Shaquille O'Neal Explains Why He Sold His 17 Auntie Anne's Franchises — ‘Black People Don’t Like Pretzels That Much'
Photo Credit: Randy Holmes

Shaquille O'Neal Explains Why He Sold His 17 Auntie Anne's Franchises — ‘Black People Don’t Like Pretzels That Much'

Shaquille O’Neal has hinted at a multitude of investments over the years, which have contributed to his net worth of $400 million.

He may make it look easy but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had to make several tough calls along the way. The business mogul also knows when it’s time to pull the plug on a venture.

During an interview on the Earn Your Leisure podcast, O’Neal discussed some of his franchises over the years including Auntie Anne’s. Shaq first become a franchisee of the pretzels stores in 2007.

However, it appears that was short lived as Shaq revealed his pockets are no longer invested in the company because he came to the conclusion that “Black people don’t like pretzels.”

“I sold my Auntie Anne’s because Black people don’t like pretzels that much. So I had to switch it up,” Shaq said on the podcast.

“At first it was a good investment, but them numbers,” he added.

It is reported that Shaq owned up to 17 Auntie Anne’s. It is unclear if all of his locations have been sold.

What we do know is Shaq knows the difference between good and bad business.

In fact, he is still a franchisee of Papa Johns, owning nine locations. Shaq stepped into the position in 2019, one year after the pizza company’s founder John Schnatter received backlash for using the N-word during a conference call and then had to step down as chairman of the company by default, Forbes reported.

Part of upholding his word, Shaq is making sure he has a seat at the table. He also serves on the company board and he is a brand ambassador. What’s more, his commitment to the company led to lower costs of Papa Johns pizza.

“For me, it was a great thing to do. And listen, Papa Johns is a good brand. The guy just messed up, but he had to pay for that,” Shaq explained on the Earn Your Leisure Network. “He sold it to us. So now that he sold it to us, I’m just gonna make sure it’s right slowly but surely. But a lot of people [said] ‘You sell out this and that.’ But one thing I would never do is sell my people out. Look if he was still involved, I would never do that. But he out. My man own it and I own it now, so we straight.”

Shaq has kept up his rapport with Papa Johns ever since and his longevity with the company can be traced back to his investment, which fortunately is still paying off.

In fact, Shaq signed a new endorsement deal with Papa Johns in April, which is reportedly worth over $11 million in cash and stock, Franchise Times reports.