When we opened our first Firehouse Subs restaurant in 1994, we didn’t know all the questions, let alone have the answers.
What we did have was a passion for serving hearty and flavorful sandwiches, providing heartfelt service, and a commitment to honoring our family heritage in the public safety arena.
These three elements have stood the test of time as the rock-solid foundation of the Firehouse Subs brand.
Pursuing a Vision
When we launched Firehouse Subs, our ambition was limited to a single, successful restaurant. All of our time and resources were poured into the business, and we relied heavily on our immediate family members to provide the loyal manpower we needed to make the restaurant a success during the early years.
Completely committed to our mission, we were 100 percent confident in our ability to succeed and succeed we did.
As early as that first day in early October of ‘94, however, we began to discover the unasked questions. We dealt with unanticipated operational challenges born of our relative inexperience in the industry.
From the outset, customer traffic was higher than we anticipated, and we struggled through several weeks of not having enough equipment capacity to handle the flow of customers in a timely fashion. This would put us to the test in ways we never imagined before we opened the doors. We experienced challenges that might have caused a restaurant to fail before it ever had a chance to succeed.
Commitment to customer service
There was one thing carrying us through those early days: our unwavering commitment to serving our guests with the greatest level of genuine hospitality we could imagine. We knew the life of our business depended upon each and every hungry person stepping across the threshold into our little 1,200 square foot sandwich shop, walking out satisfied after enjoying a great meal at a great price, and knowing their business was genuinely appreciated.
Taking Firehouse Subs to the next level
Though we hadn’t aspired to open multiple locations, it wasn’t long before the ball got rolling in that direction. Building a brand required two key ingredients: money and great people.