THE FIREHOUSE SUB STORY – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Some like it hot. And if you’re in the market for a hot – as in leading – fast casual sub franchise, you need to stop at the Firehouse. Firehouse Subs has been ranked as the number one Chain Restaurant for food quality (2016), service (2015) and atmosphere (2014) by Technomic’s. It was recognized as a Best Franchise to Buy by Forbes in 2015. Put it all together and you’ve got a very hot franchise -- a recognized leader in fast casual dining.In 2017, Entrepreneur reported that Firehouse Subs had 32 company stores and over 1000 franchises and Firehouse was still in growth mode, looking for new franchisees who can open a location and meet the firm’s high-quality standards.

Firehouse Subs has a unique way of preparing their sub sandwiches -- a steaming process that brings out the full flavor of their premium cheeses and meats. They know how to give all customers exactly what they want with hot subs, cold subs, salads, a catering menu and a kid’s menu. They’ve also added “small subs” that come in at a lower price and with 500 calories or less. So, whether Mom wants a salad, the kids want grilled cheese or Dad is hankering for a Firehouse Hero piled high with ham, beef and turkey – your Firehouse location will please them all. Firehouse Subs is focused on providing exceptional food and service for their customers – and success for their franchisees.

PROS AND CONS OF FIREHOUSE SUBS

Pro’s

  • Award-winning, excellent reputation
  • Unique steaming process for better flavor
  • Low initial fee
  • Fun firehouse décor with local theme
  • Long track record of franchisee success

Con’s

  • Low fee offset by high start-up costs
  • Locations require 15 to 20 employees
  • Franchisee’s credit score must be above 650
  • The sandwich market is very competitive
  • Owner, hands-on management required

Conclusion: As a Firehouse Sub franchisee, you receive the benefits of buying into a very well-established chain that has an excellent reputation. You are also entering into the competitive sandwich market, but you’re doing it with a proven product. Firehouse subs has built its brand by offering very generous portions at an affordable price. They’ve added to that ambiance by creating an inviting firehouse décor – one that reflects your individual market with a hand-drawn mural painted on your wall. You get local appeal and the backing of a franchisor who has the experience of over 1000 franchised locations.

FRANCHISE COST

The initial fee for a single-location is lower than average, just $20,000. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need deep pockets. A prospective franchisee should have a minimum of $80,000 to invest. Firehouse Subs pegs the initial investment at $131,150 to $928,405 (used below as total cost). Entrepreneur pegs it a little lower and a little higher, $94,783 to $1,006,366. Third-party financing help is available for qualified owners to assist them with the costs of restaurant equipment and other needs.

Initial Franchise Fee $20,000
On-going Royalty 6%
Ad Royalty Fee 3%, 2% for local advertising and 1% of national efforts
Net-Worth Requirement Liquid net worth of $80,000
ESTIMATED TOTAL STARTUP COSTS $131,150 to $928,405

3 THINGS TO EXPECT AS A FIREHOUSE SUB FRANCHISEE

Firehouse Subs puts an emphasis on creating value with large-portion sub sandwiches at a very reasonable price. They also put an emphasis on franchisees who “must at all times faithfully, honestly and diligently perform their obligations.” This includes requiring an owner invested by at least 50% who performs hands-on management. In return for the commitment to the franchise, the franchisee becomes an owner in a specialty sub shop that is an industry leader and has the support of a franchisor providing everything needed to make the franchise profitable.

Food for the Whole Family

Food you are proud to serve! The steam-heated meats and cheeses are simply delicious. Then, bring on the extras that make Firehouse unique. There’s Captain Sorensen’s Datil Pepper Hot Sauce – hot, but sweet, and named for the founders’ Dad, a retired fire captain. Add the great limeades served with fresh squeezed lime for more bring- ‘em back flavor! Show off your local flavor with the hand-drawn mural and you’ve got a winning franchise.

A Dedicated Franchise Team

Be a hero! Serve up the Hero of All Subs and know that you have an unmatched team backing your franchise. Expansion is carefully planned, even as the franchise moves across the country. Each location is positioned to optimize potential and profitability. You’ll get all the training you need plus compelling, memorable national marketing support. You benefit from a franchise dedicated to creating an experience that brings customers back again and again.

You Give Back

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation should make you very proud. To date, they have donated over $29 million to improve the safety and efficiency of heroes – our first responders. In 2016alone, the Firehouse Foundation provided 357 sets of bunker gear, 1,469 life-saving automated external defibrillators, and 19 all-terrain vehicles. Additionally, they provided extrication tools, bullet-proof vests and thermal imaging cameras to save and protect lives.


SUPPORT FOR THE COMMUNITY AND FOR YOU

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation will help you make your mark in your community. The support you receive from the franchisor will help you earn the good living you want. Started by Chris and Robin Sorensen in 1995, they expect their owners to be dedicated to the franchise and they expect their team to be dedicated to the franchisee’s success. There is an 8-week training program that includes 6 to 7 weeks at a designated Firehouse location. The owner and 1 other person must attend. If there are 2 owners than both must train. The final week of the training takes place in the classroom at the franchise headquarters in Florida. Periodic refresher training may be held and required. Firehouse Subs is going to make sure that you have ever tool and all the knowledge necessary to live up to the chain’s high standards and make the location you own a success!

YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A FIREMAN

It’s just about every child’s dream – to grow up and be a firefighter. If you’re looking for a successful franchise to own, being a Firehouse Subs owner may be the answer to your dream. From the unique preparation of meats and cheeses that makes them the most flavorful in any sandwich to the hand-drawn mural that celebrates the first responders in your community, you’ve looking at a formula that builds success. You’ll create loyal customers based on flavor and fun. Plus, you can offer those customers the Firehouse Rewards – a smartphone app that lets them earn and redeem points and gives them another reason to return. You’ll get all the help you need to streamline your operation so that you can give each customer the exceptional service and food that has made Firehouse Subs an award-winning franchise and a leader in the fast-casual sandwich category. Strong brand identity and a passionate executive team spell success for you.

It’s the one for you if:

  • You want to secure your investment with an established chain;
  • You are willing to be hands-on and fully dedicated to your franchise;
  • You like being associated with a strong charitable giving program;
  • You appreciate value – large portions at an affordable price; and,
  • You love subs and the ambiance of a Firehouse!

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