February 25, 2011 // Franchising.com // MANASQUAN, N.J. – Long before the term "cause-related marketing" even existed, Peter Cancro, founder and CEO of Jersey Mike's Subs, was practicing it. Only 17 years old when he bought a small but immensely popular sub shop on the Jersey Shore, Cancro was so impressed by the spirit of giving back demonstrated by local business owners that, from the start, he ensured "giving - making a difference in someone's life" was a key part of Jersey Mike's mission along with making the best sub sandwich in the industry.
Now the nearly 500-strong sub sandwich franchise is celebrating its 55th year in business by holding its biggest fundraiser ever. This March, Jersey Mike's teams up with more than 60 charities throughout the country launching an initiative called, "Month of Giving," culminating in a national "Make a Difference Day" on March 28.
"When I was a teen, I saw local business people like Bob Hoffman, Jack Baker, and Rod Smith doing so much for their community. Because of them, making a difference was part of our mission from Day #1," said Cancro. "So many deserving charities have been forced to slash their budgets and by joining with our customers we can help them continue their good work."
Starting March 1, customers can make a donation to local charities at any area Jersey Mike's store. Customers making a $5 donation the charity will receive six specially branded Jersey Mike's Silly Bandz and a coupon for a free chip and a drink. One hundred percent (100%) of Silly Bandz sales will be donated to the local charity.
On "Make a Difference Day," March 28, residents across the country are invited to join a nationwide celebration and help support a local good cause. With a minimum contribution of a dollar, consumers will receive a free regular sub in some markets or a "buy one regular sub, get one free" offer in others. The hope is that customers will respond by giving even more. Various local celebrations will include a chance to talk with charity representatives, music, balloons, appearances by local celebrities and more.
Franchisees in each local market selected charities that they are passionate about. The more than 60 beneficiaries include local chapters of national charities such as the American Red Cross and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® as well as smaller organizations devoted to helping children, the homeless, the hungry and more. All donations will stay in the local markets. A percentage of Jersey Mike's sales during the month will also be donated.
In Charlotte, for instance, 24 Jersey Mike's stores are raising money for Levine Children's Hospital whose mission is to ensure excellent children's healthcare by building partnerships between caregivers and families.
"Levine Children's Hospital was built by philanthropy and continues to grow and expand thanks to great companies like Jersey Mike's Subs," said Mark Griffith of Carolinas HealthCare Foundation. "We are honored to be the beneficiary of their Month of Giving and encourage everyone to stop by their local, favorite Jersey Mike's Subs to support Levine Children's Hospital and many other wonderful causes throughout the country."
It is a year of milestones for the company that started in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., back in 1956. As proof of the power of the sub sandwich coast-to-coast, Jersey Mike's is opening its 50th store in the Los Angeles market this year and is now in most major markets in the U.S. The company plans to continue its steady growth throughout the U.S., tapping into a strong existing network of franchise partners and by identifying others who would thrive in the Jersey Mike's system.
While continuing to win "Best Subs" awards in virtually every market it enters, Jersey Mike's is also focused on providing convenience to customers through a new online ordering system and a soon-to-be-released iPhone App. The company is also making it easy for consumers to interact with the brand by diving into social media via Facebook and Twitter, where the enthusiasm for the company and its products is evident.
Most importantly, customer satisfaction ratings approach 90% nationwide and the company is on a mission to move that closer to 100%.
For more information about Jersey Mike's Subs Month of Giving, please visit: http://www.jerseymikes.com/news/read.php?id=297
Jersey Mike's, a sub sandwich franchise with more than 500 stores open and under development nationwide, has a long history of community involvement and support. Started at the Jersey Shore in 1956, Jersey Mike's serves authentic Northeast style subs on fresh baked bread – the same recipe it started with 55 years ago. The company's mission is to bring its customers the highest quality, freshest made sub in the industry and give back to the communities in which it operates. A store locator and franchise information for Jersey Mike's can be found at www.jerseymikes.com.