Giving back to the local communities it calls homes is a part of Jersey Mike's grand opening process. Franchisee TC Krueger explains why this is helpful in growing a business.
Philanthropy is an important pillar of any successful business, and Jersey Mike's Subs takes great pride in supporting a variety of charities within the communities it serves. Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s Subs and its franchisees have come together to raise over $34 million for hundreds of local charities and organizations.
Recently, 1851 Magazine spoke with TC Krueger, a Jersey Mike’s franchisee in northern Utah, who emphasizes the importance of not only the brand’s annual fundraising initiative in March, but giving back year-round.
1851: How important is it to give back to your local community as it relates to growing your business?
Krueger: Giving back is a huge part of Jersey Mike's! For every Grand Opening, we partner with a charity or local school to do a fundraiser as a part of our initial marketing. We give away 10,000-20,000 Free Sub Cards to the local community with a minimum $2 donation to our partnered charity or school. We also dedicate the month of March as our "Month of Giving", and the last Wednesday in March is our "Day of Giving" where we donate 100 percent of our sales. We've only been in Utah for a couple of years, but we've already raised $100,000 for Make-a-Wish Utah and at least $60,000 for other local charities and schools. We strongly believe that this engrains us in the local community and helps us grow our business by becoming a true neighbor and friend of the community. We believe that you get nothing without first giving back. And it works!
1851: What local or charitable outreach efforts have you made in order to connect with your local community?
Krueger: There's a lot! Make-a-Wish Utah, Jimmerosity, Choose Kindness Pleasant Grove, many of the local high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools, hospitals, developmental institutes, autism academies — the list goes on and on!
1851: What are your top ideas or tips to market your local business?
Krueger: Get very involved in everything local. Schools, charities, parades, events, auctions, fundraisers, etc. People love to support businesses that support local causes and community!
1851: How effective are charitable efforts in growing your business?
Krueger: Very effective. It's definitely our number one form of local marketing!
1851: What advice would you give to other franchisees who are just starting their businesses to best set themselves up for success on the local level?
Krueger: Get involved. You have to get outside of your store! Many small business owners and franchisees think that they can just simply work in the business and run good operations to be successful. While that is important, you must also work on your business. You have to go out to get people to come in. I think that's why so many businesses fail. They don't want to make the effort to get out and get involved and market locally. They'd rather take the easy way and simply spend money on coupons, mailers, ads, etc. Local efforts, grassroots marketing and community involvement are much cheaper and more effective. What it costs is time and effort.