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Jersey Mike's SubsSubs and Philly cheesesteaks
- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#3 Ranked #4 last year
- Initial investment
$194K - $955K
- Units as of 2023
2,402 37.9% over 3 years
Start a Jersey Mike's Franchise | Costs and Requirements
Opening a franchise can be an excellent option for owning your own business and the franchise industry is booming, with production output in 2022 totaling $826.6 billion, according to the International Franchise Association.
If you’re ready to start your own franchise, keep reading to see if Jersey Mike’s Subs is the right place for you.
How Jersey Mike’s Got Its Start
Originally called Mike’s Subs, the submarine sandwich shop started in 1956 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
Sub sandwiches were a rising trend in the 1950s. Mike's Subs seized the opportunity, becoming a successful business by capitalizing on its Jersey Shore location and summer popularity. The mom-and-pop shop grew its clientele by treating its customers with care and cultivating a local feel.
In 1971, 17-year-old employee Pete Cancro heard talks of the owners selling Mike’s Subs and decided to obtain a loan and purchase it himself. Pancro took Mike’s Subs to the next level by opening more stores and training new employees to treat customers just like the original mom-and-pop shop always had.
In 1987, Cancro took the business to the next level and started franchising. To keep the authenticity of the shop’s birthplace, he changed the name to Jersey Mike’s Subs. Peter Cancro remains the corporation's CEO and oversees about 2,000 franchise locations.
Related: Jersey Mike's - Entrepreneur
Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Jersey Mike's Franchise
Whether you’re a first-time business owner or a seasoned professional, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of becoming a franchise owner.
Pros of Being a Franchise Owner
Jersey Mike's Subs focuses on quality. It's something that its franchisees can be proud of. They make sandwiches with ingredients that may make your mouth water: red wine vinegar and a unique olive oil blend, oven-baked daily bread, store-cooked roast beef, in-house cut meats and cheese and locally sourced produce when available.
With a limited menu, franchisees can focus on preparing fresh food daily and assembling delicious sub sandwiches. Compared with similar restaurants, Jersey Mike’s typically requires less equipment. And with smaller staff and location sizes, the franchise can be reasonably straightforward to manage.
Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.
Check out these top five benefits of becoming a franchise owner:
- A built-in roadmap with support.
- Brand name recognition.
- High success rate.
- Purchasing benefits.
- Profit production.
Cons of Being a Franchise Owner
On the flip side, Jersey Mike's Subs requires more training than other franchises. While this is not necessarily bad, it does mean a bit more work and structure.
Its robust training system is intended to keep franchisees on their A-game and ensure that the integrity of Jersey Mike’s mission stays intact. They don't just teach you how to prepare the food but also how to run the business.
Some cons of being a franchise owner include the following:
- Limits and restrictions on structure.
- Limits and restrictions on creativity.
- Initial costs.
- Continuous costs.
- Lack of financial privacy.
What Might Make a Jersey Mike's Subs a Good Choice?
The sandwich industry is often considered a fun and family-oriented business. Additionally, sandwiches can be healthier and fresher than alternatives in the fast-food world.
When you open a Jersey Mike's Subs, you take your slice of the pie in alternative food choices. The franchisor also strongly believes in putting its customers first and creating a bond in the community.
Opening a Jersey Mike’s may be more than just an excellent business move; it could also provide a valuable service to your community.
Related: 4 Tips for Creating a Strong Franchise Infrastructure #FranchiseBible
Jersey Mike’s Subs’ business model boasts:
- A healthy, balanced lifestyle.
- Support for franchise owners and causes important to you.
- Flexibility to have a family life outside of work.
Moreover, Jersey Mike's Subs has been ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 many times in the past decade.
This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.
Jersey Mike's Subs Signature Stuff
Jersey Mike's Subs is known for its fresh, healthy, tasty subs.
The ingredients that make their subs include:
- Onions, lettuce, tomatoes.
- Olive oil blend, red wine vinegar, and spices.
- Fresh sliced, premium quality meat and cheese.
- Bread baked fresh daily.
- USDA Choice Roast Beef.
- 99% fat-free, whole-muscle meat turkey.
Jersey Mike's Subs prides itself on doing more than making subs. They create a loyal, caring community through their efficient customer service and commitment to giving back by supporting local causes. This can translate to regular customers and repeat business.
Related: What You Really Need to Look for When Considering a Franchise
How To Start a Jersey Mike's Subs Franchise
Are you ready to open up your own Jersey Mike's Subs franchise? Jersey Mike’s Subs began franchising their business to give more opportunities for people to become business owners and continue spreading their mission in more locations.
Take a look at the step-by-step process below.
1. Online Application
This part of the process is quick and easy. All you’ll need to do is fill out some preliminary information like your name, phone number, and previous experience.
2. Initial Phone Screening
This time, you’ll meet with an actual representative who will ask you more basic questions and get to know you one-on-one.
