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How One Sandwich Company Cracked the Franchise Top 10

A focus on franchisee selection, training and operations helped Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches reach number five on the Franchise 500 list this year.

By Jason Daley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's easy to get excited about Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches. Walk in to one of the roughly 2,000 shops, and the irreverent signs, unpredictable soundtrack, scent of fresh bread and friendly staff--who really are "freaky fast"--can pep up your day.

But back in 1994, 11 years after he opened his first Jimmy John's in Charleston, Ill., Jimmy John Liautaud was a bit too exuberant about his growing empire--an attitude that he admits led him astray for several years.

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