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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?

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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 “bobby@jimmyjohns.com” 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.

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.

Freaky.

Jimmy Johns Franchise criteria – REAL ESTATE

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

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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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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Business News

What small business owners can learn from Starbucks’ new D&I strategy

(BUSINESS) Diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of Starbucks’ mission, but now they’re shifting strategy. What can we learn from it?

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Hands of all different skin colors on green background representing Starbucks' D&I.

Starbucks was one of many companies that promised to focus on diversity and inclusion efforts after the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020. What sets Starbucks apart from other companies were its specific goals.

How It Started

They began with hiring targets and have now added goals in corporate and manufacturing roles. Starbucks’ plans and goals revolve around transparency for accountability. They released the annual numbers for 2021 as a way to help hold themselves accountable. The data they’ve released so far show that they’ve met nearly a third of their 2025 goals according to Retail Brew. Because of this information, we can see why they are choosing to move in the direction of manufacturing and corporate jobs. In 2021, POC’s fell to 12.5% of director-level employees from 14.3% in 2020 in manufacturing.

How It’s Going

Per Starbucks’ website stories and news, “[I]t will increase its annual spend with diverse suppliers to $1.5 billion by 2030.  As part of this commitment, Starbucks will partner with other organizations to develop and grow supplier diversity excellence globally.” To put that into perspective, they spent nearly $800 million with diverse suppliers in 2021. With these moves, by 2030, it will increase by almost double.

As part of their accountability and progress, they plan to partner up with Arizona State University to give out free toolkits to entrepreneurs on fundamentals for running successful diverse-owned businesses. Another goal they’ve listed is to boost paid media representation by allocating 15 percent of the advertising budget to minority-owned and targeted media companies to reach diverse audiences.

At the heart of all this information on their goals and future plans, data transparency and accountability are what’s forcing them to look at the numbers to make specific goals. They are doing more than just throwing money at the problem, they are analyzing how they can do better and where the money will make a difference. Something that, as entrepreneurs, we should all do.

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Business News

Peloton is back-pedaling: Reports of price increases, layoffs, and cost cuts

(BUSINESS) After a recording of layoffs leaks, ‘supply chain’ issues cause shipping increases, and they consult for cost-cutting, Peloton is doomed.

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Man riding Peloton bike with instructor pointing encouragingly during workout.

Is Peloton in Trouble?

According to many reports, Peloton had success early in the pandemic when gyms shut down. Offering consumers a way to connect with a community for fitness along with varying financing options allowed the company to see growth when many other industries were being shuttered.

After two years, CNBC reports that the company is “being impacted by …supply chain challenges” and rising inflation costs. According to the report, customers will be paying an additional $250 for its bike and $350 for its tread for delivery and setup.

As demand has decreased, Peloton is also considering layoffs in their sales and marketing departments, overheard in a leaked audio call. The recording details executives discussing “Project Fuel” where they plan to cut 41% of the sales and marketing teams, as well as letting go of eCommerce employees and frontline workers at 15 retail stores.

Nasdaq reported that the stock fell 75% last year, after a year where it soared over 400%.

Peloton reviewing its overall structure

According to another report from CNBC, Peloton is working with McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, to lower costs as revenue has dropped and the growth of new subscriptions has slowed since the pandemic. Last November, according to NPR, Peloton had “its worst day as a publicly-traded company.” It also anticipates greater losses in 2022 than originally predicted. It makes sense that the company would reexamine their strategy as the economy changes. They aren’t the only one that is raising prices amid supply chain issues.

It will be interesting to watch how Peloton fares

Peloton has a large community that pays a monthly fee for connected fitness. While growth has slowed, the company still has a strong share of consumers. Although it is facing more competition in the home fitness market and more gyms are reopening, as Peloton adjusts to the new normal, it should remain a viable company.

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Business News

CEO is offering folks thousands to *quit* their jobs, with one catch

(BUSINESS) A CEO out of Arizona is challenging employment norms by offering a sort of “sign-off” bonus upfront, but this method has one fatal flaw.

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Man counting cash in his hand representing the CEO offering money to employees who quit.

Chris Ronzio, the CEO of Trainual, a software company in Arizona that aims to systemize and scale your small business, is offering cold hard cash to quit your job in an unconventional ploy to bypass the effects of the Great Resignation.

Before you rush to turn in your notice and make some extra cash, you should know that this offer is dependent on being selected as a hirable candidate and making it through the hiring process for Trainual. This option is also offered to new hires after 2 weeks of employment.

This model of employment gives the employee the ability to fire the company and walk away with a little sum of money. The thought process of the CEO was outlined in an article by the Insider, saying it is a strategic move to retain top talent and maintain a strong company culture. While this is a unique approach…it has a glaring flaw. The offer is only good for the initial two-week period. However, it can take some time to recognize the shortcomings of any company when you begin employment. We can all recognize the long-term financial potential of reoccurring income and while $5,000 is not anything to shake your finger at, it will eventually be gone. I think we can all agree that constructive criticism can be difficult to swallow at times, however, if Trainual was truly invested in this model they would extend the offer at other key times during employment. What if this offer was again available at the 1-year mark? If the offer reappeared at a one-year review, the turnover may increase.

Per the Insider article, Ronzio was quoted as saying, “With today’s market, hiring teams have to move quickly to assess candidates and get them through the process to a competitive offer, so it’s impossible to be right 100% of the time,” Ronzio said. The CEO added, “The offer to quit allows the dust to settle from a speedy process and let the new team member throw a red flag if they’re feeling anything but excited.”

These statements detail another dimension to consider which is the employment hiring process and timeline. If top candidates are in such high demand that the process has to be sped up to secure a workforce, this monetary compensation can help to ensure the hiring decision. Although, when the offer was implemented in May of 2020, the offer was $2500, half of what it is now. Ronzio reasoned that they could stay while they looked for another job so they increased the amount to compensate for those with a higher salary range.

Let me preface this by saying that yes, accountability should exist, but I would be interested to know the turnover rate for the hiring team. The cost to the company from this unique approach adds extra weight for those making the decisions on who to hire. The stress the hiring team faces has to be factored into the candidate decisions. How many times can the hiring team get it wrong before they’re let go? While the pressure to hire the right candidate should always factor in, one has to wonder about the effects of this model.

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