August 22, 2011 // Franchising.com // JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Renowned for hearty, oversized portions and piping hot subs, Firehouse Subs announces plans for an expansion in Puerto Rico, in its first move outside the continental United States. With 441 locations, the restaurant chain plans to open 26 restaurants on the island in the next few years, with an ultimate goal of 50 to 60 locations. The chain is famous for piping hot subs with premium meats and cheeses piled high atop toasted sub rolls served "Fully Involved®" with fresh produce. The authentic firehouse setting is based on the founders' 200 years of firefighting experience.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring the Firehouse Subs brand to the island of Puerto Rico," said Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs. "In Caribbean Restaurant Group, we have found the perfect franchise partner. They have decades of experience in the restaurant business in Puerto Rico, and a superb reputation for operational excellence. The citizens of Puerto Rico have an appetite for bold, rich flavors, and we are confident they will find Firehouse Subs to be a great addition to the island's culinary scene."
Caribbean Restaurants LLC, a multi-million dollar international company and partner with Firehouse Subs, currently runs 178 Burger King restaurants in Puerto Rico. "Firehouse Subs offers exceptional product, dynamic culture and dedication to community service that fits the Puerto Rican way of life," said Aniceto Solares, president and CEO of Caribbean Restaurants LLC. "We are excited to bring the concept to its first market outside the continental United States."
All Firehouse Subs locations in Puerto Rico will feature a Coca-Cola Freestyle® fountain, offering 120+ sparkling and still beverage brands from a single freestanding unit. The sleek, stylish new unit is touch-screen operated with regular and low-calorie beverage brands, many exclusive to Coca-Cola Freestyle. Guests choose from endless possibilities, many never before marketed in the U.S., including brands such as caffeine-free Diet Coke® with Lime, Fanta® Peach, Grape Vault™, Minute Maid® Light Orange Lemonade and more.
Firehouse Subs features Specialty Subs, such as the No. 1 selling Hook & Ladder® known as the "Best Sub in Town," and the New York Steamer®, both named after fire trucks. The Hook & Ladder includes Smoked Turkey and Virginia Honey Ham smothered with Monterey Jack cheese. The New York Steamer, inspired by New York delicatessens, combines corned beef brisket and pastrami topped with Provolone. All large Specialty Subs boast a half-pound of meat. Firehouse Subs' intense flavors result from a unique steaming method, which perfectly complements the natural qualities of the premium meats and cheeses.
The Chief's Salad® and hearty, award-winning Firehouse Chili provide additional flavorful options, as does the top selling non-carbonated fountain drink, Cherry Lime-Aid®, an exclusive original recipe served with fresh squeezed lime. Children enjoy Dalmatian-spotted tabletops and a complimentary kid-sized fire hat at each location.
Firehouse Subs, founded in Jacksonville, Fla. by former firefighting brothers Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, is a 441-unit fast casual restaurant chain. Firehouse Subs offers oversized portions of premium hand-sliced meats and cheeses, steamed to make the flavors burst, then piled high with fresh produce atop a toasted sub roll. The restaurants reflect the authentic firefighter heritage of the founding family's 200 years of firefighting service.
In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first-responders. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs has given more than $2.6 million to hometown heroes, impacting 225 communities.