Firehouse Subs® Leads Franchisees with a Forward Focus to Soar as Top Franchise
When the arrival of COVID-19 turned business upside own, Firehouse Subs® was ready with a swift response to meet the dramatic shift in customers’ demands.
The leading fast-casual sandwich staple wasted no time refining operations and technology to keep customers and restaurant staff safe and further enhance Firehouse Subs’ robust Rapid Rescue To Go® ordering platform. The brand implemented curbside pickup and added customer car information to the digital system to make it easy for crew members to identify guest cars quickly.
Backed by bold leadership and a brand culture that resonates throughout its nearly 1,200 restaurant network, the quest to innovatively evolve through a time of constant change has enabled Firehouse Subs to deftly navigate through the pandemic with strong sales and an eye on expansion.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19, Firehouse Subs is rebounding at an unprecedented rate, experiencing record sales,” says Don Fox, CEO of Jacksonville, Florida-based Firehouse Subs. “Because of the hard work and determination of our franchise partners and their teams, we strive to see these strong sales numbers continue, even though there are certainly still a lot of unknowns out in front of us.”
Fox credits his brand’s great communications network with franchisees and a forward-focus on off-premise sales for its nimble approach. For the past few years, Firehouse Subs has been hard at work ramping up the chain’s digital experience and store design to drive on-the-go business in a high-quality way. A new systemwide packaging lineup of eco-friendly bagasse containers ensure the carry-out and delivery of the chain’s signature hot and hearty subs equal to in-restaurant dining.
“Looking back, I count my blessings every day that we changed our packaging,” Fox recently noted, in a Restaurant Business podcast interview. “If we hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t be enjoying the success that we have today.”
An at-the-ready mindset is part of the DNA of Firehouse, founded more than 25 years ago by firefighters and built with true American entrepreneurial spirit. Over the years, Firehouse Subs has become known for its strong brand identity, robust menu, and good works that have built a loyal following from coast-to-coast.
A portion of all purchases benefits the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®, which, since its inception, has granted more than $53 million to provide equipment, training, and support to hometown heroes. More recently, local Firehouse Subs restaurant owners across the country have partnered with the Foundation to donate more than 91,000 meals to feed everyday heroes, including first responders and healthcare workers, fighting the pandemic.
These strong community connections have paid off for the brand during these unprecedented times for all the right reasons.
“There was a lot of underlying loyalty when people came to realize, after the first four or five weeks, that we were open and operating,” Fox says. “Of course, you have to deliver a great experience and great food, but combine those elements with the loyalty the brand has built over the years through our commitment to our communities and first responders is hard to measure – but I think it is of great value to us.”
To learn more about franchise restaurant ownership and development incentives with Firehouse Subs visit firehousesubsfranchising.com.
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