Franchising | September 2011 | By Mary Avant

340 Years of History

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30 Years

TCBY

We Didn’t Invent Frozen Yogurt, We Just Innovated It’

Celebrating 30 years as “The Country’s Best Yogurt” this month, the frozen yogurt chain has been working hard to update its image.

“We did a lot of introspection and soul-searching from a brand perspective last year in terms of, ‘OK, we’re 30 years old. Are we old and tired, or are we contemporary and relevant?’” says Greg Allison, vice president of marketing for TCBY.

The answer can be found in the newly designed logo and a fresh platform focused on self service and the customer experience.

To promote the transformation and its anniversary, TCBY launched a global YouTube contest, in which fans were asked to tell the world what the fro-yo concept meant to them.

“We started off the 30th-anniversary year by letting our customers share some things about us, because the brand is not what we say it is, but what they say it is,” Allison says.

This month, TCBY is going old school with its “Throwback Flavors,” giving guests the chance to taste some of the company’s most popular flavors from over the years.

“What consumers can expect from TCBY is more flavors more frequently,” Allison says.

“While we have great flavors today, and some of these flavors have been around for 30 years, we know we need to come up with new flavors and new taste profiles.”

35 Years

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

Growth, Here We Come’

Launched in Wilmington, Delaware, by siblings Lois and Alan Margolet, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop soon had people lining the block for fresh, homemade subs.

Although growth had been slow until the last few years, Capriotti’s is now operating 70 units in 11 states.

“The original owners didn’t have a lofty growth goal, which is why they really took their time and grew at a pace they were comfortable with,” says Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti’s.

“We bought the company with 45 operating restaurants, and we bought it with the notion that this is going to be a 1,000-chain store one day,” Morris says. The sandwich shop plans to open 300–500 units over the next four to six years.

Since joining in 2008, Morris has been impressed by the company’s success in the Southwest and the Mid-Atlantic. “We were able to grow the brand in two geographic areas located 3,000 miles away from each other and made it a success on both sides of the country,” he says.

Although it added salads to its menu lineup in June, which was the first large menu addition in Capriotti’s history, the company isn’t going overboard with anniversary celebrations.

But if you live in the Las Vegas area, be on the lookout for the chain’s big “Birthday Bash,” set to take place later this year.

55 Years

Jersey Mike’s Subs

Giving Back to Those We Serve

As a company that’s been serving authentic East Coast subs for 55 years, Jersey Mike’s has learned to make it easy.

“It’s a fairly simple deal: We find great franchisees, we make great subs, and we give back to the communities that we serve,” says Hoyt Jones, president of Jersey Mike’s Subs.

In celebration of its big anniversary, the sub company kicked off the year with a “Month of Giving” in March, in which every Jersey Mike’s store across the country raised funds for a local charity.

The fundraising month culminated in a national “Make a Difference Day” on March 28, a day on which any customer who made a charitable donation received a free regular sub.

The efforts pulled in more than $600,000 for 66 charities nationwide.

The company is now in the middle of a six-month-long partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, aiming to raise more than $1 million dollars for breast cancer research by the end of October.

“The stores across the country got behind it 110 percent, and we’re donating proceeds, we’re selling a commemorative T-shirt, we have a commemorative cup,” Jones says.

The company continued its charity-driven celebration with a national conference in June for franchisees and employees.

Special awards were given to Inspiring Partners who were recognized for their their community involvement.

Aside from its giving mindset, Jersey Mike’s has something else to celebrate this year: The company is slated to open its 500th location this month.

“We’re not numbers-driven. We’re not shooting to build 10,000 stores,” Jones says. “The 500th store is a big deal. When you celebrate the small victories, it’s like counting your nickels and dimes. Eventually your nickels and dimes add up to dollars,” he says.

Some of Jersey Mike’s other recent victories include breaking into new markets in Washington D.C., San Diego, and Chicago.

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