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How to Grow Faster? Move to Different Quarters


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Most franchisors say they want to sign multi-unit franchisees, but Jersey Mike’s Subs is working a careful plan to make it happen. The key is moving around the grid.

So said Brian Sommers, vice president of franchise development for Jersey Mike’s, based in Manasquan, New Jersey, who chatted at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago in May.

Sommers said it took the chain “50 years to get to 300 units, then we doubled that in five years.” That’s because after new President Hoyt Jones arrived, working with Sommers and others,  “we decided on a completely different model.”

He describes it like this: They drew a grid, with experience as the vertical line and capital as the horizontal. “We want everyone over here now,” Sommers said, indicating the upper right quarter, or people with lots of both. “We deliberately did that,” and they’re diligent about sticking to the plan. Without a clear target it's easy to get distracted, he points out, by people with lots of money but no experience, or seasoned operators who lack cash.

Jersey Mike’s has 750 locations open or in development in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Sommers reserves just a bit of credit for the growth for his business card. On one side is his contact information. On the other, an offer for a free regular sub.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
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