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The reason why Shaquille O'Neal sold his Auntie Anne’s business: "Black people don’t like Pretzels"

Shaquille O'Neal's favorite business is franchising and he owns several branches of Papa John's, Auntie Anne's and Five Guys Burgers, among others.
Why Shaq sold his Auntie Anne’s business: Black people don’t like Pretzels

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most successful NBA players on and off the court. He managed to take care of his finances by investing early on in different ventures, including franchising. However, he had to let go of some of them to stop the bleeding. The Big Diesel revealed that Auntie Anne’s was one of them.

Black people don’t like Pretzels

In an interview, the former Lakers legend revealed why he had to let go of his Auntie Anne’s stores. It wasn’t clear what Shaq meant when he claimed he sold his Auntie Anne’s because, according to a quick online search, he still owns around 17 stores in the U.S.

“You know we love pizza. I sold my Auntie Anne’s. Because Black people don’t like pretzels that much. So I had to switch it up.”

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The interviewer claimed that people eat cinnamon pretzels, which Shaq rejected and said that no one eats cinnamon pretzels. Of course, the Hall of Famer only said those things in jest, but it reflected his good business mind: he makes a decision based on logic and rationale, not emotions.

Shaq’s different business ventures

All the other business ventures owned by Shaq are well documented. Aside from Auntie Anne’s, the 7-footer also owns 155 Five Guys restaurants, a Krispy Kreme franchise, and a movie theater. O’Neal also maintains a Big Chicken restaurant, several Papa John’s branches, and a burger place named after him. Obviously, his favorite choice was franchise business, and for a good reason: The Big Diesel believed if you follow the rules, you can’t go wrong. However, he turned down a chance to own one of the biggest coffee chain stores in the world: Starbucks. He shared how his conversation with his agent went.

“‘Howard Schultz wants to do business with you, And I’m like coffee? Because growing up, in my household, I’d never seen a Black person drink coffee. Black people don’t drink coffee, sir. I don’t think it’s going to work. And you should have seen his face.’”

That’s business for you. You win some and lose some, but more importantly, you take away everything you learn and apply them as you go along in different industries. There’s always a risk, but being a good-natured and likable person like Shaquille O’Neal helps immensely in any business. 

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