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Jimmy John’s: the freaky deaf franchise

Jimmy Johns Franchise real estate team are freaky def, does a good sandwich outweigh a company’s unmotivated growth pattern?

Jimmy Johns Freaky Fast Delivery

Jimmy Johns Freaky Fast Delivery

And I don’t mean deaf in the good way

In fairness, Jimmy John’s makes good on their promise to be freaky fast to land your sandwich at your door. Keeping delivery zones within three to five minutes allows them to rush food at safe distances at safe speeds, but it also creates an interesting franchise model that requires a new store be built to support new areas that may open up to support the 3-5 minute delivery zone (that’s a lot of franchise stores). I could not get anyone at Jimmy John’s to go on the record as to what that new area threshold may be (that’s okay, it’s all online linked below), but it must be more than 1,000 – 1,800 brand new upper to mid-end family residential units coming online on a single street within the next two years. It apparently must also be way above a median household income of $90k as well as at least a minimum of six brand new supporting office structures to beef up catering demand in order to get their attention.

So let’s say you wanted to bring this under-served emerging market to their attention, a missed opportunity with immediate supporting revenue, according to Jamie the gatekeeper within the real estate division, you’d better know exactly who you want to tip off, because “” is not available to you and you should expect to be quickly dismissed by ‘Jamie’ as an idiot who isn’t in the know about all of the first names and departments that work within their so-called “subculture” that would be interested in speaking about a market that actually fits beyond their franchise qualifying market criteria and may be overlooked because of the man-made topography on top of God-made topography.

Their “culture” is a myth

Factual snark aside, my experience with Jimmy John’s over the past several years has been a love/love relationship, but their “culture” is a myth in our experience. My wife once made a silly request in an online order to draw a cat on the bag for delivery, and lo and behold after seven orders with the same request, someone at the local Jimmy John’s responded by drawing a lovely kitty on the bag. Pictures, bragging, and everything you’d expect from a raving family of fans went into showing off to the entire web this magical piece of art by a local Jimmy John’s artist, and not a peep from the social engagement department at the freaky quiet Jimmy John’s.

What did we expect? Nothing. As a family, we are honestly fans of the overly humble sandwich company, but that love isn’t really shared. If I’m being more than fair, they only promised a freaky fast delivery, not a freakishly engaged company to the public who’ve signed on to the culture they purport to have. The public who just want a damn sandwich in a part of town that eagerly awaits someone who can get by Jamie at the front desk to invite Jimmy John’s to simply take a look at an opportunity they may be missing. As Brian in customer service told me over and over again (after hours at this), we have a real estate department that handles this, and he’s sure they’re on it, and my reply was that they should be fired and heads would roll, and they should.

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Jimmy John’s should be freaky embarrassed

As a CEO, I depend on a team of aggressive go-getters, and no consumer should need to report to me an under-served emerging market, and no fan should need to tell me to drive literally one block over to see a whole new world of hundreds of residential units, an A-Loft hotel, a mall, Target, Home Depot, Subway Sandwich Shop, and a family who eats Jimmy John’s at least three times a week, utilizes their catering weekly, and are just trying to be the fans you wanted us to be.

The “subculture” at Jimmy John’s has a problem, and it begins with ‘Jamie’ (who was warned this was quickly becoming a story, “okay,” she said) the gatekeeper, the real estate excuse maker in customer service, and an inability for franchise managers to make this call themselves. Yep, it’s true, Jimmy, even your franchise manager most nearest referred us to email stating that we as consumers would have more luck. What did we get in return for our trouble? A form mail.

Predicted response?

“We’re already looking into it.” Oddly, no one could say that before.


Jimmy Johns Franchise criteria – REAL ESTATE

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Trade Area Criteria
• Daytime employee population greater than 8,000 within a 3 minute drive time and greater than 20,000 within a 5 minute drive time
• Residential population greater than 25,000 within the defined trade area
• Median income greater than $40,000
• Traffic count in front of the location greater than 25,000 vehicles per day

Where We Build ‘Em!
• City & urban settings
• We love retail areas
• Colleges & hospitals love Jimmy John’s

Site Criteria
• Pads or out-parcels
• Freestanding or end caps with drive-thru
• Easy access for both ingress and egress with signalized access preferred
• Ample parking
• 600-1,800 square feet with a minimum of 20’ of frontage
• Maximum signage per local codes, including building and monument/pylon signage
• Outdoor seating strongly preferred

Lease Terms
• 5 year base term with three 5 year options
• No percentage rent or radius restrictions

Shell Condition and Tenant Improvements
• 400 amp, 120/208 or 120/240 volt, 3-phase, 4 wire electrical service stubbed to a main distribution panel in the premises and furnished with meter, circuit breakers, and disconnect as required by code
• 1 ton per 200 square feet of HVAC
• 1 ¼” water line rated at a minimum of 45 psi and 4” sewer line stubbed to the rear of the premises
• Gas service, if available
• 2 ADA restrooms per Jimmy John’s approved blueprints or $15,000 credit
• Minimum 10’ ceiling with 13’ + preferred. Drywall finished to the roof deck, taped, sanded, and ready for paint.
• All service tap fees, impact fees, meter fees, and development feed paid by the landlord

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tim Hawkins

    May 1, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Jimmy John’s is the only viable competitor to Subway and they are building beautiful stores and have great strategy. I think their corporate/ franchisee department requires major revamp. I spoke to representative you flip-flopped and changed the version in the matter of 10 minutes of conversation. Seems like snake-and-oil salesman, I think there is lack of oversight and these kids(I get across one who lacks complete maturity) are gone berserk.
    I got really afraid and reluctant to consider doing with business with them by taking franchise, even though business opportunity is compelling.

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