company is also into cloud computing, e-commerce, advertising, artificial intelligence, and more. They’re considered as “the most powerful company in the world” and Alphabet sees over $282.836 billion in revenue.

While Google has been around since 1998, it was in 2004 when it went public. Shaq has revealed that he was introduced to Ron Conway, a Google investor, and that’s when he decided to invest in the company. Shaq has not disclosed how much he invested on Google but he did say this about his investment: “My only regret is that I wish I would have bought more.”


Ring is a home security system company which is popularly known for their doorbell with cameras that can function as a surveillance system. The company is owned by Amazon and has seen revenue of more than $400 million in 2021.

Before Amazon bought Ring, Shaquille O’Neal bought an equity stake in the company and became their spokesperson. Shaq was able to profit off an amount when Amazon bought the company.

Car Washes

It is reported that the NBA star owns about 150 car wash centers. There are no exact details as to what the names of these car wash centers are except for one that was reported as Auto Spa Bistro which Shaquille O’Neal is also part of the board.

Shaq Big Chicken

About Big Chicken.

NRG eSports

NRG eSports is a professional esports organization based in Los Angeles, California. They compete in video games and are known to win national