As amusing as the idea of celebrity-owned restaurants may be, I think they’re pretty stupid. Listen. I know we all want to be that one buddy cool enough to have a place for friends and family to hang out, drink and eat, but gosh, why do all the celebrity vanity projects have to be restaurants? Might as well give me the money.
Why celebrities should avoid opening restaurants?
I want to be known as a successful business owner and not just let’s say a great actor but opening a restaurant is not the right choice. First, restaurant failure rates are so high that you have a pretty good chance of flopping within your first year. A piece of toast (a restaurant point-of-sale service company), suggests that restaurant failure rates hover around 30% during their first year of operation.
It’s hard enough when your restaurant fails, but imagine being someone famous whose new business venture has taken a huge hit. The humiliation would hurt quite a bit, since your reputation as a celebrity is already in the public eye. That can’t be fun, whoever you are.
The many famous restaurants that failed?
mashed up has a list of failed celebrity restaurants, and wow, there are a few doozies in there. How did I not know Steven Spielberg had a nautical themed restaurant called Dive! who specializes in submarine sandwiches (I can’t even think of this)? It was originally established in Los Angeles in 1994 and closed its doors in 1999. (A Las Vegas outpost, the only other one, closed in early 2000s.)
Eva Longoria had a few spots that flopped, Justin Timberlake didn’t fare very well, and even J-Lo had one that flopped too (though that took a slow six years). I remember Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy had a bar here in Chicago called Angels and Kings, which I always thought was kind of hilarious. (The New York location was closed due to underage drinking, reported NBC4 in 2009.)
I reluctantly admit that in some cases it’s pretty okay to jump in celebrities to save a company, like when Trey Parker and Matt Stone bought Casa Bonita† And if you want collaboration with a restaurant, that’s fun too. (Famous chefs usually get an exception because it’s work-related.)
So if you’re a celebrity may I suggest you sell some weird dumb stuff? like Gwyneth Paltrow instead of? NBA star Jimmy Butler’s coffee performance still going strong. Whatever you do, don’t go into the hospitality industry. For your own good and ours, Ileave it to the professionals.