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19岁高中生把三明治店做到十亿美元

Jimmy John’s

在1983年,Jimmy John Liautaud 开始营业他的第一个三明治店: Jimmy John’s。

2016年9月8日星期四,Jimmy John’s 宣布Roark Capital Group 同意获取此公司大多数的股份。双方都未公开报价,但据报道,在2015年准备首次发行股票时,这个三明治连锁店的价值有20亿。

Jimmy John’s 在33年前初次营业时,唯一的店开在伊利诺伊州的查尔斯顿。刚刚毕业的高中生,Liautaud,从父亲那里贷款$25000后,开始了这家店。刚开始,店里只卖四种不同的三明治。

“这个地方周围有很多酒吧,”Liautaud在他的网站上描述着他的第一个三明治店。“太完美了!我只要多营业一会儿,学生们玩饿了就会来我这里。”

在接下来的十年里,Liautaud又开了10家店。没过多久,Jimmy John’s就开始开连锁店,在美国大幅度扩大。

Liautaud 对于公司扩张时遇到的问题非常坦白,尤其是在他把注意力集中在多开店而不是经营店的时候。

在2002年,Jimmy John’s 有160个店了,但Liautaud声称有70个都正在赔本。于是,他停止开连锁店,用了18个月在止损上下功夫。当第七个店倒闭后,Liautaud说他已经能够让其他的店成功运转起来了。

“我吸取了很大的教训,所以我就改变了成为连锁店加盟者的规矩,”他在公司的网站上写到。“我详细地说明了经营Jimmy John’s是如何的困难。我说明了长时间的工作、无情的天气、深夜与周末,还有所有需要投入到事业中的牺牲。我让人们很难进入到连锁店的系统里面。”

在连锁方面的投入使Jimmy John’sJimmy John’s 成为了美国最火的连锁店之一。去年,这家店在《企业家杂志》的500个连锁店上排名第一。

连锁店注重于天然的配料和食品的新鲜,还注重于速度——Liautaud声称他的员工们可以在60秒内做出一个三明治。

不幸的是,Jimmy John’s近些年来遇到了一些困难。2014年,连锁店面临了抵制与诉讼,原因在于它要求员工签订非竞争同意书,意味着员工下岗后两年都不可在Jimmy John’s的竞争对手,像Subway,Potbelly等店中做工。据报道,Jimmy John’s在2014年底已经停止推荐授权者采用非竞争同意书,并在2016年6月官方同意停止在雇佣公文中包括此同意书。

Jimmy John’s在2011年又收到媒体差评,因Liautaud威胁着要将公司总部从伊利诺伊州搬到一个税收低的州里。他没有坚持到底,因此公司依然留在伊利诺伊州的香槟市。

去年,一张2010年游猎时的照片使得Liautaud再次受到攻击。在照片中,他站在一只死犀牛、花豹和一些死象旁。他从此说他再也不玩非洲捕猎的游戏了。

Liautaud会继续做公司的主席,并留作Roark集团之下最多的个人股份拥有者。“我用了两年去了解Roark集团,”Liautaud在周四的陈词中说道,“他们拥有把这个品牌提升到一个新档次的专业知识与能力。” Jimmy John’s只是Roark收购的一长串连锁店中最晚的一个。

(翻译:Ruoshui 八年级)

Article Source:Business Insider

How a 19-year-old turned a sandwich shop into a billion-dollar business

Jimmy John’s has come a long way since 1983, when Jimmy John Liautaud opened his first sandwich shop.

On Thursday, Jimmy John’s announced that Roark Capital Group had signed an agreement to acquire a majority interest in the company. Neither party disclosed the price, but the sandwich chain was reportedly valued at $2 billion when it prepared to IPO in 2015.

Jimmy John’s started 33 years ago as a single location in Charleston, Illinois. Liautaud, a recent high-school graduate, opened the sandwich shop — which had just four sandwiches on the menu — after taking out a $25,000 loan from his father.

“The  location was surrounded by bars,” Liautaud says about the first shop on Jimmy John’s website. “Perfect! Students drink, they get hungry, I’d stay open late, and I would feed them. Boom!”

In 10 years, Liautaud opened 10 locations. Soon, Jimmy John’s began franchising and expanding across the US.

Liautaud is upfront about problems the company encountered while expanding, especially when franchising locations instead of keeping all sandwich shops company run.

In 2002, Jimmy John’s had 160 shops — but, according to Liautaud, 70 were failing. So, he stopped selling franchises, and took 18 months to focus on damage control. While seven shops closed down, Liautaud says he was able to help turn business around at the rest.

“I learned a lot from that experience so I changed the rules for allowing people to buy into my system as a franchisee,” he writes on the company website. “I explained in detail how tough running a Jimmy John’s can be. I explained the long hours, the unforgiving weather, the late nights, the weekends, and all of the sacrifices that go along with the industry. I made it tough for people to get into the system.”

Focusing on franchising helped Jimmy John’s become one of the hottest franchise concepts in the US. Last year, the chain was named No. 1 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list.

The chain emphasizes its lack of artificial ingredients and use of fresh produce. Also key — Jimmy John’s is focused on speed: Liautaud claims  his workers can make a sandwich in 60 seconds flat.

However, the Jimmy John’s has faced some problems in recent years.

In 2014, the chain faced backlash — and a lawsuit — for requiring employees to sign noncompete agreements, meaning they couldn’t work for competitors such as Subway or Potbelly for two years after leaving their jobs. Jimmy John’s reportedly stopped recommending franchisees use noncompete agreements later in 2014, and officially agreed to stop including the agreement in hiring documents in New York as part of a settlement with the New York attorney general’s office in  June 2016.

Jimmy John’s also received some negative press in 2011 when Liautaud threatened to move the company’s headquarters from Illinois to a more tax-friendly state. The founder never followed through on the threat, and the company remains headquartered in Champaign, Illinois.

Last year, Liautaud came under fire after photos surfaced of him posting with dead elephants, a rhinoceros, and a leopard taken during a 2010 safari. He has since said he doesn’t hunt big African game anymore.

Liautaud will continue to serve as chairman of Jimmy John’s board of directors and remain the company’s largest single individual shareholder following Roark’s acquisition.

“I’ve spent two years getting to know the Roark team,” Liautaud said in a statement on Thursday. “They are best-in-class people that have the knowledge and expertise that will help us take this brand to the next level.”

Jimmy John’s is just the latest in a long list of chains acquired by Roark.

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