Jersey Mike’s is a quick-service sandwich shop known for its sliced-to-order meats, customizable creations and the signature offering of “Mike’s Way,” which includes lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and spices.
The concept was born in 1956 in a restaurant originally called Mike’s Subs in Point Pleasant, N.J., on the Jersey Shore. In 1971, Peter Cancro got a job working at Mike’s Subs at age 14. He overheard the owner talking about selling the business, and the teenager convinced his football coach (who was also a banker) to help him buy the shop at age 17.
Cancro grew the brand, and in 1987 began franchising after changing the name to Jersey Mike’s. The chain now has nearly 2,000 locations and in 2019 Cancro took the unprecedented step of paying for the latest round of restaurant remodels, to the tune of about $75,000 per restaurant. Cancro also launched a program to help young workers own their own restaurants.
Key Data: Jersey Mike’s
Headquarters: Manasquan, N.J.
Segment: Quick Service
Restaurant segment: LSR Sandwich/Deli
Number of U.S. locations: 1,840
2020 Sales: $1.29 billion
Source: Datassential Firefly 500
CEO: Peter Cancro
Parent: Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems Inc.