December 2009Back To Archives
Jimmy John Liautaud's success story is not about luck, as an article in Success Magazine points out. It is about determination and hard-work. For those of you who have not heard Jimmy's inspiring story, I highly suggest you read the article at SuccessMagazine.com.
Almost every JJ Fan knows that Jimmy John's started in Charleston, IL in 1983...but did you know:
- at 19 years old Jimmy wanted to open a hot dog stand?
- Jimmy made a deal with his father - $25,000 to start a business or join the Army?
- Jimmy John's started with 4 sandwiches?
- Jimmy lacked a formal business education?
With such a bumpy start, what was the key to Jimmy's success? Free enterprise - and the willingness and discipline to work harder than the next guy - is what business is about.
"Customer loyalty comes from consistent experience. When you screw it up, you fire your customers." - Jimmy John Liautaud
You're right Jimmy. And the sandwiches are damn good too.
We always knew that Jimmy Cookies are damn good. I guess they are good enough to spend time in jail for! Joshua Augustin, 26, was placed on two years of probation, ordered to serve three months in jail and pay a $500 fine...All for an oatmeal raisin cookie at Jimmy John's. On Oct. 8, Augustin walked into Kearney's Jimmy John's armed with a BB gun and tried to take a handful of oatmeal raisin Jimmy Cookies. The assistant manager pulled the gun out of Augustin's hand (no other customers were in the shop at the time), and as the employees pushed Augustin toward the door, Augustin dropped all but one cookie. Just 30 minutes before the robbery, Augustin and another man had been in the shop buying sandwiches. Officers arrested Augustin several hours later. Too bad the JJ doesn't deliver in jail.
Real People References!
Having been highly involved in the opening of 3 stores prior to my first store in Milwaukee, there were not many surprises. I got to see first hand what Jimmy John’s was like and that convinced me to go it alone and it was a great idea. It’s the simplicity and quality that sold me. We have a contract to open more stores which will give us a total of 9 over the next three years.
– Matt Freeman, Milwaukee, WI
I left a corporate consulting career to open Jimmy John’s sandwich shops 2-1/2 years ago and I haven’t looked back. I believe in the Jimmy John’s systems and procedures. If you teach your employees to do the same, your store will run smoothly and customers will keep coming back for more! We will be opening our 6th store in the Chicago market in the next 18 months and plan to continue growing this brand.
– Alison Vertel Schaffer, Chicago, IL
We do one thing and we do it extremely well. No soup, no salad, no toast, no rye, no pumpernickel equals simplicity. Speed and accuracy, along with a killer product, is what Jimmy John’s is all about. I had no idea the customer excitement and loyalty would be so high. No matter where I go, people come up to me and tell me how much they love Jimmy John’s. I plan on operating five locations within the next two years
–Josh Albert, Plymouth, MN
The product is great, the procedures are simple to follow, and the company has developed a niche that the competitors cannot, or refuse to touch (delivery). The systems and procedures and the daily execution by each store has enabled the brand to grow when others seem to falter. I like the fact that the company provides support to the franchisees on a regular basis. I plan to open my second store very soon.
–Dick Johnston, Oswego, IL
Here’s what makes my Jimmy John’s rock – great bread, fast execution, very clean and a great atmosphere. I’m ready to open my third unit and I plan to have 3 more. We have easy access to franchise support, and it’s fun to operate.
– Fawzi Tomey, Novi, MI
The quality of the bread, meats and veggies are outstanding and the way the sandwich is prepared makes it hard to beat!! I like everything about the brand – the colors, signage, support and attention to detail are just a few of the attributes. I cannot believe how many people in Omaha already knew about Jimmy John’s before we opened. We are very excited about the future growth, I plan to open 10 stores.
