Meet Ron Jordan, the founder and CEO of Jordan Hospitality Group (JHG). He recently made history after acquiring all 21 Donatos Pizza restaurants in the Indianapolis market. The acquisition makes the Black-owned hospitality brand the largest traditional franchise partner and largest minority-owned franchisee of Donatos.
Jordan partnered with 22 ventures, an investment firm led by former NBA All-Star, Olympic gold medalist, and Ohio State University team captain Michael Redd. The duo got along because of their passion to help uplift the Black community.
“We’re on a mission to be one of the exceptional players in experiential dining,” said Jordan in a press release cited by Black Business. “But it’s more than just building restaurants. We’re creating experiences that thrill our guests.
Jordan said his entrepreneurial inspiration comes from a commitment he made to his grandparents years ago to create generational wealth for the family and future generations, including for those employed in his company.
“It is especially rewarding to have the opportunity to do this through a company in Donatos that I have loved since childhood.”
Jordan was born and raised in greater Columbus, Ohio. Unlike many entrepreneurs, Jordan was fortunate to grow in a family of self-made entrepreneurs. At a tender age, hard work and entrepreneurship became synonymous with his name.
“The restaurant business, it was in my blood. I stepped in and took over my family’s business. But my inspiration to grow it and make it the best it can be? That stems from the commitment I made to my grandparents years back to create generational wealth for my family and future generations of not only Jordan’s, but for the people our company employs,” he said in an interview.
Jordan has been running JHG, a family business, for over a decade. The firm also owns Hen Quarter restaurant in Dublin. Jordan plans to focus more on the newly acquired restaurants. “We’re definitely going to build new restaurants, and for us, acquisitions are always part of the equation,” he said.
The journey towards becoming the largest minority-owned franchisee of Donatos has not been without challenges. He noted: “The hardest challenge or obstacle I’ve faced on my journey is access to capital. Getting access to capital as a business owner is already tough enough. But for members of a historically oppressed group of people to find that access to capital, it’s even tougher. People who look like me aren’t always taught a lot about finding equity but also, historically don’t have the same access to it as others do. When your capital is in a crunch, you have to pursue the slowest growth model possible. But in the current market, if you aren’t growing you are dying.”
He continued: “To overcome this, we used real estate acquisitions through Popeyes, and spun it off and sold it to take care of some of the debt on our balance sheet.”
The restaurateur said overcoming the challenge of access to capital has made him a smarter business owner because now he understands how to operate on “a capital stack at the front of the game.” He said he has cultivated a ton of great relationships and put his company in a position where it can have capital at the beginning of a project in the future.
Jordan previously served as Vice President of Retail for Jordan Hospitality Group’s partner company, Thompson Hospitality — the largest minority-owned food and facilities management company in the U.S., according to a report. He also has awards from Smart Columbus, Columbus Monthly, Central Ohio Honors, among others, and is often involved in speaking engagements.
The husband and father of four also loves to give back and is, therefore, a member of several charities, including the Jordan Family Scholarship which gives him the opportunity to mentor student-athletes