Firehouse Subs Area Developer Paul Belle is a Brand Ambassador
Paul Belle loves the Firehouse Subs brand so much that he’s not just a franchisee but an area developer who helps the brand sign and support its franchisees in the central and northern Ohio territories, which includes Columbus and Cleveland. The passionate brand advocate loves being responsible for brand development and strategic consulting for the franchisees he recruits and works alongside.
“Firehouse Subs enables franchisees to fulfil their aspirations of becoming successful business owners,” says Belle, who has been with the brand since 2010 and has more than 55 years of food service experience. “We are in the people business first, we are fortunate to have a great product and great support.”
Belle knows all about franchising. He has operations experience with Sirloin Stockade, has been an IHOP franchisee, and has spent time as a business consultant, all of it giving him a well-rounded business acumen.
Firehouse Subs, says Belle, distinguishes itself from the competition in a number of ways. One is with the quality of products used in preparing its steaming-hot sandwiches. The brand uses firehouse lingo in its menu. For example, the “Hook and Ladder” is a sandwich filled with smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, and Monterey Jack cheese and topped with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato and onion.
But the heart of Firehouse Subs, according to Belle, is its Public Safety Foundation. Created in 2005, its mission is providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations across the country. So far, the foundation has granted more than $33 million to hometown heroes in 46 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Franchisees help at the local level by recycling and selling empty five-gallon pickle buckets, and through the Round Up Program which allows guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar and spare change donation canisters.
“I chose to be part of the Firehouse Subs brand because of our commitment to and passion for hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service, and the Public Safety Foundation where we give back to first responders,” he says.
Belle’s role as area developer allows him to act as a strong brand ambassador who can lead by example. “I operate one Firehouse Subs location myself so I know exactly what it’s like for the franchisees,” he says.
It’s important for franchisees to be able to coach, teach, and enable within their restaurants, says Belle. “And always strive to give back more than you take.”
He says when he’s out visiting his franchisees, he always emphasizes the importance of their employees. “Employees are really our most important asset,” he says. “I try to encourage franchisees to really get to know their repeat customers and help their employees do the same.”
The Firehouse Subs mission to carry on the commitment to and passion for hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service, and public safety, must be understood by every franchisee and every employee, says Belle. “If we all keep that in mind, put it into practice, and have a little fun while we’re at it, everything will take care of itself.”
For now, Belle is happy helping franchisees in his area realize their dreams of becoming an operator and being successful at it.
His plans for the future, “To continue to build out my area with qualified committed franchisees.”
For more information about franchising with Firehouse Subs visit https://www.firehousesubs.com/own-a-franchise/.