The Top Franchise Opportunities for Each Cast Member of Seinfeld
Seinfeld’s final episode had nearly eighty million viewers.
It quickly became one of the highest viewed regular series finale in television history. Do you remember where you were when the show went off the air?
Personally, I will never listen to Green Day’s Time of Your Life again without tearing up. If you recall, this was the song played at the end of the final episode.
This show has played a crucial role in the development of my own absurd sense of humor, and has done the same for millions around the world. I was not only a diehard fan of the show, but I continue to learn about Seinfeld from a philosophical standpoint many decades later.
I’ve read numerous books to geek out on the show like Seinfeldia, Seinfeld & Philosophy, plus Jerry’s latest comedy collection, Is This Anything? And my love of the show recently got me thinking:
What would the career opportunities look like in real life for the characters?
Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer certainly had their many entrepreneurial moments. And despite the utter unlikability, laziness and absurdity of these four people, entering into the franchise space wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
Based on their work history and personality, we’ve broken down the franchises that various Seinfeld characters might try to invest in if given the opportunity.
Jerry Seinfeld -- The Cereal Entrepreneur
What do we know about Jerry? Here’s his basic skill profile:
Minor celebrity. Standup comedian. Voice of reason. Neat freak. Breakfast cereal lover. Even in his post network television life, he continued the trend of a show about nothing by launching the famous talk show, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.
Despite being the wealthiest and most successful standup comedian alive, there’s still a chance for him to try his hand at business ownership. As for franchising opportunities, let’s go with the low hanging fruit, no pun intended. Jerry’s logical career path would be The Cereal Bowl.
It’s a new breed of cafe fusing an old time favorite with a new and exciting twist. Guests will be able to make their own cereal creations or pick from one of the many unique combinations from over 35 cereals both hot, and cold as well as 50 toppings.
Also, since The Cereal Bowl has become a nationally recognized brand being featured in such recent press as Time, Entrepreneur and CNN, Jerry’s celebrity friends will be convinced through the power of social proof to spend their hard earned dollars on tasty treats.
I imagine Jerry walking around from table to table (as the franchisee), doing short bits about relevant food topics to engage customers:
- Bad Company -- “At least you’re a better dining companion than eating soup with Kenny Banya at Mendys.”
- Gender Preferences -- “Cereal is way better than ordering just a salad, as people may question your masculinity.”
- Food Branding -- “Unlike the bakery across the street, we don’t greet customers by sayin, top of the muffin to you!”
Jerry might also incorporate such cereal based restaurant material into his stage act, which would be amazing free advertising for the franchise. Also, Jerry has a rich history as pitchman for American Express, Microsoft and Acura. He’s no stranger to being the face of a company. The Cereal Bowl’s entire franchise organization would experience significant brand lift having Seinfeld as their ambassador.
His endorsement would be the ideal promotion for this franchise’s unique and creative twist on an old American staple. Seinfeld revolutionized sitcoms and the way people think about, well, nothing. And since The Cereal Bowl has revolutionized what people might find in their cabinet or pantry for breakfast, this pair is as delicious as it is profitable.
George Constanza -- The Bounce Back Bandit
George is perhaps the most unlikable of all this show’s characters. He’s cheap and conniving and lies all the time. Constantly jealous. Essentially a loser lacking confidence about his personal and professional capabilities.
But what viewers might not realize about Costanza is, he’s had a plethora of career experience. He’s incredibly resilient. He’s done everything. Jumping from job to job every couple of seasons, George has seen real business up close and personal, both on the managerial and operational sides.
Over the span of nine seasons, he was a valet parker, movie extra, sales rep in charge of The Penske File, assistant to the traveling secretary for the New York Yankees, playground equipment manufacturer, computer salesman for his father (serenity now!), hand model, real estate agent, sitcom writer, and of course, executive and Vandelay Industries, a leading latex provider.
Business moguls like George only come along once in a generation. Sure, some of George’s job’s weren’t even real jobs for real companies. But it doesn’t matter. He still got hired, paid and held those jobs for significant periods of time. Costanza is the master of taking action. That could inspire the next generation of business professionals.
That’s why I believe his ideal franchise opportunity is ActionCOACH. He could influence and mentor business owners, teach local community leaders and make a positive difference for entrepreneurs and their teams.
You can already picture Costanza running a seminar for small business and corporate clients. He would make PowerPoint presentations with tips like:
- Productivity Key: “When you look annoyed all the time, people think you're busy."
- Honest Sales: “I’m George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.”
- Self Belief: “You know, I always wanted to pretend that I was an architect.”
- Resource Efficiency: “Who buys an umbrella anyway? You can get them for free at the coffee shop in those metal cans.”
Best of all, ActionCOACH is a low-cost, home-based opportunity. George’s strong communication skills, high energy, extroversion and comedic timing will inspire even the most unmotivated business owner to make leaps and bounds in sales growth.
