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, 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 secondary 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 ensure his loan. His coach did, and he became the proud owner of Mike’s at the age of 17.
From there he opened some more stores, however it wasnt until 1987 he started franchising and added Jersey towards the name. In a conversation with Jersey Mike’s President Hoyt Jones, he informed me at the end of 2019 they’ll maintain 49 states (sorry, Alaska) and have close to 1,700 stores, with 200 freshly opened in 2019. A 2018 Inc. magazine story quotes Cancro as saying, We’re just getting started and continues to talk about how, within the next 5 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 out of two you’re standing in just one at this time. 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 because of that heated treadmill oven that toasted their subs, but is currently as a result of less than 400 (turns out other places could also toast subs).
Precisely what is Jersey Mike’s attempting 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. You will find 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 of 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 all of that, it’s just a couple scattered tables and booths, and the only indication of the beach is an indication of a beach, as well as a surfboard on the wall. But you’ve still got the deli case!
But what exactly are they thinking?!? To be able to ascertain their intentions, I begged a fancy creative director in a fancy advertising agency to view a lot of Jersey Mike’s commercials and present thoughts: “They’re clearly going for the company lunch crowd — characters are usually in their 20s and 30s, large amount of office shots, not families. Voiceover talent is same age as the target audience, as well as the style is terse, and ‘clever?’ The conclusion card always shows a wrapped up sub snagged with a consumer, which, again, makes me think they don’t expect you to eat there. And the tagline ‘A Sub Above’ will not be exactly ‘Just Do It’ or ‘Imported from Detroit,’ but I guess it gets throughout the message that the sub is preferable over competitors.”
As their advertising and limited decor suggest, Jersey Mike’s is attempting to own the fast business lunch, office catering, and delivery apps crowd by proving that they’re a greater quality choice than Subway on the same speed and other price point, and never a good deal of step down out of your actual local deli, however with more convenience, speed, and wall-mounted surfboards. Jones confirmed they were leaning in difficult to delivery, mentioning that they had national contracts with all major online delivery companies, and had even integrated UberEats and DoorDash into their proprietary POS system. This is interesting, because sandwich shops inherently have more of a mix of blue collar and city workers, and college and school students, so if they think that’s already their base, the push for the white collar crowd seems aspirational.
More than that, Jersey Mike’s is fascinating, partly due to the bold growth strategy, partly due to its unique environment (Jones told me every franchisee must arrived at Jersey for any week, then spend some time in the field at certified training store), but mostly because, within this heavily saturated time as more and more food entrepreneurs attempt to branch out into increasingly niche corners from the fast casual market, it seems strangely retro for any throwback sub shop through the Jersey shore to bet it can carve out a large slice in 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
The Way I made it happen: During the period of monthly, I went 3 times to 2 different Northern California Jersey Mike’s locations. Altogether, I attempted ten sandwiches and three desserts. Per the ethics of these reviews, I didn’t inform anyone at Jersey Mike’s I used to be coming, I bought all my food, and i also didnt even subscribe to Shore Points, even though 48 would’ve gotten me a free mini size sub.
Bonus Disclaimer: Item availability may vary from franchise to franchise (unfortunately, not everybody stocks TastyKakes).
Now returning to the cheesesteak.
The Best Stuff:
In my view, so that you can qualify 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 whenever you bite down.
3) The cheese (Whiz or American) should be in the correct melty consistency to do something as a binding agent for your meat, cheese and onions without overwhelming the whole production.
The cheesesteak at Jersey Mikes catering menu had those elements. The roll, in which the woman on the counter told me was baked in the morning from dough shipped from Jersey (a company spokesman confirmed this, telling me the key to the bread will be the Jersey water! and this 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 elements of the sandwich. The steak was chopped correctly and devoid of those chewy fatty gristle bits frequently apparent in off-Philly cheesesteak productions. The onions and peppers tasted like real vegetables with some bite but were not over greasy and oily. The white American cheese hugged those elements together without suffocating them, similar to a good parent should, RIGHT DAD?