3. Meet the Criteria
Jersey Mike’s Subs will determine whether or not you meet the criteria to become a franchisee. To be a part of the Jersey Mike's Subs team, you should ensure you are financially ready for the initial investment, typically comprising a franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also prepare for ongoing fees, including royalty and advertising fees.
Jersey Mike’s site provides more financial information on their site than other companies — here are the highest franchise costs to consider:
- Initial franchise fee: $18,500.
- Real estate and construction fee: $5,000.
- Grand opening advertising: $12,500.
- Business license and permits: $15,000.
There are many other costs you will need to consider. Jersey Mike's Subs estimates the initial total investment to be anywhere from $144,668 to $786,233.
Related: Want to Make Smart Investments? Use These Expert Tips.
4. Identify Area of Interest
One of the decisions you’ll need to make before you open your franchise is where to open your new business.
Explore this opportunity thoroughly and consider the following:
- Is there room in your community for a Jersey Mike's Subs?
- What will the competition be like?
- Is there a convenient place to build?
- Does the area get adequate vehicle or foot traffic?
5. Review the Franchise Disclosure Document
A Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is the contract between you and the franchisor. This will be a thorough and binding contract with all essential information.
Key details of the FDD include:
- Description of the company and its history.
- Any previous or current litigations.
- Bankruptcy history.
- All investment costs and fees.
- Details and products and services.
- Patents, copyrights, and proprietary information.
- Financial statements and receipts.
6. Initial Interview
During the interview process, you'll be able to ask any questions you have. If you pass the interview, you now have to prove to Jersey Mike's Subs that you're serious — which will lead you into your period of due diligence.
7. Due Diligence
Depending on how you handle it, this process could take multiple months. This is your study period to learn Jersey Mike's Subs backward and forwards.
You should conduct research like:
- Network and learn from other franchisees.
- Compare Jersey Mike's Subs FDD to other franchises.
- Speak with financial advisors.
8. Complete In-Store Experience
Franchisees will spend one-week training at an on-site Jersey Mike's Subs location. During the training program, you will learn business operations and critical workings of Jersey Mike's Subs, like Mike’s Way, customer relationships, and Jersey Mike's Subs culture.
9. Meet With an Executive Team Member
This will allow you to learn the ropes from someone who knows the franchise inside and out. It is an excellent chance to learn from a higher-up, ask questions, and form relationships.
10. Execute Franchise Agreements
Now it’s time to sign the dotted line. You’ve researched, gathered your capital, and gotten a good feel for the company. If you like what you see and are ready to take the plunge, make it official with your franchise agreement.
Related: Ready to Commit? - Franchise License Agreement
11. Secure Real Estate
Give yourself a few months to secure your area. Make sure it meets all the needs of both you and your community.
12. Begin Training and Construction
After construction begins, many franchisees undergo additional training. When that's all said and done, you can get ready for your Jersey Mike's Subs franchise grand opening.
Becoming a franchise owner is an excellent business opportunity. With many possible avenues, Jersey Mike's Subs should undoubtedly be on your radar. If you love their commitment to customer service and community, it’s time to start considering owning your location.
Looking for more information on franchise opportunities and more? Explore Entrepreneur’s Franchise Center here.
About Jersey Mike's Subs
- Related Categories
- Submarine Sandwiches, Sandwiches
- Parent Company
- Jersey Mike's Franchise Systems Inc.
- Peter Cancro, Founder/CEO
- Corporate Address
2251 Landmark Pl.
Manasquan, NJ 08736
More from Jersey Mike's Subs
Jersey Mike’s Subs, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 2,300 locations nationwide, believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same. Jersey Mike’s offers a Sub Above, serving authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs on freshly baked bread – the same recipe it started with in 1956. The model seems to be working. Here are a few highlights:
- Named fastest-growing fast-food chain in America by QSR magazine (2022).
- Named fastest growing sandwich chain and one of the nation’s biggest restaurants (#35) in the 2022 Nation’s Restaurant News Top 500. In addition, Jersey Mike’s opened 246 locations in 2021, up 13.3 percent over the previous year.
- #4 on Entrepreneur’s 2022 Franchise 500, Jersey Mike’s fourth year on the Franchise 500 top 10 list.
- Named one of QSR’s Best Restaurant Franchise Deals in 2021.
- #14 on the Franchise Times Fast & Serious List (2022) for “Smartest-Growing Brands.”
- Ranked in: Fast Casual’s 2022 Top 100 Movers & Shakers (#23), QSR magazine’s 2022 The QSR 50 (#28), 2022 Restaurant Business/Technomic Top 500 (#39), and Franchise Times 2022 Top 500 (#61).
- #38 on the Forbes 2022 Halo 100 List, highlighting customer experience excellence.
- Jersey Mike's Grilled Portabella Mushroom and Swiss Sub was named Best Healthy Fast-food Sandwich in the 2022 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards.
