Jimmy John Liautaud is now 54 years and launched his sandwich shop over 35 years ago. Currently, 2,802 locations have accumulated more than $2 billion in revenue though he has ceased pulling strings.

Also Read: Jimmy John Liautaud – Wikiquote

He now focuses on Roark Capital, which is a private equity company that is situated in Atlanta. In 2016, Roark Capital purchased the major part of Jimmy John’s Sandwich franchise at a whopping $3 billion.

After the transaction, Jimmy ended up with 35% of the business and has a net value of $1.7 billion, which is a result of this special deal and other assets such as an agricultural field in Illinois and a share in Juul, the e-cigarette manufacturer.

It has not been an easy road for Jimmy. Growing up with financial strain was a problematic part of his childhood. At 12 years, his mother, Gina, migrated from Lithuania and later became a teacher in a grade school in Illinois. When Jimmy John Liautaud was eight years, his father James, declared bankruptcy and then again when he was 12 years.

His father was in the army and later tried venturing into business. He recalls a time in his childhood where he drank powdered milk. Jimmy John Liautaud adds that for the better part of his existence, his life amounted to very little. He was overweight and graduated high school next to last.

James, his father, had started a successful venture in the plastics-molding industry. It was then that Jimmy was given $25,000 by his father to start his enterprise with the understanding that if the business crumbled in under a year, he would join the army. His initial thought was opening up a hot dog stand but changed his mind as the equipment cost a bit too much.

He chose a sub store which was situated in a redesigned garage. The year was 1983, and Jimmy John’s shop was within the same vicinity of several bars near Eastern Illinois University. On Jimmy’s 19th birthday, he divided the business owner with his father, who gets 48%.

To boost his client base, Jimmy John Liautaud aimed at wooing the college students by offering hand delivery of the commodity to their dormitories at 25 cents per sandwich. Nearly all Jimmy, John’s stores, provide delivery services for a fixed amount of $2. He would work and during his spare time, acquire the basic knowledge of finance. Jimmy was determined to learn how the balance in the bank increases and what causes it to decrease.

Background Information

Jimmy John Liautaud is the CEO and principal stakeholder of Jimmy John’s Sandwich franchise. After his high school graduation, Jimmy’s father loaned him $25,000, which he used to start his chain of business.

Read more: Start and Grow Your Business: Guest Speaker Jimmy John Liautaud

Charleston, IL, was the initial Jimmy John’s Sandwich location, and years later, there are over 2,700 similar locations spread across the United States. Jimmy has attained the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Ernst & Young Food & Beverage Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) Golden Chain Award.

Connect with Jimmy John Liautaud on LinkedIn

Learn more about Jimmy John Liautaud:

Members