Jimmy John’s is a sandwich chain with more than 2,500 locations and a reach that extends across the United States. It is growing at a great pace and looks set to expand even further afield.
It has a long way to go before it catches Subway, but Jimmy John’s already has more locations than some of the most well known chains in the country, including Del Taco, Chipotle, Popeyes and IHOP.
So, what is it about this chain that the customers, the franchisees and the food critiques love so much? Why is it that Jimmy John’s is consistently ranked ahead of their rivals when it comes to taste, service and choice?
Jimmy John’s History
In 1983, Jimmy John Liautaud received a loan from his father. He used it to purchase a hotdog business, keeping the majority share and giving the rest to his father.
However, Liautaud soon realized that he would need more money than he had if he were to focus on selling hotdogs, so he switched to sandwiches.
The first Jimmy John’s sandwich shop was in Charleston, Illinois. Kitchen equipment was basic, as money was tight. But within a year the business was turning a profit.
The store failed to generate much business from passing traffic, mainly because of its poor location. But Jimmy kept the orders coming by hand-delivering the sandwiches to nearby college dorms. After a couple of years, he bought his father out and opened another store.
They began franchising in 1994, after which the brand grew exponentially. In 2001 they opened their 100th store. In 2007 this number had climbed to 500, and within a further decade it would hit over 2,500.
The speed of this growth is all down to the unique franchise model. Jimmy John’s is consistently ranked as one of the best franchises in the country, and many of their locations are able to turn over an immediate and substantial profit.
Jimmy John’s Menu
Jimmy John’s sell 8 inch subs with all kinds of fillings. There are gluten-free options, vegetarian options and vegan options. You can skimp on the calories and the fat by getting one of their Slims, or you can load-up on them with some of their Giant Club or Party sandwiches.
There is a choice of soft drinks to go with your sub and you can also get a side of cookies, potato chips or a jumbo pickle. The menu is a little smaller than the Subway menu, but it is just as fresh and just as delicious.
Jimmy John’s Secret Menu
Like the Subway secret menu, the Jimmy John’s secret menu offers up some delicious, unique and occasionally monstrous menu items that you won’t find on the standard menu. This is includes the “Gargantuan”, which is arguably one of the most famous secret menu items out there.
That’s not all either, as there are a number of different Jimmy John menu hacks to explore. We will show you to save on your order; how to discover some hidden treats; how to create a beastly combination; and much more. Just read our Jimmy John’s secret menu page you learn more. If sandwiches and snacks are your bag, you may also want to check the Arby’s secret menu.
Jimmy John’s Nutrition and Calories
Jimmy John’s don’t have as extensive of a menu as you will find at other sandwich chains. As a result, there aren’t many healthy options. Sandwiches aren’t as bad for you as a lot of fast food is. But over half a foot of bread, butter, mayonnaise and other fatty ingredients isn’t exactly good.
If you’re watching your weight, you might want to stick to slimmer versions of their sandwiches and to less fattening sides. For instance, instead of a Giant Club sandwich, a side of Chocolate Chip Cookies and a regular soft drink, you can opt for a Slim Turkey Breast sub, a Jumbo Dill Pickle and a bottle of water or a diet drink.
It also helps to know how many calories, and how much fat, sugar and salt is in the food you’re ordering. So, be sure to read our Jimmy John’s Nutrition Info page to stay informed.
Jimmy John’s Advertising
Many of the big chains have been going so long that their founders are either retired or have passed away, as is the case with KFC. Some of them, like Hooters and Olive Garden, were founded by companies or teams, and don’t have an individual to fly the flag. But as with Papa John’s, Jimmy John’s founder is alive and well and does all he can to promote the chain.
His face is on billboards, posters and everywhere else. He also stars in their video ad campaigns, such as the one shown above. This has allowed Jimmy John’s to exploit a unique angle, and exploit it they have.
They have also worked hard on advertising and sponsorship. They have sponsored sporting teams like the Detroit Red Wings and motor sport teams. Since 2010 they have also sponsored WWE wrestler and UFC fighter Brock Lesnar.
Jimmy John’s Menu Prices
Jimmy John’s prices are very reasonable, and you can pick up a fully-loaded 8 inch sub for under $7. Prices vary from state to state and location to location, but it’s always good value for money. Many of their subs cost the same, regardless of the filling.
The Plain Slims, which are also 8 inches, cost a little less than their standard subs, while the Giant Club sandwiches cost about a dollar more than the standard ones. Drinks, sides and desserts cost less than $2.
Some of the menu items that you won’t find in other sandwich shops include the Party Platter and the Party Sides. The Party Sub is a 6 foot sandwich, a great way to get any party started and a sure-fire gimmick to keep the guests talking. At over $120, it’s not cheap, but for a human-sized sandwich, that’s not a bad deal.
Jimmy John’s Locations
As of the third quarter of 2016, there are over 2,550 Jimmy John’s locations in the United States. These are spread across 47 states, with the other 2 sure to follow. In fact, between the years of 2013 and 2016, Jimmy John’s opened an average of 200 chains per year, allowing their brand to grow considerably in a short space of time.
The majority of these locations are not owned by the company, as is so often the case with big chains like this. In fact, they own just 2% of those 2,500+ locations.
There are no international Jimmy John’s locations, although this may change in the near future as they look to mimic the expansion of their competitors.
Jimmy John’s Store Hours
Some stores open at 11:00am and close by 9:00pm, some open earlier and remain open until midnight. These times differ depending on location, but generally you can expect them to open during or around breakfast, and remain open until late in the evening.
Check with your local franchise to determine the opening times near you.