4. Jersey Mike's Subs
sandwich sub-shop has taken the country by storm. Just look on the company's website and you will see the numerous local awards it has won for Best Sandwich Shop, Best Place for Lunch and Best Steak & Cheese, among others.
With culture so important to the company, Olson names Jersey Mike's as one of the companies that "bleeds the brand."
"They truly have a culture, they have good operators, they have ones coming over from other systems and operating and they do very well," Olson says. "Everybody is marching to the drum together, they're growing and there is this fever."
He adds that even during franchise discovery days, the company takes potential new franchisees to the [Jersey Shore] boardwalk so that people who aren't from New Jersey have a sense of their tradition, he says.
Starting with just one shop in Point Pleasant, N.J., Peter Cancro loved working at the store so much decided as a high-school student that he decided to buy it in the early 1980s when the original owners sold. He began franchising the company in 1987, changing its name to Jersey Mike's Subs to reflect its regionalism. Now, the company reports on its website that it has more than 600 stores open or under development across the U.S.