Firehouse Subs Plans To Open At Least 12 New Franchise Shops In The Orlando Area This Year.
ORLANDO (Monday, January 30, 2006) - The Jacksonville-based operation, which specializes in pile-them-high hot subs, expects to launch at least 100 new restaurants nationwide, aiming to move into several new markets in the Midwest and Southwest by the end of 2006.
Robin Sorensen, who founded the company along with his brother Chris, said customers were taking to the restaurant's huge subs and speedy service. "Our average unit sales volume is higher than the competition," said Sorensen, who was in town last week on a bus tour of local shops. Chief Operating Officer Don Fox, who was also on the tour, said the average Firehouse Sub shop posts annual sales of $625,000. "Orlando is our No. 1 market in the system," he added. Established in 1994, Firehouse Subs boasts "big league portions" that include a foot-long sub with a half pound of meat. Robin Sorensen said he wanted to offer a sandwich that stands out from rivals like Subway, which markets its subs as a healthy fast-food alternative. The shops sport a hook-and-ladder theme, inspired by the two founding brothers' time working for the Jacksonville fire department. Hot sauces line the ordering counter, including the company's Capt. Sorensen's Datil Pepper Hot Sauce. "It's named after our father," Robin Sorensen said of the specialty sauce. Given the area's growth, several new shops will be popping up within the next few months, with four slated to open by the end of February. Mike Kelly, the company's developer for Central Florida, said two stores will soon launch in Orlando along with shops in Apopka and in The Villages. The remainder are slated to launch later this year. Kelly said the chain opened 17 locations in Orlando, Lakeland and Tampa last year.
Washington, D.C.-based Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries signed a lease agreement to open a restaurant at the Marketplace in Dr. Phillips, according to Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services. This is the chain's first location in Florida. Mark Chediak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5240.