Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Sandwich Franchise Firehouse Subs Joins the 1,000 Restaurant Club

About 4,000 brands offer franchises in the United States. Of those, some 100 operate more than 1,000 franchise locations, about 2.5%. Firehouse Subs took a big hurdle this year and can count itself among the biggest players.
The concept has been offering franchises since 1995, growing by an average 50 locations a year. In the ten years since 2006, it grew by over 750 restaurants. Over the entire period, the founders kept a close eye on the franchisee selection process. Every franchise applicant goes through an interview with the founders, the CEO and CFO after which they are required to join an area representative for week.

Firehouse Subs’ success does not only show in its franchise unit growth. Die brand’s franchised unit continuity rate average 98% since 2007. Additionally, the annualised average weekly store revenues increased by 28% to $735,000 between 2009 and 2015, at an average annual 4%. That sure beat U.S. GDP growth.

After Firehouse Subs successfully grew in the U.S. market it ventured abroad in 2015 and partnered up with ONFIRE Restaurants, Inc. to conquer the Canadian market.
What does that mean for aspiring franchise brands? Aside from a “sexy” product, you need strict franchisee selection criteria, implement processes to monitor system performance down to the individual unit … and patience.


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