Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Cousins Subs
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Cousins Subs

Midwest-based Cousins Subs continues to stand out as a top business ownership opportunity.

1. Cousins Subs boasts strong unit-level economics and increasing AUVs – ahead of industry averages.

In fiscal year 2017, the top performing 22 traditional franchised locations of 67 franchised locations, had average unit volumes (AUVs) of $839,064*. The overall system grew its AUVs by 41 percent between fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2017.**

2. Cousins Subs’ growth has been stable and concentric. Territory is available in desired markets.

Midwest-based Cousins Subs currently has 100 locations in Wisconsin, with a 40-unit deal to expand into Chicagoland. The brand is looking to grow its footprint in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

3. Cousins Subs is family-owned, and that sentiment extends to franchise partners.

Founded by cousins Bill Specht and Jim Sheppard in 1972, Cousins Subs remains a family-owned brand with Specht’s daughter Christine serving as president and CEO. The brand considers its franchisees to be part of its extended family and is selective about what type of franchisees can enter the system.

4. The leadership team is strong, loyal and committed to franchise growth, with 40+ years of collective Cousins experience.

Under the leadership of Specht, the brand’s leadership team is comprised of forward-thinking franchise industry veterans and tenured Cousins’ employees who are committed to growing the brand across Midwest.

“When we met with the leadership team, they were extremely friendly, humble, respectful and easy to talk to. That was one of the things that convinced us to move forward,” said Amit Patel, Chicagoland area franchisee.

5. The Cousins Subs’ leadership team prides itself on franchisee support.

The leadership team and corporate support center staff at Cousins is robust, especially for a 100-unit brand. The team provides franchise owners with a blueprint for success, including an integrated marketing approach that encompasses digital, traditional and in-store point-of-purchase marketing, as well as training and operations tools and support.

“We went from calling it the corporate office to the corporate support center,” said multi-unit Cousins Subs franchisee Tom Jones. “The culture has morphed into an incredibly collaborative relationship. They know what’s best for the business and what’s best for the stores — it’s truly a family relationship.”

6. For nearly 50 years, the brand has stood behind its quality product with locally-sourced ingredients.

In the crowded sandwich segment, Cousins Subs stands out due to its better bread that’s baked fresh each day, deli-fresh ingredients that are locally-sourced whenever possible, and their signature made to order grilled subs, fries and Wisconsin Cheese Curds as side items. This higher level of quality extends to the brand’s service as well.

7. Cousins Subs’ franchisees are passionate and growing with the brand. In fact, 18 out of 45 are multi-unit operators.

40 percent of franchisees own more than one location and the brand has captured the attention of multi-unit franchise groups looking to diversify their portfolio with a proven brand.

8. Cousins Subs is constantly innovating to improve unit-level economics and makes investments on behalf of the franchisees.

Cousins Subs’ corporate team stayed true to the company’s mission to believe in better when in 2015, they implemented a grill incentive program to its franchise partners to ensure that the system was providing a uniform experience and quality to guests. Now, all guests can enjoy subs hot off the grill no matter which Cousins restaurant they choose to visit. And, as a continuation of its efforts to remain at the forefront of competition, the brand has bolstered its IT infrastructure both in-store and online. In 2016, Cousins added a mobile app to enhance its ordering process and improve the user experience. In 2017, the sub shop launched a new responsive consumer site that increases functionality in the areas of product information, online ordering and restaurant information. Its most current technological undertaking was to fully fund the replacement of all point-of-sale systems as well as redesign the in-store network in all corporate and franchised units. The result moves the management of in-store technology from the restaurant owner to the Cousins’ corporate support center, allowing the owner to focus on providing quality products with 100% guest service.

9. The sandwich segment is in-demand, and Cousins Subs stands out.

In a report by Technomic, a consulting and research firm that provides consumer-grounded, channel-relevant data, shows that “sandwiches remain a popular item with 61 percent of consumers eating them at least once a week.” This data combined with Cousins’ strategic plan to grow its footprint across the Midwest makes this sub shop one to watch in the sandwich segment.

10. The Cousins Subs corporate team and franchisees believe in community involvement and charitable giving.

Cousins Subs established the Make It Better Foundation in 2013 to give back to the communities it serves. Aiming to improve the general welfare and quality of life in the communities the sub shops serves, the foundation has given more than $312,000 to organizations that focus on youth education, hunger and health & wellness.

*See Item 19, page 47, Part 1-B of the Cousins Subs Franchise Disclosure Document for more information.  

The fiscal calendar ends on the last Saturday of any calendar year. The fiscal year for 2016 included 53 weeks as a result, compared to 52 weeks each for 2015 and 2017.The numbers are for the fiscal years ending December 26, 2015, December 31, 2016 and December 30, 2017. The numbers are derived from the affiliate-owned and franchised Shops that were open the entire applicable fiscal year. They do not include Shops that were opened during the applicable fiscal year or closed for an extended period during a remodel. Some Shops have earned this amount. Your individual results may differ. There is no assurance that you’ll earn as much. The geographic location, demographics, population density, competition and occupancy rates of a franchisee’s Shop may differ materially from the locations described above. 

**See Item 19, page 53, Part 3 of the Cousins Subs Franchise Disclosure Document for more information. 

The “Average Unit Volume” is the average of the Average Weekly Volume for all weeks of the applicable fiscal year multiplied by 52. The “Average Weekly Volume” is the average of the Net Sales for all Shops that were open for the applicable fiscal week. To calculate the Average Weekly Volume we combined the Net Sales of all Shops (including all franchised and affiliated-owned Shops, and all traditional and non-traditional shops) that were open during the applicable fiscal week, and divided the total Net Sales by the number of Shops that had been open during that fiscal week. “Net Sales” is the aggregate amount of all sales of food products, beverages and other merchandise and products of every kind or nature sold from, at or in connection with a Shop or arising out of the operation or conduct of business by a Shop, including any revenues from all vending machine, video game machine and juke box sales, less any employee discounts, coupons and customer refunds up to the amount of the sales price. A fiscal week refers to a week beginning on a Sunday and ending on the following Saturday. For purposes of calculating the Average Weekly Volume, the number of Shops included in the calculation varied from week to week (ranging from 100 Shops to 148 Shops) depending on the number of Shops that were actually open during the applicable fiscal week.

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