BY PETER HAILEY
Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon is putting both his hands and his smarts that have helped him become such a successful NFL wideout into another career that he intends to stick with long after he hangs up his jersey for the last time: restaurant franchising.
In an effort to diversify himself and give him some options once he stops playing on Sundays, Garcon has decided to become an active restaurant franchiser with SpinFire Pizza, an establishment that allows customers to build their own pizzas and then churns out the creations in just 90 seconds, according to its website. In a recent interview with NewsOne Now to promote his business, Garcon mentioned how the financial troubles that many pro athletes encounter after they can no longer play was a big reason why he was initially motivated to get involved with SpinFire.
"It's definitely hard to understand that this won't last forever, because it's so good when it's coming in," he said. "You'll be like, 'Oh, I'm making so much that I can live like this forever,' but when things stop coming in, it's a reality check."
SpinFire's first location hosted a grand opening last October in Ashburn, an event that was attended by Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins among many other of Garcon's fellow Redskins, and opened a second location in downtown Rosslyn this past April. Garcon went on to discuss how he and his partners are looking to expand the brand throughout the DMV and onto college campuses as well.
But while Garcon has looked to get his Redskins teammates involved as franchisees, he hasn't gotten anyone on board yet. With that being said, he could try and sell his burgundy and gold peers on the similarities between sports and business, which he thinks are pretty clear.
"It's just like football. We've been doing football since we were in elementary school, so now we just go out there and it's second nature to us. Once I'm in the business for a long time, it will become second nature."
However, Garcon is an NFL player, and NFL players are busy with all sorts of workouts, practices, and games. Therefore, #88 won't be making too many appearances in his restaurants, right? Wrong.
"I'm always in there," he said. "I'm in there making pizzas, actually putting on social media that I'm in there throwing dough, making pizzas for customers. I'm in there helping out because I want to learn."
Learning how things work isn't the only reason Garcon shows up, though. He also is sure to see things first hand so he can then act like his coach Jay Gruden and boss people around -- but not get any sideways looks from his workers when he does so.
"I can't tell one of the employees what to do if I don't know what I'm doing."
For a guy who's gotten used to hearing 90,000 cheering fans celebrate after his clutch catches and thrilling touchdowns, one would think making and selling pizza would be a bit of a downgrade from playing in front of a packed FedEx Field. However, Garcon finds just as much pleasure in making customers happy as he does in making opposing cornerbacks sad.
"I enjoy pleasing people, I enjoy serving people, I enjoy seeing a product and actually seeing someone happy about it," he said. "That's the best thing, when someone says, 'Oh, your pizza tastes good,' or 'Oh, your servers are great.' It's one of the great things that I'm happy to hear."
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