Filed under: //www.bvonmoney.com/category/celebrity-news/” rel=”tag”>Celebrity News
Gone are the days when opening a celebrity restaurant meant creating a high-class joint like //kimoracochran.com/shooting-diddys-justins-restaurant-atlanta/” >Diddy’s Justin’s or Britney Spears’ //chowhound.chow.com/topics/198129″ >now defunct Nyla. Today’s brightest stars are just as likely to invest in a place that serves up burgers and fries. Perhaps a foray into fine dining is too much of a financial risk, and stars looking to parlay their brands into secure income streams are wise to take the populist route. At least that has been the business direction taken recently by Jay-Z, Kanye West and now Flava Fav.
Yes. Today is the inaugural day for Flava Flav’s new chicken joint, //www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/24/flavor-flav-fried-chicken_n_812967.html” >Flav’s Fried Chicken. According to the Associated Press, Flav actually has a culinary degree and previous restaurant experience. Who knew? We all thought Flav was just a walking stereotype, but we were wrong. Perhaps this aging pop star won’t merely strengthen the negative association of fried chicken with blacks through his venture. Maybe through Flav’s Fried Chicken, Flava Flav will actually become a positive role model in the realm of business, cancelling out some of his public foolishness. After a string of successful reality shows, he seems to be doing something right in terms of expanding his brand. To our horror, we might have something to learn from him.
But not all low brow investments made by the musically inclined play out as beautifully. As Flava Flav //www.bvnewswire.com/2011/01/11/jay-z-family-chicken-wings-business/” >joins Jay-Z as another rapper betting on chicken, Jay’s former protege Kanye West has much less happy food news. Over in Chicago, West has just closed one of the Fat Burger locations he owns, which was //www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/24/kanye-wests-fatburger-clo_n_813065.html?ir=Food” >part of a plan to open several franchises. Local Chicago news site //www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-fatburger-closes-jan21,0,5993744.story” >wgntv.com reports:
After only a year and a half, Fatburger in suburban Orland Park has closed down.
KW Foods, LLC, rapper Kanye West’s company, opened the restaurant to much fanfare in 2008.
James Newell, Fatburger’s director of operations, pointed to the recent financial performance of the store as the reason the store closed, “It’s unfortunate, but we hope to have a presence in Orland Park again in the future.”
Kanye West’s other Fatburger location, near 95th & Western in the city’s Beverly neighborhood, remains open for business.
MC Hammer sparked a clothing, dance and music craze with his 1990 sophomore album ‘Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em.’ Not only did the album remain number one for 21 weeks, but it also made the Oakland, Calif., native the first hip-hop artist to achieve diamond status, selling over 10 million units. Despite pulling in the cash, mismanagement of funds led Hammer to file for bankruptcy and, ultimately, contributed to his declining popularity in the music business.
Rap Superstars of Yesteryear
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So while West is not completely out of the burger game, he has not had the success he probably expected. It’s easy to believe that owning something akin to a McDonald’s is like printing money, but nothing in business is guarenteed. And if you are a man with a reputation like Kanye’s, it can be hard to make money no matter how solid a franchise brand is. Why?
Looking at the comments on the article on his restaurant’s demise, it’s pretty clear that Kanye’s image as an egomaniac did not endear the restaurant to the local community. One commenter made his opposition to West clear: “As much as I hate seeing another business close in OP…..I couldn’t support a Kayne West business either. Supporting his business was like giving my ok to his self-righteous ego and all those who think that type of behavior is acceptable.” This statement illustrates how West’s bad boy brand, while it might work for fans of his music, does not mix with the midwesterners he wants to woo as customers. Kanye’s public outbursts and other abrasive antics have rubbed the common crowd so wrong, that the average joe wants nothing to do with his comfort food. And there is a money lesson there.
If you are going to expand your brand, it makes sense to do so in alignment with what your brand already successfully represents. Flava Flav and Jay-Z are both fun-loving and well-liked, although in very different ways. Finger foods fit well with their easy-going personas. But Kanye is such an extreme aesthete with strong opinions — I can understand why someone would not want to eat a burger associated with him. For West, a fine dining business would make more sense, because his refinement and vocal, critical approach to all matters of taste would be appreciated by the audience he already attracts.
This goes to show that it pays to expand your brand along the outlines of what your public already appreciates about you, whether your public might be one of millions like Flava Flav, or the much smaller crowd that you serve in your daily life. It might be strange at first to think of rappers getting into fast food, but when you think about it in those terms, for Flavor Flav and Jay, it makes sense. Kanye on the other hand might want to look into investing in //nymag.com/restaurants/features/50152/” >very snooty, yet highly profitable, exclusive restaurants.
What do you think of this trend? If you were to open a restaurant to “expand your brand,” what type of place would it be?
Leave your comments below!
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