While stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California following 9/11, Talisin Burton quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to get his Dunkin’ fix. The Massachusetts-based donut concept only began expanding in the Golden State in 2013—which Burton chose to write about for his MBA thesis topic.

After nearly a year-long vetting process, his childhood dream of becoming a Dunkin’ franchisee was fulfilled in 2014, when Burton and his partners inked a development agreement with Dunkin’ to open 16 stores in San Diego.

Now, he and his team have the opportunity to bring another concept under the Inspire Brands portfolio to Southern California. Burton signed up to open 27 Jimmy John’s locations in San Diego, which will be the sandwich chain’s first in the market. 

“Much of San Diego’s population is like me—a transplant. This has always inspired my desire to bring the best brands from other regions into the area,” Burton says. “Jimmy John’s has already established itself as a proven concept on a national scale, resonating with consumers because of its quality food and fast service, so I’m eager to provide residents in San Diego the Jimmy John’s experience.”

The 2,800-unit sandwich chain joined the Inspire Brands family in October 2019—a group that includes restaurant giants such as Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Rusty Taco, Baskin-Robbins, and most recently, Dunkin’.

Inspire is now the U.S.’ second-largest restaurant conglomerate (behind Yum! Brands) with a footprint of 32,000 restaurants in 70 global markets and $30 billion in system sales per year.

“As a franchisee with Dunkin’, I’ve been able to utilize Inspire’s cross-brand resources, which includes technology training, operations, government affairs, and everything in between,” Burton says, which contributed to his decision to invest in Jimmy John’s. 

Jason Maceda, senior vice president of franchise development at Inspire Brands, says owners also benefit from the platform’s overall size and scale, which allows them to innovate faster and provide support to franchisees with design and marketing.

“From purchasing power from supply chain to media buy, we truly have a competitive edge,” he says. “We’re excited to continue to grow with multi-brand franchisees and look forward to adding additional operators to our family.”

Dunkin’ ranked No. 6 on QSR’s Top 50 Fast Food Chains with $10.4 billion in U.S. systemwide sales in 2021, and more than 9,200 franchised locations. Jimmy John’s ranked at No. 25, posted sales of $2.3 billion systemwide. 

Brands under the Inspire umbrella have “tremendous runway for growth, which provides our franchisees with opportunity to help us expand,” Maceda adds. “Our franchisees want to grow with a purpose-driven organization, and one that’s looking to ignite and nourish flavorful experiences. That’s Inspire Brands, and we’re looking forward to continued growth and success.”

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, Sandwiches, Story, Dunkin' Donuts, Inspire Brands, Jimmy John's