- Recipient of 2021 Industry Hero Award from Hospitality Technology, 2015 CIO 100 Award by CIO magazine and two Hospitality Technology Restaurant Breakthrough Awards, in 2014 and 2012, for the company’s single proprietary, fully integrated technology platform.
The Secret of Our Success
Our subs are authentic and fresh, served up with a helping of neighborly banter from our dedicated and high-energy team. Now that’s a combo that’s hard to resist!
- Jersey Mike’s offers authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs served Mike’s Way® with the freshest vegetables – onions, lettuce, tomatoes – and there’s The Juice – an exquisite zing of red wine vinegar and olive oil blended to perfection.
- We use only premium meats and cheeses sliced on the spot and piled high on delectable bread that’s baked fresh in the restaurants throughout the day. (Udi’s gluten free bread is now available too!)
- Everything is quickly made to order for each customer, just the way the first subs were made at the original Jersey Mike’s more than 65 years ago.
- Mike’s Subs opened as a storefront location in the seaside town of Point Pleasant, N.J. in 1956. It offered unparalleled service and exceptional quality submarine sandwiches, which were a new concept at the time.
- Because of its location on the Jersey Shore, it grew quickly in popularity among the thousands of surf and sun seekers from New York to Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
- By the early 1970s Mike’s Subs was a thriving landmark famous for its lively and friendly service and its fresh, quality submarine sandwiches.
- In 1975, Peter Cancro, a 17-year-old high school senior who had worked for Mike’s Subs since he was 14 and loved the business, bought the operation with the help of his football coach. At the time, Peter wasn’t even old enough to legally slice a sub.
- Over the next decade, Peter opened two other local Mike’s Subs stores and built on the cult-like following that Mike’s Subs already enjoyed.
- In 1987, Peter began franchising the Mike’s concept, changing the name to Jersey Mike’s Subs to capture the authenticity of the original store. Today, Peter is CEO of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc., headquartered in Manasquan, NJ.
- Peter made the Nation’s Restaurant News Power List in both 2021 and 2017. He was named #1 Most Admired Fast-casual Leader in QSR’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards as well as the International Franchise Association’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” and a Golden Chain Award Winner by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2013.
“Giving…making a difference in someone’s life” has always been a guiding principle at Jersey Mike’s. It’s a philosophy that Jersey Mike’s Founder and CEO Peter Cancro has emphasized to each and every Jersey Mike’s store owner: support the community that supports you. In the last decade alone, locations throughout the country have raised nearly $90 million for local charities. Here are some examples:
- Each March, Jersey Mike’s celebrates its annual “Month of Giving.” The national fundraiser culminates on “Day of Giving,” the last Wednesday of March, when Jersey Mike’s franchise owners donate 100 percent of the day’s sales — not just profit — to local charities across the country. Since 2011, Jersey Mike’s and our generous customers have raised more than $67 million.
- In the past two years, Jersey Mike’s has donated more than $11 million to Feeding America, providing over 110 million meals through the organization’s nationwide network of 200 local member food banks.
- In 2021, Jersey Mike's raised more than $800,000 for local community partners including schools, hospitals and other worthy organizations as part of fundraisers to celebrate the openings of 252 new locations across the country.
Training & Support
Jersey Mike’s training and support is second to none. In 2022 alone, the franchise hosted 63 regional manager level training sessions, 5 regional multi-unit workshops for franchisees looking to grow, 30 “Leadership Experience” week long cultural & management training sessions, and several Town Hall meetings around the country.
The Jersey Mike’s IT team supports an array of proprietary systems including the POS, online ordering platform, and award-winning mobile app. The team also includes an in-house Help Desk supporting Franchisees and their crews over 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. Recently, the team’s efforts have been recognized with the following awards:
- 2021 Hospitality Technology Industry Hero
- 2021 Hospitality Technology Top Women in Technology
- 2022 ICX Associatoin Elevate Award – Best Mobile ICX
- 2022 Technomic Consumers’ Choice Award for Highest-Rated Online Ordering Experience
For more information, please visit www.jerseymikes.com. Come see us soon!
- Franchising Since
- 1987 (36 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
- # of Units
- 2,402 (as of 2023)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Jersey Mike's Subs franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $194,035 - $954,611
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 10 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- Jersey Mike's Subs has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- On-The-Job Training
- 500 hours
- Classroom Training
- 40 hours
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- # of employees required to run
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Jersey Mike's Subs landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Jersey Mike's Subs ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #3 in 2023
Franchise 500 Ranking
Ranked #12 in 2022
Ranked #6 in 2022
Fastest-Growing Franchises (U.S. & Canada)
Ranked #1 in Submarine Sandwiches in 2021
Best of the Best
Ranked #1 in Submarine Sandwiches in 2022
Top Food Franchises
Ranked #1 in 2023
#1 in Sandwiches: Submarine Category
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