Jersey Mike’s Subs has signed a development agreement with Paradigm Investment Group, the second-largest franchisee in the Hardee’s System, to open 10 units in portions of Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut.  

Additionally, acting as area directors, the Paradigm team will oversee growth throughout the entire state of Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and a portion of Southern New York state. The new partnership is part of Jersey Mike’s active East Coast expansion plan.

“Paradigm’s Brian Kelley and Don Wollan are the type of franchise partners we are looking for: experienced multiunit operators who share our passion for excellence in all things,” says Hoyt Jones, president, Jersey Mike’s Subs. “Their operational expertise will allow us to scale up in a way that celebrates our 57-year-old brand and introduces our authentic Jersey Shore–style subs and hospitality to the area.”

Paradigm, with nearly 100 Hardee’s restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana, received the 2013 CKE Developer of the Year Award. The company is ranked No. 71 on Franchise Times’ 2013 Restaurant 200, which lists the industry’s leading multiunit, multiconcept franchisees.

“We look for brands that are best in class and Jersey Mike’s clearly stands apart from the pack in the sub-sandwich segment,” says Brian Kelley, managing partner, Paradigm. “We wanted to work with a brand that embraced the importance of high-quality food with a strong emphasis on operational efficiencies offered in a clean and inviting atmosphere for our guests. In addition, Jersey Mike’s has assembled an experienced management team at the franchisor level, which is well positioned to maintain support for its growing network of franchisees. We are very excited to launch our first venture in the Northeast with Jersey Mike’s.”

Kelley, who grew up in Connecticut and is now living in California, sats the first location is planned for Wilton, Connecticut. The new location is expected to open in late 2013. He says he was first attracted to the brand when his wife raved about it, describing the quality food and customer experience.

“Jersey Mike’s is the old-school deli I grew up with, offering a real Italian sub—the quality of the meat, the oil and red wine vinegar, the fresh-baked bread, and the friendly ‘Jersey’ personality behind the counter bring me back to the Northeast,” Kelley says. "We loved that just as our founder, Don Wollan, would cook you a great steak or work the fry station himself, Jersey Mike’s founder and CEO Peter Cancro jumped behind the slicer to make us delicious sub sandwiches on our very first visit.”

Restaurant industry veterans Brian O’Hagan and Troy Davidson will serve as area directors for the region. O’Hagan is a past executive with Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo and has been a consultant for other popular restaurant brands.  

Davidson has extensive experience in all aspects of the restaurant industry through work with McDonald’s Corporation and as a franchisee of Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern.

Jersey Mike’s is pursuing strong development efforts on the East Coast.  The company opened its first Manhattan location, in the Financial District, in July, and a second is scheduled to open in Midtown in September.  

In addition to New York and Connecticut, other East Coast development is underway in New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Sandwiches, Jersey Mike's