– Dean Hodges, Omaha, NE
Ahh, A Taste of Gourmet History. 1983 was a big year for America. Change was in the air. Reagan and old Bush were leading the country through the Cold War, GI Joe was dating Barbie, teenagers "tight rolled" their pants and slow danced to Total Eclipse of the Heart. For many, 1983 was a confusing, hungry place. People cried out for more, and not just more fondue.
It would be a 19-year-old with two first names that would answer America's cry for lunch – Jimmy John Liautaud.
Jimmy knew that if he kept it simple he could create the world's greatest gourmet sandwich. With a handful of cookbooks checked out from his local library, Jimmy perfected his award-winning bread. After creating four sandwiches, Jimmy tested them on friends and family, receiving praise he needed to press on. With no hesitation he opened the very first Jimmy John's. Paying a whopping $200 a month in rent, he could afford only used equipment consisting of a refrigerator, a chest freezer, and oven, and a meat slicer. The first Jimmy John's served soda with no ice (there was no room in the budget for an ice machine). As any good business story goes, things were not easy in the beginning. So Jimmy John Liautaud did what any young entrepreneur would do – he took to the streets with armfuls of free sandwiches. College kids loved his irreverent attitude and dirt-cheap prices. The fact that he delivered was icing on the cake. Jimmy John's has grown up over the last few decades. The irreverent attitude, low price, great food and delivery with a smile remain the same, but what was once the bratty little brother of the sandwich industry is now the super cool older brother that everyone else wants to be. We are currently over 1000 stores open.
America's Favorite Sandwich Delivery Guys™ - Freaky fast! Freaky good! The JJ Freaker Blog is no different. It's a fast read, jam-packed with everything you wanted to know about Jimmy John's. You can even order a sandwich online while reading the blog. Why? Because your mom wants you to!
Wanna speak the JJ underground lingo next time you order? Here are a few shortcuts and nicknames that real JJ Freakers use!
Example: I want a Garg on a hot date, whacked.
Translates to: I want a Gargantuan with peppers, no onions, and cut in half.
On a date = No onion
On a hot date = No onion, add peppers
Loaded = Add sauce and onions
Wheels = Tomatoes
Maters = Tomatoes
Green wheels = Cucumbers
Cucs = Cucumbers
Dij = Dijon
Avo = Avocado
With Pep = Add hot peppers
Whacked = Cut in half
Gut = Inside of bread
LBI = Leave bread in
TBO = Take bread out
All Freebies = Everything that doesn't cost extra
Add chizzle = Add cheese
No green stuff part 1 = No lettuce, no cucumbers
No green stuff part 2 = No avocado
BLTC = BLT add cheese
Bullet = BLT
BL Tease me = BLT
Fishteen = #15
Sorority Style = #4, no mayo
Woo Hoo = #11, add bacon
Pam Anderson = #12
The Binder = #13
Porky Pig = #1, add bacon
Surf 'N Turf = #3, add bacon
Burbon Tuna Club = #3, add bacon and dijon
Pig Fat Special = #7, add bacon
Pigs on the Beach = #12, add bacon
Hasselhoff = #12, add bacon
Tommy Thompson with action = #4, add cheese
Spicy Cow = #5, add roast beef, dijon and peppers
LAPD Special = #8
Garg = Gargantuan
Gary = Gargantuan, no onions
Girlgantuan = Gargantuan
Gargoyle = Gargantuan, add sauce
Poseidon = Gargantuan, add tuna
Guygantuan = Gargantuan, add bacon
Mangantuan = Gargantuan, add bacon
Real Gargantuan = Gargantuan, add bacon
The Ultimate = Gargantuan, add bacon
Platinum = Gargantuan, add bacon & tuna
Barracuda = Gargantuan, add bacon & tuna
Chuck Norris = Gargantuan with EVERYTHING
Garangutang = Gargantuan with EVERYTHING
Rambo = Gargantuan with EVERYTHING, double meat and cheese
Dubbuhgutbustuh = 2 Gargantuans
With legs = To go
Have we missed some? Tell us your JJ lingo!