Firehouse Subs Franchise Cost, Fees & Requirements 2024

When it comes to the fast-casual sandwich industry, Firehouse Subs is one of the most recognizable names. 

Founded in 1994 in Jacksonville, Florida, Firehouse Subs has grown to become a memorable national brand, thanks to its delicious menu, generous portions, and commitment to serving its communities. It is one of the best franchises of 2024 that you must own.

If you have previous experience in the restaurant industry and are passionate about food and customer service, a Firehouse Subs franchise could be the perfect opportunity for you. However, it’s equally important to know about the Firehouse Subs franchise failure rates and the profits it earns.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with the basics of what you need to know about opening a Firehouse Subs franchise.

Read on to find out if owning a Firehouse Subs franchise is the right business venture for you.

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About Firehouse Subs Franchise

Firehouse Subs Franchise

Firehouse Subs is a rapidly-growing American restaurant chain based in Jacksonville, Florida.

The restaurant is known for its signature subs, which are made with a passion for hearty and flavorful food.

At Firehouse Subs, the restaurant experience is designed to be reminiscent of a firehouse, with each location being decorated with authentic firefighter equipment. 

This is because the founders are actually former firefighters and still have a deep-rooted commitment to the service of their communities.

The subs that Firehouse Subs is famous for are made from premium meats, which are steamed and then loaded high on toasted, secret-recipe sub rolls.

This creates an incredibly flavorful sandwich that customers absolutely love. The restaurant also offers other menu items such as salads, soups, and desserts.

Firehouse Subs continues to be driven by its mission to serve others hearty and flavorful food while doing good in communities nationwide through its Public Safety Foundation, which works closely with local first responders at both state and national levels and has granted over $73 million since 2005.

History Of Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs was founded in 1994 by brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, both former firefighters.

The first Firehouse Subs restaurant opened in Jacksonville, Florida, and quickly became a local favorite. 

After seeing the success of their company-owned stores, the brothers decided to attempt franchising in 1995.

However, they soon pulled back to focus their energy on operating company-owned stores.

It wasn’t until 2001 that Firehouse Subs began offering franchise opportunities again. During this time, they hired consultants to help them plan for growth throughout the United States.

By 2016, there were 1,000 locations across the US – a number that has since grown to over 1,210, with outlets now also found in Puerto Rico and Canada.

In 2021, Restaurant Brands International acquired Firehouse Subs for $1 billion, further cementing its status as one of America’s most successful franchises. 


How Much Does It Cost to Open a Firehouse Subs Franchise?

Opening a Firehouse Subs franchise can be an excellent business venture for those looking to have a long-term presence in the restaurant industry.

However, it’s important to understand the costs associated with being a Firehouse Subs franchisee before diving in headfirst.

The Franchisee Fee is one of the most important costs to consider. To become a Firehouse Subs franchisee, you will need to pay an upfront fee of $20,000, which grants you access to the company’s intellectual property and resources. This fee also covers initial training and ongoing support from the franchisor.

In addition to this upfront fee, prospective franchisees should also expect to spend approximately $412,731 on average when starting their own Firehouse Subs location.

This figure accounts for all necessary equipment, real estate costs, initial inventory, and other startup expenses.

Prospective franchisees must also have at least $100,000 in liquid capital available, as well as any additional funds needed for operating expenses during the first two years of business operations.

Once your Firehouse Subs location has opened its doors, you will need to pay royalty fees of 6% on gross sales and contribute 3-5% of total gross sales towards the franchisor’s advertising fund each year.

These fees are used by Firehouse Subs for marketing and promotional activities that benefit all franchisees, so it’s important for owners to stay up-to-date with these payments.


Firehouse Subs Franchise Model

Cost Or FeesAmount
Initial Investment$190k-997k
Royalty6%
Advertisement-Fee4% of The Gross sale
Franchise-Fee$20,000-$25,000
Total Outlets1200

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Firehouse Subs Franchise Requirements

In order to become a successful Firehouse Subs franchisee, there are certain requirements that must be met.

The most basic requirement is having access to $100,000 in liquid capital. This is the minimum amount of money needed to start and successfully run a Firehouse Subs restaurant.

However, having more available funds may help you cover unexpected costs and prepare for future expenses.

You will also need an excellent credit score of 650 or higher. Good credit is vital for not only being approved as a franchisee but also making it easier for you to secure financing for equipment and other key assets used in the business.

Another key requirement is having an inner drive for excellence and dedication to the company’s mission statement.

As a Firehouse Subs franchisee, you will be responsible for providing consistent quality products while upholding high standards of customer service. 

Successful owners should be motivated, detail-oriented, and willing to take the initiative when necessary.


Firehouse Subs Franchise Training and Support

Firehouse Subs Franchise Training and Support

Firehouse Subs provides a comprehensive onboarding and training program to help new franchisees become successful in their business.

The onboarding process begins with the “Week of Discovery” program, where interested individuals spend an intensive week learning about the daily operations of running a Firehouse Subs.

This week involves a lot of hard work and long hours, but it provides valuable insights into the company’s business model and success strategies.

After completing the Week of Discovery, franchisees have to attend an intense “Day of Discovery” in Jacksonville, where they meet with CEO Don Fox, the Sorensen brothers, CFO Vince Burchianti, and each department head to be interviewed. 

