Jimmy John's

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Jimmy John's Franchise, LLC
Privately held company
Founded 1983 (1983)
Founder James John Liautaud
Headquarters Champaign, Illinois, United States
Number of locations
2,316 (Sept 2015)
Website jimmyjohns.com

Jimmy John's in Pasadena, California

Jimmy John's Franchise, LLC is a franchised sandwich restaurant chain, specializing in delivery. Founded by James John Liautaud in 1983 and headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, in 30 years, the company has grown to more than 2,000 locations in 43 states.[1][2] Jimmy John's has opened approximately 200 locations per year over the past three years.[3] As of 2013, 98% of the locations are franchise-owned.[1][2]

The original Jimmy John's shop in Charleston, Illinois opened January 13, 1983


After James 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.[4] 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%.[5] He soon realized that a hot dog business would cost more than he had, so he decided to open a sandwich shop.[6]

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.[7] Liautaud soon started delivering his sandwiches to the students of Eastern Illinois University.[8]

States with Jimmy John's Restaurants

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.[9]

In January 2007, Liautaud sold a 33% stake to Weston Presidio, a San Francisco-based private-equity firm.[10]

Liautaud at the MUFSO Super Show on October 1, 2012 where he was selected as a Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain honoree. Photo taken by John G Kraynak


Jimmy John's was named a Golden Chain award winner by Nation's Restaurant News for 2012. This distinction is awarded to those restaurant leaders with outstanding recent accomplishments and career achievements that have benefited the industry and the customers they serve. [11]

Jimmy John's was named #5 on the Entrepreneur 2014 Franchise 500.[12]

YouGov BrandIndex ranked #1 restaurant chains that have the highest millennial brand loyalty. Jimmy John's tops the ranking with 83% of the vote based on restaurants they would consider going to again. [13]

Jimmy John's was named the #2 Most Popular Restaurant for Business Meals. [14]

Franchise Times Top 200+ named Jimmy's John #10 on their list of the Top 10 Fastest Growers by Units. [15]


Jimmy John and Leslie Liautaud were presented with the Frances Nelson Promise Award in recognition for the significant impact they’ve had on making health care more accessible to under-served patients in Champaign County [16] and for their generous donation to Promise Healthcare with the focus on improving access to dental care for low-income adults. [17]

Labor relations[edit]

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."[18]

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.[19][20] 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.[21]



Jimmy John Liautaud donating $1 million to Major Dan Rooney and Folds of Honor.

In 2009 and 2010, Jimmy John's sponsored Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.[22] 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.[23] On September 13 2014, Jimmy John’s became the title sponsor of the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.[24] On race day, Jimmy John Liautaud donated $1 million to Major Dan Rooney[25] and Folds of Honor[26] to help aid families of military veterans.[24][27]

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.[28]

In June 2015, Jimmy John's sponsored former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace for his Speed Energy Formula Off-Road debut at the 2015 X Games.[29]

Other sponsorships[edit]

In 2010, Jimmy John's entered an Ultimate Fighting Championship sponsorship with Brock Lesnar.[30]

In June 2015, Jimmy John's bought the naming rights to an independent minor-league baseball stadium in Utica, Michigan. The field is expected to take 12 months to build and set to open next June. [31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Jimmy John's History". Jimmyjohns.com. Retrieved Feb 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Jimmy John's History". Jimmyjohns.com. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ QSR Magazine, March 30, 2010
  4. ^ "Reece: The ABCs of success in business". Northwest Herald. February 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "McHenry County Business Journal - Jimmy John's born from tough love". Archive.biz-journal.com. Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Our History". Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Our History". Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Jimmy John's Facebook Page". Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "1000th store". 
  10. ^ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0701040131jan04,0,2294609.story?coll=chi-busines-hed/ Chicago Tribune, January 4, 2007[dead link]
  11. ^ Meet the 2012 Golden Chain award winners”. Nation’s Restaurant News. July 10, 2012 (PDF)
  12. ^ "2014 Top Franchise Opportunities". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2015-09-25. 
  13. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com.au/restaurant-chains-millennials-love-2014-12
  14. ^ https://www.bisnow.com/baltimore/news/retail/can-you-guess-the-most-popular-restaurant-for-business-meals-45383
  15. ^ http://www.prlog.org/12502945-family-financial-centers-ranks-no-221-franchise-times-top-200.html
  16. ^ http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2015-11-06/promise-healthcare-honor-bridgewater-liautauds.html
  17. ^ http://www.news-gazette.com/opinion/guest-commentary/2015-11-08/guest-commentary-frances-nelson-after-aca.html
  18. ^ Steven Greenhouse (October 20, 2010). "Rare Vote Set on a Union in Fast Food". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ Jamieson, Dave (October 13, 2014). "Jimmy John's Makes Low-Wage Workers Sign 'Oppressive' Noncompete Agreements". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ (The Huffington Post). Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ Irwin, Neil (October 14, 2014). "When the Guy Making Your Sandwich Has a Noncompete Clause". http://www.nytimes.com/ (The New York Times). Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Employee Confidentiality and Non-Competition Agreement" (PDF). Huffington Post. September 19, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Jimmy John's Jumps On Board With KHI". Hardcoreracefans.com. February 10, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Jimmy John's to sponsor Harvick in 2014". NASCAR. September 24, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Jimmy John's Folds of Honor". Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Jimmy John's Donate to Holds of Honor". Retrieved July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Jimmy John's Donate to Holds of Honor". Retrieved July 2014. 
  27. ^ "Kevin Harvick wins Freaky fast 300". Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Ken Roczen signs with RCH racing". May 2015. 
  29. ^ Fryer, Jenna (April 2, 2015). "Rusty Wallace to Compete in off-Road Truck Race at X Game". ABC News. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  30. ^ "The pro wrestling post: WWE stock, Lesnar’s sponsors and TNA-Bellator working together?". mmapayout.com. 
  31. ^ "Jimmy John's naming right Utica Ballfield". June 2015. 

External links[edit]