Tilman Fertiitta can transform businesses with one order. He’s the chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of Landry’s Inc. (one of the largest restaurant corporations in the U.S.), and has a $2 billion annual supply spend. Fertitta’s reality show on CNBC, Billion Dollar Buyer, premieres its second season November 22 at 10pmET.
If you’re not already familiar with the show here’s a little background. Fertitta oversees more than 500 properties and over 50 restaurant, hotel, and entertainment brands — from high end to mainstream. So when he agrees to place an order with a business, it’s a big deal. The business must be able to create a product that Fertitta and his staff likes. That’s a given. But whether the business can deliver the volume of product often is equally important.
The small businesses Fertitta deals with on Billion Dollar Buyer are established and show promise. The two companies featured in the season two premiere are just that: They’ve been in business for more than a couple of years but haven’t landed that life-changing account.
First up is Nicolita, a swimwear designer that specializes in Cuban-style bikini bottoms. Fertitta is interested in purchasing new uniforms for around 500 poolside employees. He also has retail stores that can carry the line. The swimwear designs are appealing. However, does Nicolita have the credit line to deliver what Fertitta needs?
Then there’s Designer Drains, a company with a very niche product. When you take a shower and look down, isn’t that drain a little dull? Boring? Why not spruce it up with a custom design? Fertitta is all for it, at least for his high-end hotels. But looking at the company’s finances, Fertitta is worried that Designer Drains won’t even be in business long enough to follow through with their end of the deal.
Billion Dollar Buyer is more than a reality show about winning an account. Tilman Fertitta wants to know the day-to-day workings of these companies. If he finds flaws in their products or operations, he advises them. If they don’t make the necessary adjustments, well, hopefully they’ll find other big opportunities.
Season two of Billion Dollar Buyer premieres November 22 at 10pm on CNBC.