|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2015)|
|Privately held company|
|Founder||Jimmy John Liautaud|
|Headquarters||Champaign, Illinois, United States|
Number of locations
|2,166 (March 2015)|
Jimmy John's Franchise, LLC 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 2,000 locations in 43 states. Jimmy John's has opened approximately 200 locations per year over the past three years. As of 2013[update], 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 October 2014, it was revealed that employees at Jimmy John's, including sandwich makers and delivery drivers, are required to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment. The agreement restricts the employee from working for a competitor for two years, where a competitor is defined as a business which derives more than ten percent of its revenue from selling sandwiches and is located within three miles of any Jimmy John's sandwich shop. Additionally, the employee may not work for another Jimmy John's franchisee for twelve months.
In 2009 and 2010, Jimmy John's sponsored Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In 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. On September 13 2014, Jimmy John’s became the title sponsor of the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. On race day, Jimmy John Liautaud donated $1 million to Major Dan Rooney[who?] and Folds of Honor[who?] to help aid families of military veterans. With Jimmy John's sponsorship, Harvick won the race.
In 2015, Jimmy John's is co-sponsoring the RCH Factory Racing Supercross and Motocross team featuring Ken Roczen. The team will contest both the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championships.
In June 2015, Jimmy John's bought the naming rights to an independent minor-league baseball stadium in Utica. The field is expected to take 12 months to build and set to open next June. 
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