The aim of this day is to ensure that each prospective franchisee has the right skills, attitude, and commitment to join the Firehouse Subs team.

Once a franchise has been awarded, franchisees undergo 6-8 weeks of local training in a restaurant.

After this is complete, there is one week of corporate training at Firehouse Subs’ headquarters in Jacksonville. 

During this time, trainees receive their Captain’s Advancement Manual, which outlines key policies and procedures related to running the business.

In addition to onboarding and training support, Firehouse Subs also offers ongoing assistance for marketing and advertising initiatives via its field support team, advertising agency, and corporate marketing staff.


Firehouse Subs Franchise Terms Of Agreement & Renewal

The Firehouse Subs franchise contract is a 10-year agreement that can be renewed for up to four additional five-year terms.

The initial term of the agreement is non-negotiable, but each extension period is subject to approval from the franchisor. 

To qualify for renewal, a franchise must remain in good standing with Firehouse Subs and abide by all of the guidelines outlined in the original contract.

In addition to the standard requirements of being in good standing, franchises seeking renewal may also be required to update their facilities and equipment as well as provide evidence of ongoing training programs for employees.

Renewal fees are typically 1/4 of an initial franchise fee and are due prior to signing each renewal contract.

Firehouse Subs takes great pride in providing its customers with quality food and service that reflects its commitment to excellence, so all of its franchisees must adhere to these standards to be able to renew the franchise contract.


Firehouse Subs Franchise Obligations and Restrictions

The obligations and restrictions imposed by Firehouse Subs Franchise Agreement are designed to ensure that franchisees maintain the highest standards and comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and ethical business practices.

As a franchisee of Firehouse Subs, you must at all times faithfully and diligently perform your obligations under Franchise Agreement.

The franchise agreement requires you to personally participate in your restaurant’s direct operation and management.

You must also adhere to Firehouse Subs’ standards, policies, and procedures related to quality assurance (such as food safety requirements), customer service, store appearance, marketing and advertising efforts, training programs for staff members, etc. 

You must also comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws. 

You must not engage in any acts or practices that could be deemed deceptive, misleading, or unlawful in the course of operating your restaurant.

Failure to adhere to these obligations and restrictions may result in the termination of your franchise agreement.


Advantages & Disadvantages Of Firehouse Subs Franchise

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Firehouse Subs Franchise

Advantages Of Firehouse Subs Franchise

  • A unique Menu
  • Higher Goodwill
  • Top-Rated franchise
  • Offers premium meat and ingredients
  • Training and support

Disadvantage Of Firehouse Subs Franchise

  • Limited Global Presence
  • Low Marketing
  • Multiple competitors with the same concept
  • The wild card

Firehouse Subs Franchise Acceptance Rate

Firehouse Subs is one of the most popular and successful franchise opportunities in the United States.

With more than 1,200 locations nationwide, Firehouse Subs boasts a loyal customer base and a well-recognized brand.

As such, the franchise opportunity is highly sought after, with many aspiring entrepreneurs looking to join their ranks.

Unfortunately, while Firehouse Subs is an attractive opportunity for potential franchisees due to its success and reputation, it also has high standards when it comes to who can become part of its network.

The company only approves about 15% of all submitted applications due to their strict requirements regarding qualifications and background checks.

Not only does Firehouse Subs have a strict selection process for franchisees, but they also require prospects to go through rigorous training and orientation before they are allowed to open their own restaurant.

This is done to ensure that all Firehouse Subs franchises maintain the highest standards of quality, service, and professionalism.


Firehouse Subs Franchise Financial Assistance

Firehouse Subs does not provide direct or indirect financing, nor do they guarantee notes, leases, or obligations to their franchisees.

However, their franchise support team is available to help prospective franchisors identify opportunities that can help them finance their business and become successful Firehouse Subs franchise owners.

One common way in which a prospective franchisee may obtain financing is through a loan from a bank or other financial institution.

Banks require certain documentation, such as a detailed business plan and the franchisee’s personal financial information, before they consider approving a loan.

Firehouse Subs’ franchising team works with its applicants to ensure that all required paperwork is submitted properly and on time.

Franchisees may also be able to obtain financing through government agencies or organizations such as the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The SBA offers an array of loan programs designed to make capital more accessible for small businesses.

These loan programs are often used by entrepreneurs who need additional funds to start or expand their businesses.

Potential franchisees interested in restaurants can investigate opportunities with the Philly Pretzel Factory Franchise, Qdoba Mexican Eats Franchise, Salata Franchise, Del Taco Franchise, and Applebee’s Franchise.


Firehouse Subs Comparison

CompanyFirehouse SubsBuffalo Wild Wings
Founded In19941981
Initial Investment$190k-997k$1.5 million to $3.5 million
Franchise-Fee$20,000-$25,000$25,000
Total Outlet1200600
Annual Revenue$1.04 Billion$3.669 Billion 

Frequently Asked Question

Is Firehouse Subs A Franchise?

Yes, Firehouse Subs is a franchise. The company has been franchising since 2001 and offers potential franchisees the opportunity to own and operate their own Firehouse Subs restaurant.

How much does a Firehouse Subs franchise cost?

An initial investment required to open a Firehouse Subs franchise is $190k-997k, with a franchise fee of $20,000-$25,000.

Is Firehouse Subs Worth It?

Yes, Firehouse Subs is worth it for franchisees who are looking for a profitable and reliable business opportunity.

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