Mar 3, 2023 - Economy

Drew Brees: Franchises are small biz, too

Photo: Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Drew Brees has exited one arena (football) to enter another.

  • The retired signal caller, who won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints, works with the International Franchise Association. He’s a franchise owner himself, with stakes in several eateries like Jimmy John’s and Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux.

Why it matters: Even when part of globe-spanning brands, franchisees are actually small businesses, which Brees explained to Axios in an exclusive interview.

  • The sector still hasn’t fully recovered from the pandemic, facing headwinds from inflation, worker shortages and a potential economic slowdown.

What he’s saying: “A major benefit of being part of a franchise system is that you have a support structure for whatever you need, which is different from a mom-and-pop operation where you’re on your own,” Brees tells Axios. “You don’t have a support network that’s there to set you up for success.”

Zoom out: The IFA estimates that nearly 800,000 U.S. franchise establishments bolster over 8 million jobs, contributing nearly 3% to the gross domestic product.

  • Even though franchise owners get the benefit of support from the primary brand, owners still have to post hefty amounts of startup capital, which vary based on how many locations a person owns, and overhead costs. But the growth potential is substantial, Brees says.
  • Owning multiple franchises comes with the potential for making a “darn good living,” he tells Axios. “It’s employing a lot of people, it’s job creation [and] economic development.”
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