Eccentric billionaire Elon Musk may be entering the restaurant industry soon.
Tesla, Musk’s famed electric car company, recently filed three trademarks centered on restaurant services, pop-up restaurant services, self-service restaurant services, and takeout restaurant services, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The three trademarks cover the word “Tesla,” the company’s “T” logo, and the company’s particular font styling of “Tesla.” The filing states that the new application will be assigned to an examining attorney around late August.
Musk, the third-richest man in the world at roughly $156 billion, has hinted on multiple occasions that he’s interested in the food and drink industry. Tech Crunch reported that former CTO JB Straubel said at a restaurant-technology conference that Tesla may venture into restaurants. The idea was to transform EV charging stations into stores that also serve food, the outlet said. A few months later Musk tweeted, “Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA.”
Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2018
We know a thing or two about drive-ins. You bring the ride, we’ve got the food. ????
— Sonic Drive-In (@sonicdrivein) January 9, 2018
According to Electrek, Tesla actually moved forward with Musk’s plans by applying for building permits at a Supercharger station in Santa Monica, California. The project wasn’t touched for a few years until new applications were submitted earlier in 2021, although the updated plans didn’t include a restaurant, the publication said. Then in April, Musk tweeted, “Major new Supercharger station coming to Santa Monica soon! Hoping to have 50’s diner & 100 best movie clips playing too. Thanks Santa Monica city!”
Major new Supercharger station coming to Santa Monica soon! Hoping to have 50’s diner & 100 best movie clips playing too. Thanks Santa Monica city!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2021
Musk would join a long list of non-restaurateurs to enter the industry in a nontraditional manner. Celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Tyga, Wiz Khalifa, Mario Lopez, and MrBeast have all launched a virtual brand amid the COVID pandemic.
He also wouldn’t be the first restaurateur in his family to run a restaurant. Musk’s brother Kimbal owns The Kitchen Restaurant Group, a family of restaurants based in Boulder, Colorado. He also sat on Chipotle’s Board of Directors for six years.
If Musk were to enter the industry, he would be able to leverage a large social and business following. Tesla’s market cap increased by more than $500 billion in 2020, CNBC said. By late December, the company was worth as much as the combined market cap of the nine largest car companies across the world. In January, the brand’s market cap crossed $800 billion. Since then, its market cap has decreased significantly to around $581 billion. As of Wednesday afternoon, it was trading at $604.18 per share. Musk also has more than 56 million followers on Twitter, which is one of the largest counts on the social media platform.