Jay Z?s 40/40 Club Flies High

JAYIt is no secret the 40/40 Clubs, founded by rapper/entrepreneur Shawn ?Jay-Z? Carter, Desiree Gonzalez and Juan P?rez has had the typical share of troubles for a restaurant chain, such as labor disputes and the closing of unsuccessful locales ( i.e. 40/40 Las Vegas), but the sports bar has weathered the storm. According to a study in 2009 done by an Ohio State University business professor, 59% of new restaurants closed within three years. Given this, the 40/40 chain has beat the odds.

And overall, the chain, which first opened in New York in 2003 and is now in not only in Manhattan, but Atlantic City with plans to open during 2011 in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Tokyo and Macau, has been fairly successful. So much so that Jay-Z and his partners have announced they will expand and open locations in various airports across the country.

The 40/40 Club and Delaware North Companies, a hospitality and food service company,?have teamed up to open the sports restaurant/club at select airports across the United States.

Delaware North Companies operates dozens of national and regional brand restaurants and shops at more than 20 major U.S. airports. Delaware North Companies operates at sports stadiums, entertainment complexes, parks, resorts and airports including marquee locations such as the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, Delaware North-owned TD Garden in Boston, Los Angeles International Airport, Kennedy Space Center and Yosemite National Park.

According to Alex Askew, co-founder of the Black Culinarian Alliance, this is a great move for Jay-Z. “The amount of traffic present in an airport justifies the business case for operating a food establishment there. The cost may be higher but customers are always guaranteed,” he notes. “I don’t think that is the exact same clientele you will find?on the airport side. But the frequent business traveler will likely be the customer with a color blind (that it is owned by a hip hop artist) traffic flow.”

There is still a chance, as always, when businesses expand that the 40/40 Club brand can oversaturate the market. But says Askew, if Jay-Z and his partners play it safe and select the markets with care, this won?t happen. “In the case of the food establishment that stays in business there usually is a formula of success that is comprised of operations, service and quality excellence and consistency,” says Askew, who is also the BCA president and CE.” The way to insure those items is maintained a highly qualified management team will be the key.”

The bar is named after the prestigious Major League Baseball achievement: when a player hits 40 home runs and steals 40 bases in a single season. Only four professional baseball players have every achieved this prestigious accomplishment: Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco and Alfonso Soriano. The four of these baseball greats have their jerseys displayed in the 40/40 Club in New York City. ?

The original 40/40 Club is scheduled to shut down from April to July of 2011 to undergo renovations.