Originally Published by Restaurant Business

NFL Players find life after football: franchising

More professional athletes are pursuing second careers in the restaurant business, and franchise systems eagerly welcome them.

Donnell Thompson retired in 1992 after a longer-than-expected career playing defense for the Baltimore and then Indianapolis Colts.

He had one more year left on his contract at the time. But he was eager to get to his next career—at McDonald’s.

Thompson had spent the previous several years learning the ropes and became one of the company’s franchisees. He has parlayed that experience into an even more successful career owning and operating restaurants, including Denny’s and, most recently, Checkers and Rally’s.

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