Who is Jimmy John Liautaud?
He is the founder of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. It is a franchised sandwich restaurant chain. He was born in January 1964. He is married to Leslie, they have 3 children (Spencer, Lucy, and Freddy). He opened the doors to his first sub shop in Charleston in 1983 after graduating high school.
Start with a US$ 25k loan
With a US$ 25,000 loan from his father he first planned to open a hot dog stand. He found out that he needed US$ 45.000. This was exceeding his budget.
He walked into a sandwich shop and saw only a refrigerator, a meat slicer, an oven, and a cash register. He decided to switch to sandwiches. In a few year’s time, he opened additional shops and began franchising in 1994.
Jimmy Johns Stores
In 2002 Jimmy John’s had 160 stores open. The 500th Jimmy John’s opened in 2007, the 1,000th in 2010. And in 2016 Jimmy John’s reached 2,500 stores. He is planning to open another 1,300 restaurants. Read his interesting story here.
Jimmy John Franchisers
The franchise shops pay 6% of their sales in royalties. And 4.5% in advertising fees as franchise cost to Jimmy John’s Franchise. The initial investment to become a franchisee is around US$ 350k. Of which US$ 30k as an initial fee. More info here.
In 2016 Liautaud sold a majority share in the company to Roark Capital. Jimmy still owns 35%.
Jimmy John’s Annual Results
The company Jimmy John’s realizes an estimated US$ 1.3 billion in annual sales. With earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization of about US$ 150 million annually.
Liautaud Net Worth
In October 2015 plans for an initial public offering – code-named Project Rock.it – valued the company at USD 2 billion. The plans were later canceled. His net worth is estimated at more than US$ 1.7 billion.
He is an active philanthropist donating time and money to Folds of Honor Foundation, Dental Clinics, and schools. And many other Community Organizations. In 2016 the Liautaud Family Foundation was founded. Which donated US$ 200,000 to a nursery for families in crisis.
Liautaud is a car collector who owns 7 Ferraris. He also owns the rare LaFerrari. He drives with a license plate that reads “SUBDUDE”.
Trophy Hunting on Big Game Animals
In 2015 Liautaud became under fire. As photos showed up on Twitter of him posing with dead big game animals. Such as a rhinoceros, a leopard, and elephants. However, he quickly explained that these photos were more than 10 years old. And that he stopped hunting on big African Game.