||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (May 2013)|
|Genre||Fast Casual Restaurant|
|Founder(s)||Jimmy John Liautaud|
|Headquarters||Champaign, Illinois, United States|
|Number of locations||1621|
Jimmy John's is a franchised sandwich restaurant chain founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and headquartered in Champaign, Illinois. In 30 years the company has grown to more than 1600 locations in 41 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 graduating second to last in his class at Elgin Academy (1982), Jimmy John Liautaud's father gave him the choice to join the military or start a business. Liautaud chose the latter and accepted his father's $25,000 loan to start a hot dog business. Liautaud owned 52% of the business and his father owned 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; there was no ice machine. 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 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 100th Jimmy John's store opened in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. In 2007, the 500th store opened in Seattle, Washington, and in 2010 the 1000th 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.Also in 2008 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John's sponsored Steven Wallace  In 2011, Jimmy John’s and Richard Childress Racing reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor Kevin Harvick for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
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