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McDonald’s ‘Was All We Could Afford When I Was a Kid’: Now, Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson Owns Several McDonald’s Franchises

Chad Johnson, known as Chad Ochocinco during his time in the NFL, has has a long-running relationship with McDonald’s. And the relationship has gone from personal to business. Johnson is a successful McDonald’s franchise owner.

Chad Johnson (Photo via GQ Sports, YouTube screenshot,

He has spoken about this relationship with McDonald’s in various interviews over the years.

McDonald’s and Me

In fact, Johnson credits his successful football career to an unexpected source: McDonald’s fast food.

Speaking on the “I Am Athlete” podcast in 2021, a show he co-hosts alongside Brandon Marshall, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor, the former Cincinnati Bengals player disclosed that his regular consumption of McDonald’s food over some healthier options helped him to build an injury-free body that could withstand tackles.

Johnson and Marshall were arguing over diets for athletes. Marshall made a statement about the food sacrifices necessary to win a Super Bowl championship and recover after an injury. He stressed that a strict diet was a must. Johnson disagreed, and shared that his McDonald’s routine during on and off-seasons was a positive experience.

“I never got f–ing hurt, never … you know why? Because I ate McDonald’s, and I built a f–ing callus in my body,” Johnson said on the March 27, 2021 episode.

Johnson also has spoken about how as a child, McDonald’s was a steady part of his diet because it was affordable.

“When I was a kid, burgers were 50 cents,” Johnson told GQ Sports earlier this year. “Fries were 20 cents. Therefore, it was all we could afford when I was a kid. 

“You know what happened when I was little too when I ate McDonald’s? I never got hurt. You know what else I did as a kid when I ate McDonald’s? I dominated everything that I did, even in kindergarten,” he added.

No matter what Johnson eats, his McDonald’s franchises, which make up a large portion of his $15 million net worth, provide him with financial security.

Going Into Business with Mickey Ds

Owning three McDonald’s locations in Cincinnati, Indiana and Miami, it suffices to say Johnson is “lovin’ it.” 

The mantle of a McDonald’s franchisee brings with it a price tag, not only in the form of financial capital but in meeting an array of qualitative requisites, such as a net worth of $500,000 and liquidity of $750,000.

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