Where did Jersey Mikes come from? Similar to Moses, the Jersey Mikes legend starts by the water and seems improbable. In 1971 at the Jersey shore city of Point Pleasant, not far away from Springsteens Asbury Park turf, https://www.jerseymikes.com/menu 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 make sure his loan. His coach did, and that he became the proud owner of Mike’s at the age of 17.
After that he opened a few more stores, nevertheless it wasnt until 1987 which he started franchising and added Jersey to the name. In a conversation with Jersey Mike’s President Hoyt Jones, he told me in the end of 2019 they’ll be in 49 states (sorry, Alaska) and also have near to 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 goes on to talk about how, within the next five-years, they need to add another 1,500 locations.
Do you need some competitor context? Subway, quite alarmingly, has nearly 45,000 locations. Chances are like one in two you’re standing in just 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 genuine rival to Subway due to that heated treadmill oven that toasted their subs, but has become right down to under 400 (ends up other places could also toast subs).
What is Jersey Mike’s seeking to do now? I’d as if you to do a visual exercise in nostalgia: imagine you’re in a surf shack deli on the beach in Jersey. There exists a big glass case showcasing the meats. There exists 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 throughout the River and everyone cries while eating saltwater taffy. That’s the Jersey Mike’s decor. Except as opposed to everything that, it’s only a few scattered tables and booths, as well as the only sign of the beach is a sign of a beach, and a surfboard on the wall. But you’ve still got the deli case!
But exactly what are they thinking?!? In order to ascertain their intentions, I begged a fancy creative director with a fancy advertising agency to look at a variety of Jersey Mike’s commercials and give thoughts: “They’re clearly choosing the company lunch crowd — characters are usually within their 20s and 30s, large amount of office shots, not families. Voiceover talent is same age since the target market, and the style is terse, and ‘clever?’ The conclusion card always shows a wrapped up sub snagged by a consumer, which, again, makes me think they don’t expect you to definitely eat there. And also the tagline ‘A Sub Above’ is not really exactly ‘Just Do It’ or ‘Imported from Detroit,’ but I guess it gets throughout the message that their sub is preferable over competitors.”
As his or her advertising and limited decor suggest, Jersey Mike’s is trying to own the fast business lunch, office catering, and delivery apps crowd by proving that they’re an increased quality choice than Subway in the same speed and similar price point, rather than a great deal of step down from the actual local deli, however with more convenience, speed, and wall-mounted surfboards. Jones confirmed they were leaning in tough to delivery, mentioning they had national contracts with all of major online delivery companies, and had even integrated UberEats and DoorDash within their proprietary POS system. This can be interesting, because sandwich shops inherently attract more of a mixture of blue collar and city workers, and college and high school students, so if they feel that’s already their base, the push for your white collar crowd seems aspirational.
More than this, Jersey Mike’s itself is fascinating, partly because of its bold growth strategy, partly due to the unique environment (Jones informed me every franchisee must arrived at Jersey for any week, then spend time within the field at certified training store), but mostly because, in this particular heavily saturated time as increasing numbers of food entrepreneurs attempt to branch out into increasingly niche corners of the fast casual market, it seems strangely retro for a throwback sub shop from the Jersey shore to bet it may carve out a sizable slice of the working American lunch scene. And yes, 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
The Way I made it happen: Over the course of monthly, I went 3 x to 2 different Northern California Jersey Mike’s locations. In total, I tried ten sandwiches and three desserts. Per the ethics of such reviews, I didn’t inform anyone at Jersey Mike’s I had been coming, I bought all of my food, and that i didnt even subscribe to Shore Points, despite the fact that 48 would’ve gotten us a free mini size sub.
Bonus Disclaimer: Item availability can vary greatly from franchise to franchise (unfortunately, not every person stocks TastyKakes).
Now back to the cheesesteak.
The Great Stuff:
In my view, so that you can be entitled to glory, a cheesesteak must posses this Hylian Triforce of elements:
1) The roll has to be toasty and warm and able to withstand the grease of the melted cheese, meat, and onions/peppers without sogging through.
2) The chopped steak should be crispy and tender, without a good amount of the fatty, inedible bits that bounce your teeth back when you bite down.
3) The cheese (Whiz or American) has to be from the correct melty consistency to behave being a binding agent for that meat, cheese and onions without overwhelming the complete production.
The cheesesteak at Jersey Mikes subs menu had all of those elements. The roll, that the woman on the counter told me was baked every morning from dough shipped from Jersey (an organization spokesman confirmed this, telling me the key towards the bread is definitely the Jersey water! and that a longtime bread supplier in Jersey ships the dough out fresh to locations 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, just like a great parent should, RIGHT DAD?