Firehouse Subs

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Firehouse Restaurant Group, Inc.
Firehouse Subs
GenreFast casual restaurant
Founded1994; 29 years ago (1994) in Jacksonville, Florida
FounderRobin Sorensen
Chris Sorensen
HeadquartersJacksonville, Florida, United States
Number of locations
Increase 1,210(2022)[1]
Area served
United States (including Puerto Rico)
Key people
Don Fox (CEO)
ProductsSubmarine sandwiches, hot subs
Increase US$695 million (2019)[2]
  • Increase US$ 1.09 billion (2021; system-wide sales)[1]
Increase US$ 2 million (2021)[1]
Total assetsUS$ 1.10 billion (2021)[1]
Number of employees
About 2,000[2]
ParentRestaurant Brands International
Footnotes / references

Firehouse Subs is an American restaurant chain based in Jacksonville, Florida. It was founded in 1994 by former firefighter brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen.[3][4]

Firehouse Subs has over 1,210 restaurants in 46 states, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, and Canada.[5][1]


Firehouse Subs in Macclenny, Florida
Inside a Firehouse Subs restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla.

Brothers Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen followed the same career path as their father Rob Sorensen, a 43-year veteran of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department in Jacksonville, Florida.[6]

On October 10, 1994, the first Firehouse Subs restaurant opened in Jacksonville.[7] Firehouse Subs first attempted franchising in 1995. Soon after, the founders decided to pull back on the idea, eventually buying back those franchised locations.[8] Instead, they chose to focus on operating company-owned stores only, especially in the Jacksonville area.

An example of Firehouse Subs catering

In 1998, Firehouse Subs surpassed 10 locations, and later that year opened the first location outside of Florida.[citation needed]

In 2000, the founders decided to take a different approach, using consultants to plan franchise growth. They were able to set up financing for potential franchisees. The second wave of franchising began in 2001.[citation needed]

In 2011, Firehouse Subs opened its first franchises in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, via local franchisee Caribbean Restaurants.[9]

By 2012 the company had 500 locations, ending the year with nearly 600. In July 2016, Firehouse Subs opened its 1,000th location.[10]

In 2015, Firehouse Subs opened its first locations in Canada, with its first location opening in Oshawa, Ontario in October with franchisee OnFire Restaurant Group. Currently, the group operates 50 Canadian restaurants, with plans to open a total of 90 in Ontario alone.[11] The chain also launched a loyalty program.[12]

In June 2017, Firehouse Subs opened its first airport location at Jacksonville International.[13] In December 2017, the brand's second airport location opened at Orlando International.[14] In April 2018, the chain opened its first on-campus location at Western New England University.[15] In 2020 the chain opened a location at Jacksonville's Baptist Medical Center.[16]

On November 15, 2021, Restaurant Brands International announced that it would acquire Firehouse Subs for $1 billion.[17] The acquisition was completed on December 15, 2021.[18]

On June 22, 2023, Firehouse Subs opened its first location outside North America in Zurich, Switzerland.[19]

Restaurant concept and food[edit]

Owing to the Sorensens' involvement in firefighting, the interior decor of Firehouse Subs locations are inspired by fire stations, and often include firefighter equipment and memorabilia.[7] Each restaurant features a custom mural, hand drawn and painted at the company's headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. The murals reflect fire and police service unique to each restaurant's community or town. No two of the more than 1,200 murals painted are the same.[20]


The menu, which features hot specialty subs, salads, and other seasonal items, takes inspiration from the firehouse with names like Hook & Ladder, Engineer, and Firehouse Hero.[21] The subs are prepared with meats and cheeses, on toasted sub rolls, and served "Fully Involved" with vegetables and condiments. Chris and Robin remain in charge of the menu, and work alongside their director of product development Jay Miller, who joined the company in 2017.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2021 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". Restaurant Brands International. February 23, 2022. Retrieved September 8, 2022 – via SEC.
  2. ^ a b "Firehouse Subs Presents $8,239 To Manchester Fire Dept For Gear". 16 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Firehouse Subs Franchise Information". Entrepreneur.
  4. ^ "Firehouse Subs - News Room". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  5. ^ "How Two Firemen Created an Empire of Sub Shops". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  6. ^ "Firehouse Subs - Our Story | Firehouse Subs". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  7. ^ a b Elkins, Kathleen (2016-11-18). "From $100 to 1000 stores: The surprise success of Firehouse Subs". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  8. ^ Weber, Toby. "Firehouse Subs Eyes International Expansion - restaurant development + design". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  9. ^ "Firehouse Subs spreads to Puerto Rico". 2011-08-21. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  10. ^ "Firehouse Subs - 1,000 AEDS For 1,000 Restaurants: Firehouse Subs Celebrates Milestone Opening With $1 Million Donation For Life-Savings Initiative". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  11. ^ "Firehouse Subs Opens First Canadian Location". Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine. Kostuch Media. 2015-10-22. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  12. ^ "Firehouse Subs - Firehouse Rewards". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  13. ^ "Firehouse Subs Opens at JAX; Restaurant's First Airport Location :: Jet Stream".
  14. ^ "Orlando Int'l Airport debuts new floor art, Firehouse Subs". WDBO. December 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Firehouse Subs Continues Non-traditional Growth With First On-campus College Location At Western New England University - Firehouse Subs". Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  16. ^ "Firehouse Subs to open in Baptist Medical Center Downtown | Jax Daily Record". 15 January 2020.
  17. ^ Lucas, Amelia (2021-11-15). "Burger King Parent Restaurant Brands International Buys Firehouse Subs for $1 Billion". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  18. ^ "Restaurant Brands International Inc. Completes Acquisition of Firehouse Subs and Announces Increase in Borrowings Under Existing Term Loan A Facility" (Press release). Restaurant Brands International. December 15, 2021 – via PR Newswire.
  19. ^ umeshell (2023-06-22). "Restaurant Brands International opens Firehouse Subs outlet in Switzerland". Verdict Food Service. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  20. ^ "Meet The Artist Responsible For EVERY Custom Mural Inside 1,200+ Firehouse Subs Restaurants". Foodbeast. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  21. ^ "Firehouse Subs - Specialty Subs, Hot Subs, Cold Subs, Salads, Catering for lunch and dinner". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  22. ^ danny (2018-05-30). "The Future of Firehouse Subs". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2018-07-09.

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