It’s gold Jerry! Gold!
Elaine Benes -- The Editor In Chief
Elaine is beautiful, intelligent, assertive, creative and edgy. Her taste in art and fashion is refined, although her dancing abilities and taste in boyfriends are questionable.
Her professional experience working as an acquisitions editor Pendant Publishing and for J. Peterman has proven her to be a veritable force in the media landscape. She’s one of the most professionally stable characters on Seinfeld.
I’m reminded of the famous Soup Nazi episode, where Elaine uncovers a collection of the mean chef’s recipes stashed away in her newly acquired armoire. She returns to the restaurant to flaunt her discovery and threaten to ruin the man’s business by exposing the culinary secrets. Man, that’s ruthless!
The Soup Nazi ultimately closes his restaurant for good, although he makes a cameo in the final episode as a witness for the trial against Elaine and her friends:
“These idiot clowns did not know how to order. I banned that one, the woman, for a year. Then one day, she came back. She knew my recipe for wild mushroom. I had to close the store, move to Argentina. She ruined my business!”
Okay, so maybe Elaine had a moment of weakness in her vengeful state. No potential franchisee is perfect.
Still, she went from editor in chief to editor of chefs. Undeniably, Elaine has a nose and an eye. She can hold court with celebrities and business moguls alike. She also can spot trends, creative opportunities, spot the next best writer or even the newest fashion statement like the Urban Sombrero. Elaine takes no prisoners.
A logical franchise opportunity for her would be the John Casablancas Modeling & Career Centers. They develop local talent and promote them through his international network of agencies in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, and many other cities.
With Elaine’s business background, particularly in fashion, she’s a perfect candidate to open up shop to give the next generation of superstars the training, skills, and wisdom that elite models epitomize. As long as she doesn’t do the thumb dance, her executive presence will inspire legions of professionals to make a name for themselves.
All she has to do is get up into people’s faces and say, “Get. Out!”
Cosmo Kramer -- The Underachieving Genius
Kramer, is the hipster doofus neighbor on the greatest sitcom of all time. People have been telling me for years that I resemble and act like him, which I always take as a compliment.
In the book Seinfeld & Philosophy, here’s the passage that struck me about our final potential franchisee:
“Kramer has endless jobs, preoccupations, and breadless arts with which he has occupied himself. He wards off boredom with these fleeting commitments, and never truly faces himself, lost as he is in the spectacle of the moment, of the interest du jour. And when it ceases to be of interest to him, it ceases to be of value to him, so it is abandoned.”
There’s an amazing piece on Vulture called All of Kramer’s Jobs and Schemes on Seinfeld. You can read it to take a look at Kramer’s entire work history, from minuscule odd jobs to outlandish schemes. A few of my favorites on his resume are:
- Company Executive: Kramerica Industries, the think tank.
- Food Entrepreneur: Make your own pizza parlor. (It’s all supervised!)
- Movie Actor: These pretzels are making me thirsty.
- Ball Boy: Judges haven't seen anybody go after balls with such gusto.
- Rickshaw Entrepreneur: Managed staff of homeless drivers.
Ultimately, finding the right opportunity for Kramer was a tough call. Kramer seems like he would either be the most brilliant and profitable franchise owner in history, or would go out of business within two weeks.
Because when you really get down to it, he’s an idea man. Forget about the details. Don’t worry about execution. Operations are not where his skills will thrive. Kramer isn’t your typical 9-5 guy.
In my favorite episode of all time, he began showing up at a job during regular work hours with no contract and no pay, simply appreciating the structure that a steady job adds to his life. Kramer was then fired because of his incomprehensible work.
“But I don’t even really work here,” he exclaimed. To which the corporate executive replied, “That’s what makes this so hard.”
Cosmo belongs in marketing, plain and simple. He needs to be surrounded by a team of producers and project managers who can execute against his vision. That’s why we are recommending he become a public relations consultant for firms and agencies serving the franchise industry.
He would do nothing but attend, facilitate and participate in all company brainstorming and ideation sessions. Meeting attendance would be at an all time high, as agency employees would show up just to see what wacky strategies would come out of his mouth. And you never know, one of them might be the next big idea. If you can turn a book about coffee tables into a coffee table itself, you can sell franchises.
Kramer would thrive in this franchise consultant role. He’d show up to the meeting with a briefcase full of crackers, make one or two off the wall creative comments that bring the room to a standstill, and then head to the coffee shop for lunch followed by a round of golf. Giddy up!
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Ultimately, there are plenty of franchise opportunities for the members of the world’s quirkiest and most memorable friend group. Combining their work experience and personality, there’s no doubt that Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer would make ideal franchisees for growing businesses.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Scott Ginsberg is Head of Content at FranchiseHelp. He’s been wearing a nametag everyday for the past 21 years, which strangely enough, was not inspired by Seinfeld Episode 71, Season 5.
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