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Cousins Subs president Jason Westhoff shares keys to the chain’s success during the pandemic

A combination of luck and incentivizing employees have helped the regional concept prosper


Cousins Subs has had a good couple of years. The 94-unit chain based in Milwaukee, Wis., with restaurants in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, has seen record breaking growth over the past couple of years, especially in traffic, which has seen more than 20% growth compared to the national average.

Jason Westhoff, the chain’s president, said that has been in part due to luck, such as having the technology in place to roll out curbside pickup within days of the March 2020 lock down, and also simply by being in the sandwich segment, which has performed well as a whole. But Cousins Subs also has worked hard to incentivize employees and remain involved in the communities where it operates.

Of course with success comes challenges. As busy as restaurants are, they’re only staffed up to about 85%, so Westhoff said the chain has actually moved some of their advertising dollars to recruiting.

He recently shared his perspective with Nation’s Restaurant News, including his assessment of how customers are adapting as the pandemic continues.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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