Top 200 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.12 – Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shops – US
Products & Services: Gourmet sandwiches
Number of Locations: 1,682
Total Investment: $300.5K – 489.5K
Began Franchising: 1993
About Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shops
James J. Liautaud founded Jimmy John’s in Charleston, Illinois, in 1983 when he was 19 years old. With used equipment, a refrigerator, one meat slicer, a freezer and an oven, Jimmy John Liautaud started his business without even a posted menu or an outdoor sign. At the time, he offered four sandwich varieties and 25-cent soft drinks. After passing out sandwich samples throughout the college town, Liautuad added delivery service, tables, outdoor signs, menu boards and an expanded menu. He opened several more stores and developed a prototype before franchising began in 1993. Jimmy John’s franchisees bake bread at each store every day, and every sandwich is made fresh to order in 30 seconds.
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Midwest, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northeast, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South, South Carolina, South Dakota, Southeast, Southwest, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, West, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing
Franchise Fee: $35,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Net Worth: $300,000
Liquid Cash Available: $80,000
50% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 20. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed..
|FINANCING TYPE||IN-HOUSE||THIRD PARTY|
How This Franchise Supports Franchisees
Franchise Ranking History
|Founder(s)||Jimmy John Liautaud|
|Headquarters||Champaign, Illinois, United States|
|Number of locations||1,621|
Jimmy John’s is a franchised sandwich restaurant chain founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and headquartered in Champaign, Illinois. In 30 years, the company has grown to more than 1,600 locations in 40 states. Jimmy John’s has opened approximately 200 units per year over the past three years. As of 2013, 98% of the locations are franchise-owned.
After graduating second to last in his class at Elgin Academy (1982), Jimmy John Liautaud’s father gave him the choice to join the military or start a business. Prior to graduation, Luke “Jimmy" Lyons, a dean at his high school, is attributed with encouraging Jimmy to remain in school even when many others said he should drop out. A building at Elgin Academy is now named after Lyons in honor of his encouragement and faith in Liautaud. Liautaud still thanks Lyons for believing in him and making his dream seem like a feasible reality. Liautaud eventually chose to start a business and accepted his father’s $25,000 loan to start a hot dog business, with the son owning 52% of the business, and his father owning 48%. He soon realized that a hot dog business would cost more than he had, so he decided to open a sandwich shop.
On January 13, 1983, the first Jimmy John’s opened in a garage in Charleston, Illinois. Paying $200 a month in rent, Liautaud could afford only used equipment consisting of a refrigerator, a chest freezer, an oven and a meat slicer. Liautaud soon started delivering his sandwiches to the students of Eastern Illinois University.
In April 1985, Liautaud bought out his father’s interest in the business, becoming the sole owner. He opened his second store inMacomb, Illinois and two years later opened his third in Champaign, Illinois. Liautaud later opened several more stores and developed a prototype before beginning franchising in 1993. The first franchise store opened in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In 2001, the 100th Jimmy John’s store opened in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. In 2007, the 500th store opened in Seattle, Washington, and in 2010 the 1000th opened in Beaverton, Oregon.
In 2010, when the Industrial Workers of the World attempted to unionize ten Minneapolis locations, the New York Timescalled the effort “one of the few efforts to organize fast-food workers in American history."
In 2009 and 2010, Jimmy John’s sponsored Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Also in 2008 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Jimmy John’s sponsored Steven Wallace. In 2011, Jimmy John’s and Richard Childress Racing reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor Harvick for the Sprint Cup Series. The sponsorship will remain with Harvick when he joins Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.