Jimmy John’s Owner Jimmy John Liautaud on his Success


[intro music]>>ANNOUNCER: This is “Monsters & Money in
the Morning”.>>WHISPER: Monsters!>>SUSAN CARLSON: Coming up, it’s the gourmet
sandwich shop with the freakishly fast delivery! We will introduce you to the man behind Jimmy
John’s: Jimmy John himself at the roundtable, coming
up next. Don’t wanna miss that! Plus, the Big Ten…>>MANCOW MULLER: Yeah, alright. Uhhh, Orville Redenbacher – real or fake? Real guy! Died in 1995 – Valparaiso guy. There he is – Orville! Chef Boyardee – Spaghetti-O’s, right? Real or fake? Uh, real guy – there he is! Real guy, died in 1985, he was Woodrow Wilson’s
caterer. Now, my wife messed up on this. This was supposed to be Duncan Hines. She said, “What’s the difference?” I don’t like uhhh, uhhh, Equal; I like Sweet
‘N Low. Protect my interests and serve my needs! I said I needed Duncan Hines. Anyway, Duncan Hines – real or fake? Real guy! He was a restaurant reviewer, he was the original
Zagat. Captain Crunch – real or fake?>>TERRY SAVAGE: That’s fake!>>MANCOW MULLER: No, actually real. Murdered by pirates, his throat was cut in
1974 in the Caribbean. Jimmy John, huh! Freaky fast? It’s about his love-making. That’s where he got it. [phone rings] Wait, what’s that?>>JIMMY JOHN’S EMPLOYEE: Jimmy John’s, how
can I help you?>>MANCOW MULLER: The sandwiches are already
here and we didn’t even dial! He’s a real guy and he’s a dear friend of
mine. He’s a great American success story. Last time we had the guy from McDonalds, this
is the fastest-growing restaurant chain in America. Jimmy John – a Chicago boy, real guy, and
there he is. If you wondered what he looked like, there
he is.>>HOSTS: Welcome!>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Thank you, thank you,
thank you. Great to be here.>>TERRY SAVAGE: You’ve got a thousand restaurants. I’m, ya know, I’m a Beach Club #12, no mayo. I found this, I discovered this years ago,
and I’m a real fan, I carry a little card around. What’s this, how did you know you could, did
you know you could grow this business from one sandwich shop into this national franchise? I mean, the way that Ray Kroc did it. Really, literally!>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: I had no clue, I had
no idea it was gonna be what it is today. No plan for it, I was gonna open one store,
run it, get accepted at Eastern Illinois University, sell the business, get a real job. So I started, went one semester, and I couldn’t
even finish that. It was too boring, and I just started making
sandwiches, and one led to another, and here we are.>>HOSTS: Wow!>>TERRY SAVAGE: How’s a franchise, how does,
how much does that go for these days? I was looking at your website, and it, it
talks about making a quarter of a million dollars after food and, and costs.>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Well, because of the
law, we’re not allowed to discuss all the profits and promise. But we’ve been very successful, we have over
a thousand stores, and 80% of the people who open a Jimmy John’s
are current franchisees, so that’s cool.>>MANCOW MULLER: Jimmy, I’m a Vito. I like the Vito, and, uhhh, but they’re all
great. and I, I get it without the bread; I get it
with the lettuce, and who cares about that? Uhhh, look, you’re a great American success
story. We had the guy that ran McDonalds, started
flipping burgers for 85 cents. You’re making good sandwiches for your friends. What college?>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Eastern Illinois.>>MANCOW MULLER: Eastern Illinois. You opened a little sandwich shop that caught
on. And now, you’ve gone from nothing to something. You’re a great American success story. Do you feel like a hero, or do you feel like
you’re being attacked in this new anti-business atmosphere in America?>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Well, I really feel
like I’m caught between a rock and a hard place, because I was a small business, and everybody
says, “Small business is wonderful!”>>MANCOW MULLER: You’re a hero!>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: And my business consists
of a thousand and fifty restaurants, run by Mom & Pop America who runs…>>MANCOW MULLER: How many employees? How many employees?>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: 50,000+ employees.>>MANCOW MULLER: So you’re a good guy in
this economy!>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Well, yes. Well, yeah, we’re doing well in this economy. But, ya know, how are we perceived? I think the Jimmy John’s owners are perceived
as good people, and I think I’m the franchise owner, so there
must be “something wrong with me” because I’m in charge of this large organization,
so…>>MANCOW MULLER: Success is punished in America!>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Well, I don’t think
it’s as championed as it used to be. Yeah.>>MIKE HEGEDUS: How do they, how do they
get money? Uhhh, is access to capital as easy as it used
to be for these guys: men & women who want to get into this business? I want to start one today, as an example. How do I get, how do I, where does my funding
come from? Is there a hitch in the get-along here relative
to funding?>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Well, you have to
have about a hundred, a hundred fifty thousand dollars of your own money to do it. So you do have to have some cash, and then
you can get an SBA loan. But you do have to have some money, and how
you get it is up to you.>>MIKE HEGEDUS: So now, but is access easy? In other words, are you finding people who
come and want to be franchisees – do they have as easy access to cash as they used to?>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: No, I think it’s a
tougher market right now for sure. Absolutely.>>MANCOW MULLER: You know, I had a great
moment with him. We did a, we did a silly radio show, and he
came in, and we called on the radio different Jimmy John’s to have sandwiches delivered,
and nobody believed it was him! [laughter] They were hanging up on us!>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: I’m rather unremarkable.>>MANCOW MULLER: “Hey, It’s Jimmy John, I
need a, I need a Vito!” Click! “Yeah, Jimmy John called!” And then we went to those restaurants, you
should have seen the faces when the employees… AAAAAHHH!!! Imagine Ronald walking into your restaurant
– that’s Jimmy John!>>TERRY SAVAGE: Jimmy John, you’ve made an
amazing difference in sandwiches. Nothing’s pre-sliced – you slice it there. Everything’s fresh – the vegetables. I know how franchising runs – it’s gotta come
from a plastic bag and be portion controlled. How can you do that and have a thousand restaurants? How does that work?>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: I think the reason
we have a thousand restaurants is that’s what we do. And I don’t want to be the biggest, I want
to be the best at what I do. And I won’t sacrifice anything, I won’t sacrifice
quality. The reason that we do that is the reason that
we have the restaurants that we have. So we’ve grown slow and steady. Well, now we open a store a day.>>MANCOW MULLER: A store a day! Wow!>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: But, we just focus
on making it right.>>TERRY SAVAGE: And before I let you go,
and they’re waving me off, you’re a true entrepreneur.>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Yeah.>>TERRY SAVAGE: You’re a true entrepreneur
in America. Could you, could someone do it again? And what’s your advice to that person who
wants to start that big business today?>>JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD: Listen to your customers,
outwork your competition, end of story.>>MIKE HEGEDUS: And you can still do it. I’m convinced you can still do it. Jimmy John, congratulations and thanks for
coming! And the sandwiches are over there!>>MANCOW MULLER: Have you always been so
handsome? Have you always been so handsome? [Laughter]>>MIKE HEGEDUS: Alright, big changes ahead
for the Big Ten…

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