Where did Jersey Mikes come from? Just like Moses, the Jersey Mikes legend starts by the water and seems improbable. In 1971 at the Jersey shore city of Point Pleasant, not far from Springsteens Asbury Park turf, Jersey Mikes menu with prices 2020 CEO Peter Cancro started working at a place called Mike’s Subs at age 14. When he was a senior in senior high school, he heard the owner was selling, so he asked his football coach (who was also a banker, because in 70s, anything was possible) to guarantee his loan. His coach did, and then he became the proud owner of Mike’s at the age of 17.
From there he opened more stores, however it wasnt until 1987 which he started franchising and added Jersey for the name. In a conversation with Jersey Mike’s President Hoyt Jones, he explained by the end of 2019 they’ll be in 49 states (sorry, Alaska) and also have near 1,700 stores, with 200 freshly opened in 2019. A 2018 Inc. magazine story quotes Cancro as saying, We’re just how to get started and continues to talk about how, over the next five years, they would like to add another 1,500 locations.
Do you need some competitor context? Subway, quite alarmingly, has nearly 45,000 locations. Odds are like one out of two you’re standing in one right now. Arby’s has 3,300. Jimmy John’s 2,800. Firehouse around 1,100. Quiznos at its peak in 2007 had over 4,700 locations and was considered a real rival to Subway due to that heated treadmill oven that toasted their subs, but is currently right down to under 400 (ends up other areas can also toast subs).
What exactly is Jersey Mike’s seeking to do now? I’d like you to accomplish a visual exercise in nostalgia: imagine you’re in a surf shack deli on the beach in Jersey. There is a big glass case showcasing the meats. There is certainly sand tracked in on the floor, and waves lapping outside as Bruce Springsteen plays a live set where he tells the long version from the story about his dad during The River and everyone cries while eating saltwater taffy. That’s the Jersey Mike’s decor. Except rather than all of that, it’s only a few scattered tables and booths, as well as the only indication of the beach is literally an indication of a beach, along with a surfboard on the wall. But you’ve still got the deli case!
But what are they thinking?!? To be able to ascertain their intentions, I begged a fancy creative director with a fancy advertising agency to look at a bunch of Jersey Mike’s commercials and give thoughts: “They’re clearly choosing the organization lunch crowd — characters will always be within their 20s and 30s, lot of office shots, not families. Voiceover talent is same age as the target audience, and also the style is terse, and ‘clever?’ The final card always shows a wrapped up sub snagged with a consumer, which, again, makes me think they don’t expect you to definitely eat there. And the tagline ‘A Sub Above’ is not exactly ‘Just Do It’ or ‘Imported from Detroit,’ having said that i guess it gets across the message that their sub is better than competitors.”
As his or her advertising and limited decor suggest, Jersey Mike’s is trying to obtain the fast business lunch, office catering, and delivery apps crowd by proving that they’re a higher quality choice than Subway in the same speed and similar price point, rather than much of a step down from the actual local deli, however with more convenience, speed, and wall-mounted surfboards. Jones confirmed that they were leaning in tough to delivery, mentioning they had national contracts with major online delivery companies, and had even integrated UberEats and DoorDash into their proprietary POS system. This is interesting, because sandwich shops inherently get more of a mix of blue collar and city workers, and college and school students, therefore if they feel that’s already their base, the push for the white collar crowd seems aspirational.
More than this, Jersey Mike’s itself is fascinating, partly due to its bold growth strategy, partly due to the unique environment (Jones informed me every franchisee must visit Jersey for any week, then invest some time inside the field at certified training store), but mostly because, in this heavily saturated time as increasing numbers of food entrepreneurs try to branch out into increasingly niche corners in the fast casual market, it appears strangely retro for any throwback sub shop from the Jersey shore to bet it could carve out a sizable slice from the working American lunch scene. You will find, which was a deli meat pun.
Cold subs ordered Mike’s Way are dressed with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, vinegar, oil and spices | Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Jersey Mikes Menu Review
How I made it happen: During the period of per month, I went 3 times to 2 different Northern California Jersey Mike’s locations. In total, I tried ten sandwiches and three desserts. Per the ethics of these reviews, I didn’t inform anyone at Jersey Mike’s I had been coming, I paid for all of my food, and that i didnt even join Shore Points, although 48 would’ve gotten me a free mini size sub.
Bonus Disclaimer: Item availability may vary from franchise to franchise (unfortunately, not every person stocks TastyKakes).
Now back to the cheesesteak.
The Great Stuff:
For me, to be able to be eligible for glory, a cheesesteak must posses this Hylian Triforce of elements:
1) The roll has to be toasty and warm capable to withstand the grease in the melted cheese, meat, and onions/peppers without sogging through.
2) The chopped steak has to be crispy and tender, without a great deal of the fatty, inedible bits that bounce your teeth back when you bite down.
3) The cheese (Whiz or American) must be of the correct melty consistency to do something as a binding agent for your meat, cheese and onions without overwhelming the entire production.
The cheesesteak at Jersey Mikes catering menu had those elements. The roll, which the woman in the counter told me was baked each morning from dough shipped out of Jersey (a company spokesman confirmed this, telling me the key towards the bread will be the Jersey water! and that a longtime bread supplier in Jersey ships the dough out fresh to locations all around the country), was rxdwsn and toasty and flaky and held up to the greasy components of the sandwich. The steak was chopped correctly and devoid of those chewy fatty gristle bits so frequently apparent in off-Philly cheesesteak productions. The onions and peppers tasted like real vegetables with a few bite but were not over greasy and oily. The white American cheese hugged all of the elements together without suffocating them, much like a great parent should, RIGHT DAD?