Q&A: Does Jimmy John's Franchise in the UK?

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Does Jimmy John’s franchise? In this article, we take a look at the business’ expansion initiative and how you can get involved.

Jimmy John’s is an American sandwich store chain with a menu of seven different meats, two breads and one cheese, which can be combined to create 25 sandwich options. The business bakes fresh bread every day and has eliminated artificial ingredients from its meat. But it also prioritises speed when it comes to serving customers, which is why it can dish up its sandwiches in 30 seconds.

The fast food chain has increased its revenue by offering customers a delivery option and setting up a catering service, with boxed lunches, party platters and 12 and 24-packs of ‘Mini Jimmys’. This approach is clearly working, as Jimmy John’s outlets see annual gross sales of around $1.1 million and make an average net profit of around $110,000.

History of Jimmy John’s

The business first came about in 1983, when Jimmy John Liautaud opened a sandwich shop with his dad in Charleston, Illinois. He was just 19 at the time but, two years later, he bought out his dad’s share and started running the store on his own. Fast forward 10 years, and Liautaud is the manager of 10 Jimmy John’s outlets.

A year later, in 1994, he decided to expand the business even further using the franchise model. Today, there are more than 2,800 Jimmy John’s stores across the US, 98 percent of which are owned by franchisees.

But Liautaud isn’t just in it for the money. He’s revealed he was bullied as a child, and has since decided to support others in any way he can. This includes arranging and financing his employees’ dental appointments. With the help of his family, he also paid for the start-up and operational costs of the Francis Nelson SmileHealthy dental clinic in Champaign, Illnois, which provides treatments for adults with a low income.

On top of this, Liautaud has donated to a range of causes supporting the education, research and promotion of good health, including hospitals and medical organisations across the US. Jimmy John’s has even given $1 million to the Folds of Honor, an organisation providing educational scholarships to the families of those who have been killed or disabled in the American military.

Does Jimmy John’s franchise?

As previously mentioned, 98 percent of the business’ outlets are owned and run by franchisees – but they’re all located in the US. At the moment, there are no Jimmy John’s franchise opportunities in the UK. But, given the success and popularity of the chain, it may break onto the UK food scene in the future, so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

How to get involved with Jimmy John’s

If you want to open your own Jimmy John’s sandwich store, you’ll need to be willing to launch your business in America. But if you’ve always been interested in running a franchise in the US, this is a great choice. In terms of franchise costs and fees, you must be able to invest $200,000 of your own money and have a net worth of $1 million.

In return, you’ll get the chance to be enrolled onto the exclusive Jimmy John’s induction scheme. This includes classroom and in-store training, as well as a four-week management preparation period. You’ll also get access to support in site selection and fit-out, procurement and marketing. To find out more about the Jimmy John’s franchise opportunity, visit its dedicated webpage here.

The sandwich market in the UK

You don’t need us to tell you how popular sandwiches are in the UK! They’re daily essentials for many people in need of a quick bite to eat at lunch or simple tea-time option, and we buy four billion of them every year. Given that sandwiches cost £2 on average, the UK sandwich sector creates around £8 billion annually.

Thanks to our love of the filling foodstuff, there’s plenty of potential for entrepreneurs to break into the UK sandwich market. And because of the versatility of the tasty meal option, many businesses have been able to carve out a niche in the growing sector. For example, hungry consumers head to Subway to customise their sandwich with their favourite filling combinations, or Baguette Express for – you’ve guessed it – baguettes.

Similar franchise opportunities

We’ve already mentioned Subway and Baguette Express, so let’s take a look at their franchise models and how savvy entrepreneurs can start running their own business with the brands’ guidance.


Subway is the UK’s biggest sandwich retailer in terms of sales and one of the most recognisable brands in the world. It has more than 44,500 outlets across 112 countries, despite being founded in 1965 with a start-up fund of just $1,000. Subway has been through half a century of radical change and enormous growth, to emerge as one of the biggest chains in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry.

  • Becoming a Subway franchisee: Subway is looking for savvy entrepreneurs with a passion for the brand. You should have expertise in the market and display good time management and communication skills. You also need to abide by its procedures and follow the training and site selection processes.
  • How much you need to invest: In order to be accepted as a franchisee, interested entrepreneurs will need to make a minimum investment of £85,570. However, you can get help with funding from one of Subway’s financial partners, so if you have good credit standing, you could get bank loans that cover up to 70 percent of the cost.
  • What you get for your investment: In order for you to be able to run your own Subway franchise confidently, the brand provides a two-week training course that is carried out in one of its many training centres across the globe. Even after your business gets off the ground, Subway continues to provide support in the form of e-courses and communicates through newsletters. There is help with finding the perfect location, but bear in mind that setting up a store could take anything from two months to a year. Don’t fret though – Subway will be there for you every step of the way.

Baguette Express

Baguette Express’ business plan is simple: a large choice of fresh food items baked daily and sold in an inviting environment for one fantastic price. The franchise can rely on multiple streams of revenue by offering food targeted for the morning, afternoon and evening, such as breakfast rolls and wraps, salad boxes and coffees.

Baguette Express has steadily grown since 1999 and now operates 50 outlets in the UK. It has also seen success internationally, with four branches in Dubai. Therefore, franchisees around the world could stand to benefit from the brand’s proven business model.

  • Becoming a Baguette Express franchisee: Franchisees can opt to open a kiosk, a quick-service takeaway or a large restaurant with capacity to seat over 100 customers. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: This franchise requires a total investment of £60,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Baguette Express will provide a template for your business plan and support franchisees with site selection, store fit-out and procuring equipment and stock.

Start a sandwich business today

If you’ve been inspired by the Jimmy John’s franchise model but want to launch your business here in the UK, there are many other options for you to consider. We’ve always got a few sandwich franchise opportunities on our books, so keep an eye out if you’re interested in becoming a franchisee in the lucrative sector.

Click here to see a rundown of the sandwich franchises looking for savvy entrepreneurs at the moment. Or, for more information on alternative investment options, read our article: Top 5 Sandwich Shop Franchises in the UK.

>> Read more articles on the Sandwich sector

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