This story reads like a novel. It’s as juicy as grade A angus beef cooked to medium and served on a toasted bun.
Guy Fieri. You know him, right?
-Winner of Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star.”
-Owner of SEVERAL restaurants, including “Johnny Garlic’s.”
-Food Network Host Extraordinaire (Guy’s Big Bite, Guy’s Grocery Games, & Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives)
The list goes on. There are also allegations of him mistreating women crew and other staff members. I reiterate, those are just allegations. I subscribe to the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” rule of thumb, but, that’s just me. All in all, I like the guy. He’s risen to complete fame, wealth, and power. I’m not sure if anyone knows a single recipe of his off the top of their heads, but that’s neither here nor there. These days, why would anyone be looking for recipes from an instructional cooking guru?
It’s being reported today that under the complete cover of night, Mr. Fieri has filed paperwork with the state of California to dissolve the restaurant business that he co-founded with his business partner, Steve Gruber. People want to leave situations every day, right? I, for one, say that if he wants to exit, he should be able to. But, here’s the catch. Steve wasn’t aware. It’s reported that Guy never told Steve he wanted to leave. How dare Guy to go and file divorce paperwork behind Steve’s back. Why, this company belongs to Steve just as much as it belongs to Guy. They’re equal. 50/50 owners!
Let’s do some quick math:
Guy Fieri has a net worth of about $16 million dollars. According to Hoovers, a data analytics company, the revenue of the restaurant chain is $3.2M. With 7 current locations, we can assume that each one has a revenue of approx $457K annually. If we study a bit of history, Guy closed 2 of the restaurants closed. One of the two was converted from a Tex Wasabi restaurant to a Johnny Garlic’s and didn’t make it. Then, the other abruptly closed in the Sacramento area. With “a few dozen” employees at each location, plus expenses, and rent, mixed with declining revenue, one could certainly make an assumption on why the closings are happening. To be honest, if I were Guy, I’d probably shut a few down too…just to stop the bleeding.
Now, onto a few other facts.
It seems that Guy never told Steve, his business partner for over 20 years, that he wanted out of the business and is leaving it up to the courts. However, Steve has a plan of his own. It’s been discovered that Steve has filed to halt the dissolution for one reason and one reason only. Steve is claiming that if Guy wants out, Steve needs time to gather resources to buy Guy out. However, it seems everyone is having a hard time deciding what the fair market value of Guy’s shares are worth.
Here’s what Amy Witt, the company’s CFO, had to say to The Press Democrat:
“The facts are: Guy Fieri filed to dissolve the company and Steve Gruber filed a petition to stop the dissolution and is exercising his right to purchase Guy’s shares under appropriate California codes,” Witt said in an email.
Witt insists the restaurants will continue to operate as normal while the courts intercessions are happening. At this point, no one is answering questions about how many employees the chain has or its true value of each of the restaurants. We’ll just need to wait it out and see. You can rest assured, we’ll be following the story!