Firehouse Subs® in 2013: Unrivaled Growth; $8.3 Million to Save Lives; No. 1 Ranked
February 07, 2014 // Franchising.com // JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Driven by a mission of hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service and public safety, Firehouse Subs® had another record-breaking year.
Firehouse Subs opened 155 new restaurants and added 111 new franchisees, ending 2013 with 722 restaurants. According to a year-end report by Technomic, the leading research and consulting firm in the food and foodservice industry, Firehouse Subs is No. 1 in quality of food, taste and flavor of food, local community support, pleasant and friendly service, and overall rating. The company opened restaurants in four new states, Maine, Idaho, Wisconsin, and Washington, reaching a total of 38 states across the country. It continues to be one of the restaurant industry's fastest growing brands, with 250 new franchisees since January 2012.
"Maintaining our No. 1 ranking in so many key areas of the business, even during a period of rapid growth, is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our franchise community and headquarters team," said Don Fox, chief executive officer of Firehouse of America, LLC. "Our fierce determination to be a leader in the fast-casual segment led our company to even greater heights. That determination, coupled with our unique company culture – hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service, and the heart of Firehouse Subs, public safety support – leaves us strongly positioned to break new records in 2014."
Reaching 21 million people through 160 donations, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® (Foundation) donated more than $2.2 million of life-saving equipment and resources to first responders and public safety organizations in 2013. Thanks to the generosity of loyal guests, the Firehouse Subs franchise community, and the Foundation's largest benefactors, co-founders Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, $8.3 million has been awarded since the Foundation's inception in 2005. Thermal imaging cameras, bunker gear, automated external defibrillators (AED), patrol vehicles, bike safety materials and body armor, among other items, were donated last year. Additionally, the Foundation responded to wildfires in Arizona, Colorado and California, and to the tornado aftermath in Oklahoma, feeding disaster victims and first responders, and donating items such as severe weather trailers, all-terrain vehicles, and rescue packs.
Firehouse Subs expanded its menu in 2013 with healthier food and beverage options. The touch-screen operated Coca-Cola Freestyle® fountain available in every restaurant now offers Cherry Lime-Aid™ Light, a lighter version of its exclusive original recipe. Firehouse Subs also introduced a low calorie menu for the first time in the brand's history, debuting six subs and four chopped salads under 500 calories. The new "Hearty & Flavorful" menu rolls out nationwide March 2014.
Firehouse Subs received major industry acknowledgements in 2013 and early 2014 including:
- No. 1 Fast Casual Chain – Restaurant Business Magazine
- No. 1 Chain Restaurant Consumers' Choice Awards for Overall Rating, Quality, Taste and Flavor, Support Local Community Activities, Pleasant and Friendly Service – Technomic
- No. 1 on "Top 10 Growth Chains" – Nation's Restaurant News
- No. 1 2013 Franchisee Satisfaction Award – Franchise Business Review, Food & Beverage
- CEO Don Fox named No. 1 on "Fast Casual Top 100: People" – Fast Casual
- No. 1 in Overall Customer Satisfaction, Customer Carryout Experience, Customer Dine-In Experience, and Staff Attentiveness and Friendliness – Empathica's 2013 Quick Service Restaurant Benchmark Study
- No. 1 on "Top 10 Sales Growth Percentage" – Franchise Times
- No. 2 Fastest Growing U.S. Restaurant Chain – Technomic
- No. 2 on "Top 10 Best-Rated Large Quick-Service Restaurant Chains" – Sandelman & Associates' Quick-Track Awards of Excellence
- No. 4 on "Fast Casual Top 100: Restaurants" – Fast Casual
- Mobile Brand of the Year – RIZMY Awards
- Top 200 Franchises of 2014 – Franchise Business Review, 2014 Franchise Satisfaction Awards
Firehouse Restaurant Group, the parent company, continues robust employment. The year ended with 75 staff to support the franchise system, including 18 team members receiving managerial level or above promotions. Specifically, the leadership team grew to include Greg Delks as vice president of franchise development, Rich Goodman as vice president of operations services, John Namey as vice president of real estate services, Cecily Sorensen as vice president of corporate communications, Kristen Majdanics as senior director of brand marketing, and John Raulerson as senior director of technical services.
About Firehouse Subs
Firehouse Subs® is a fast casual restaurant chain with a passion for Hearty and Flavorful Food, Heartfelt Service and Public Safety. Founded by brothers and former firefighters Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs is a brand built on decades of fire and police service, steaming hot subs piled higher with the highest quality meats and cheeses, and its commitment to saving lives through the creation of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®. The founders are the real deal, the food is their creation, and the company is built upon a family of franchise operators who share their same passion for serving others. Firehouse Subs consistently ranks No. 1 among fast casual brands in the categories of food quality, friendly service, and taste and flavor; for the last two years Franchise Business Review named Firehouse Subs No. 1 in franchisee satisfaction, and in 2013 Firehouse Subs was ranked No. 1 in growth by Nation's Restaurant News.
The / Zimmerman / Agency
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