How Jersey Mike’s Builds Franchisee Membership for Its Local Marketing Campaigns

Happy franchisees make joining marketing a much smoother process.

“When sales are increasing at virtually every store – and volume has increased dramatically over the past year – there are very few objections,” says Jersey Mike’s Chief Marketing Officer Rich Hope. “If anything, recently some of our franchisees were like, ‘Can we slow down marketing a bit because of the hiring and staffing crisis? “”

Hope is the architect of the brand’s digital marketing vision for its more than 2,100 stores (more than 2,500 if we include those in development), where sales have increased by 35% in the last 2 years. Digital, print and television advertising at Jersey Mike’s is now fully national, with local and regional marketing orchestrated by the head office.

“We present all of our marketing to our franchisees. They understand where and how we spend the money – if they want to,” he says. “Some of them don’t really care as long as people walk through the doors.”

It’s also helpful to have franchisees on board to help the marketing team innovate and implement strategies. Early on, for example, when franchisees balked at the idea of ​​third-party delivery due to fears it would hurt their profits, some forward-thinking franchisees stepped up to show the potential of the opportunity. .

A group of franchisees in Orlando have embraced the technology, offering to track costs and ROI for the brand and their fellow franchisees across the country. Senior management, marketing, IT and area managers quickly followed suit and made it easy for everyone to integrate this new business model into their day-to-day operations.

“We have many innovative franchisees who are certainly willing to try new things and be at the forefront of the changing marketing environment,” he says.

For Hope, who first worked with Jersey Mike’s as the owner of an ad agency when the brand had only 30 locations, the approach is to add layers to the brand’s marketing base as local neighborhood sandwich shop. The biggest buy-in—both from franchisees and customers—comes from Jersey Mike’s annual Donation Month, where locations accept donations throughout the month, leading up to the brand’s hugely popular Donation Day every 31 March. For the past two years, he says, each store has participated in the voluntary program, donating 100% of their proceeds from that day to a charity chosen by the local market.

While the campaign’s popularity continues to grow year after year, the numbers speak for themselves.

In 2021, Jersey Mike franchisees and customers donated $15 million to 200 charities nationwide, more than doubling the amount raised in 2019 when the company donated $7.3 million. dollars to local charities across the United States (Covid canceled the March 2020 campaign).

This year, the brand has raised more than $20 million for the Special Olympics USA 2022 Games, which will take place June 5-12 in Orlando. Recipients in previous years have included hospitals, youth organizations, food banks, etc. Since 2011, Jersey Mike’s has raised over $67 million for local charities across the United States through its annual Giving Month.