Sport

Ricky Jean Francois thrilled to be with Patriots in 'Dunkin Donut heaven'

"As soon as I got off the airplane", Jean Francois said Wednesday, "it was like every block I hit I saw a Dunkin" Donuts. "I've just got to figure out who it is and just learn their strategy and how they can get that many in just this one location".

So when the New England Patriots signed defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, it was a natural fit.

He doesn't own any near the company's original location in Quincy, Mass., but his locations are concentrated along I-95 from Savannah, Georgia to Hilton Head South Carolina, he explained. Those locations likely won't be in MA, though. Anything can happen. They can throw me in the fire and I don't know that playbook, and I don't want to mess up something they already have going. "It's ongoing. The biggest thing is I've got to learn that playbook".

During his brief stint with Green Bay, Jean-Francois talked to Packers.com about his investment in the Canton-based chain. Some of his older teammates advised him to pursue business opportunities outside of football in order to set himself and his family up life after retirement.

"Have you seen the sales numbers?"

Jean Francois' go-to item is a glazed donut and was excited to see Rob Gronkowski, a Dunkin Donuts spokesman, in the locker room. Gronkowski is one of Dunkin's top celebrity pitchmen, appearing in commercials with the likes of David Ortiz and Odell Beckham Jr.

"Each team is different learning the terminology, nearly like you know English but somebody is telling you French now and you've got to learn French", said Jean Francois. "Every time I look at that commercial, I smile now. Every time you see it and I see Gronk, I'm like, 'I'm making a whole lot of money just for seeing his pretty face'".

Jean Francois says his stores are all along I-95 between Savannah, Ga. and Hilton Head, S.C. Considering the popularity of the restaurants in New England, he probably will not be buying any franchises up in New England. He has started to drink coffee as of late too, as he has an 18-month old son that has kept him awake.

"I think that's great", Gronkowski said. "I was like I came to Dunkin Donut heaven up here". "Super cool and super neat".

Jean Francois may need a steady flow of caffeine in order to pick up the Patriots defensive playbook before Sunday night's game against the Broncos. "They might have strategies to help get the business booming".



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