|Type||Privately held company|
|Founders||Jimmy John Liautaud|
|Headquarters||Champaign, Illinois, United States|
|Number of locations||1,936 (June 2014)|
Jimmy John's is a franchised sandwich restaurant chain, specializing in delivery, founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, United States. In 30 years, the company has grown to more than 1,900 locations in 43 states. Jimmy John's has opened approximately 200 units per year over the past three years. As of 2013, 98% of the locations are franchise-owned.
After Jimmy John Liautaud graduated second to last in his class at Elgin Academy (1982), his father gave him the choice to join the military or start a business. Liautaud eventually chose to start a business and accepted his father's $25,000 loan to start a hot dog business, with the son owning 52% of the business, and his father owning 48%. He soon realized that a hot dog business would cost more than he had, so he decided to open a sandwich shop.
On January 13, 1983, the first Jimmy John's opened in a garage in Charleston, Illinois. Paying $200 a month in rent, Liautaud could afford only used equipment consisting of a refrigerator, a chest freezer, an oven and a meat slicer. Liautaud soon started delivering his sandwiches to the students of Eastern Illinois University.
In April 1985, Liautaud bought out his father's interest in the business, becoming the sole owner. He opened his second store in Macomb, Illinois and two years later opened his third in Champaign, Illinois. Liautaud later opened several more stores and developed a prototype before beginning franchising in 1993. The first franchise store opened in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. In 2001, the hundredth Jimmy John's store opened in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. In 2007, the five-hundredth store opened in Seattle, Washington, and in 2010 the thousandth opened in Beaverton, Oregon.
In 2010, when the Industrial Workers of the World attempted to unionize ten Minneapolis locations, The New York Times called the effort "one of the few efforts to organize fast-food workers in American history."
In 2009 and 2010, Jimmy John's sponsored Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. 2011, Jimmy John's and Richard Childress Racing reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor Harvick for the Sprint Cup Series. The 2014 sponsorship continued with Harvick and the Stewart-Haas Racing team. In 2010, Jimmy John's entered a UFC sponsorship with Brock Lesnar.
- "Jimmy John's History". Jimmyjohns.com. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- QSR Magazine, March 30, 2010
- "Reece: The ABCs of success in business". Northwest Herald. February 19, 2013.
- "McHenry County Business Journal - Jimmy John's born from tough love". Archive.biz-journal.com. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- "Our History". Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- "Our History". Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Jimmy John's Facebook Page". Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- "1000th store".
- Chicago Tribune, January 4, 2007
- Steven Greenhouse (October 20, 2010). "Rare Vote Set on a Union in Fast Food". The New York Times.
- "Jimmy John's Jumps On Board With KHI". Hardcoreracefans.com. February 10, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- "Jimmy John's to sponsor Harvick in 2014". NASCAR. September 24, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- The pro wrestling post: WWE stock, Lesnar’s sponsors and TNA-Bellator working together? : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA
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