Limited-service sandwich chain Firehouse Subs just hit an impressive milestone for its category when its 1,000th franchise business opened its doors in Rowland Heights, California.
In a recent interview with trade publication QSR, brand CEO Don Fox noted that all sorts of things can go wrong between store one and store 1,000 (https://www.qsrmagazine.com/exclusives/how-firehouse-subs-got-1000-units). If money was all you needed for a brand build-out, said Fox, the sandwich chain would have thousands of restaurants right now. It's down to the people and how they operate and engage with your brand, according to the CEO.
The brand was founded by the firefighting Sorensen brothers, and its theme is based on police and fire service. Currently, there are 31 Firehouse locations in California, including in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Ana and Simi Valley. At the end of this year, the chain expects to have 1,050 locations as it continues its expansion across the Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and the US and works on entering into nontraditional sites, such as airports, military bases and school campuses.
Partners Vivek Malkan and Jash Asit are the new owners of the Rowland Heights store on Colima Road. According to Malkan, the partners favored the sandwich chain because it stands behind its franchisees and is involved in the community. In 2005, the franchiser established a foundation that provides equipment, educational opportunities and funding to public safety organizations and first responders. To date, the organization has given away more than $20 million dollars.
California Restaurant Association CEO and President Jot Condie noted that Firehouse's growth in the state is noteworthy because there is intense competition. According to Condie, the consumer trend toward grab-and-go is what is feeding sandwich chain growth, and he expects this consumer shift to continue.
Firehouse Subs has franchising opportunities available across the country, including in Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota and New York. Those who qualify will have a credit score of 650 or higher and at least $80,000 available to invest. The franchise fee for one unit is $20,000, and the total investment starts at $131,150 and goes to $928,405 depending on location site and store size.