How Much Does it Cost to Open a Firehouse Subs Franchise? (Costs + Fees + FDD)

You should have an idea about the firehouse subs franchise if making and serving premium gourmet subs is your passion. There’s a lot to know before taking that big step to starting a business.


Firehouse Subs is regarded as one of the best-performing sandwich franchises you can buy, with 1,155 locations.

They specialize in selling high-end sub-sandwiches with wholesome meat and cheese. In a distinctive setting inspired by firefighting, Firehouse Subs delivers hot sandwiches at reasonable costs. 

Barbecue Cuban Sub, Italian Sub, and Hook and Ladder Sub are a few of their best-selling menu items.

Brothers Robin and Chris Sorensen, both former firefighters, created the well-known fast-casual restaurant franchise Firehouse Subs in the United States in 1994. 

Popular choices on the menu, which draw influence from the firehouse, include the Barbecue Cuban Sub, the Italian Sub, and the Hook and Ladder Sub. 

They are quickly growing and can offer their franchisees nice profits.

How Much Does it Cost to Open Firehouse Subs?

This sub-sandwich chain will require a total expenditure of about $350,000. You might anticipate a bigger investment if you choose to build a drive-thru (highly advised). 

The franchise cost for this sandwich business is $20,000. You must have at least $80,000 in liquid money to get started in order to be eligible for a loan to cover the rest of your startup costs.

Do you believe you can withstand the pressure Firehouse Subs franchisees face? To learn more about the advantages and difficulties of establishing this sandwich business, read this guide below.

Financial Requirements and Fees

According to Firehouse Subs’ official website, you can anticipate paying the following fees and meeting the following financial requirements:

Fees / ExpensesFinancial Amount
Liquid Capital$80,000
Net Worth$350,000 to $ 425,000
Total Investment$350,000
Franchise Fee$20,000

In addition to these costs, Firehouse Subs demands 6% in royalties and 3%–5% in advertising royalties. 

Additionally, Firehouse Subs offers a veteran’s incentive that saves you 10% on the cost of opening your first location. 

The agreement to operate the Firehouse Subs franchise has a ten-year lifespan.

Before submitting a franchise application, you must determine that you are okay with giving the company between 9% and 11% of the overall sales. 

This will be a major monthly business expense that you will incur. The overhead increases when you take into account the cost of a lease, food, and labor.

Average Sales / Revenue per Year

According to Restaurant Business Online, Firehouse Subs will bring in $840 million in revenue in 2020. 

And even if they could have lost a few units this year, the health problem did not appear to have a detrimental effect on their sales. 

Because Firehouse Subs was already well-known for having consumers order their subs for take-out and pick-up rather than dining in, the pandemic was unable to damage them as much.

Statista data reveals that Firehouse Subs sales have been steadily increasing since 2014. The business anticipates continued expansion during the ensuing five years.

How Much Does Firehouse Subs Make in Profit?

Although the precise amount of Firehouse Subs’ profits are unknown, they are expected to generate $832 million in 2020, as was already revealed. 

The best average revenue figures I can give are $720,346 per store based on the 1,155 units.

You could anticipate making $108,051 if you operate a sandwich shop at the normal 15% profit margin for the sector. 

Given that we are unsure of the precise costs associated with Firehouse Subs, this is a back-of-the-napkin estimate.

Firehouse Subs Franchise Facts

Total UnitsOver 1,100
Incorporated NameFirehouse Subs
Franchising Since1995
IndustryFast Casual Restaurant
SubsectorFood and Beverage

Chris and Robin Sorensen, two brothers, launched Firehouse Subs in 1994. Both brothers worked as firefighters for Jacksonville Fire and Rescue. 

Prior to starting Firehouse Subs, they made a few tries at other businesses, like growing Christmas trees, but the sandwich shop was by far their most profitable endeavor.

It’s vital to remember that when Firehouse Subs was founded, the founders had less than $100 in their accounts. 

Being broke, according to Robin Sorensen, taught them to be patient when managing the company. 

They were able to launch the business with the aid of money from friends and family. 

Although the brothers started the business in 1994, it wasn’t until 2004 that they were able to start taking earnings. In 2001, the brothers paid off all of their debts.

One factor that helped Firehouse Subs survive during lockdowns was the fact that it was designed to be taken out and ready for curbside pickup. 

Additionally, the business provides catering services, making it simple for consumers to pick up platters and box lunches for gatherings with coworkers, friends, or family.

The numerous accolades that Firehouse Subs has collected over the years attest to its reputation as a franchise. 

Some of these include being ranked 91st among the Top 400 Franchises by Franchise Time in 2021 and being ranked number 58 among the Top 500 Restaurant Chains of 2020. 

According to the Jacksonville Business Journal’s list of the 30 largest employers for 2021, they rank first among caterers.

Advantages of a Firehouse Subs Franchise

firehouse subs franchise

Like other businesses, Firehouse Subs has positives and negatives. Below, we concentrate on the benefits of joining this chain of sub-sandwiches:

1. Fulfilling Work and Supporting Communities

It’s no secret that Firehouse Subs donates a portion of its profits to support first responders.

Since its founding, the chain’s foundation, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, has donated more than $62.5 million to fund first responders’ equipment and training needs.

One of their franchise operators will be able to carry the pride of being a part of a company that supports local communities.

2. Helping Out Franchise Operators

In addition to supporting first responders, Firehouse Subs also supports the owners of its franchises. 

Consider what occurred in March 2020 during the epidemic as an example. During this time, Firehouse Subs did not charge its operators any royalties or take any advertising fees.

Deferred payments were in effect after the company urged its operators to start paying fees once more. 

Corporate was aware of how difficult the pandemic was for franchise owners, so rather than putting pressure on them, they did the right thing and provided assistance. 

In the event of economic difficulties, you can be more assured that you’ll be in excellent hands if you have this type of business approach.

3. Menu

Customers may be sure they will receive a gourmet sub from Firehouse Subs because the menu features premium meat and ingredients. 

For those who don’t like sandwiches, they also serve salads in addition to soup, chili, and baked sweets.

Customers can easily order to go because the entire menu is set out for pick-up and takeout. 

This sub-sandwich chain is well-liked because of how convenient it is, especially at this time when many are still cautious to eat out.

Challenges of a Firehouse Subs Franchise

Here are some of the difficulties you might encounter as a Firehouse Subs franchise owner.

1. Limited Global Presence

Firehouse Subs is a well-known brand. Despite being active for more than 25 years, they don’t appear to have expanded outside of the United States. 

There are no Firehouse Subs in other countries outside Canada and Puerto Rico.

There is a chance that they may go head-to-head with major sub-sandwich restaurants like Subway if they could establish a global footprint. 

On the other hand, Firehouse Subs has a lot of room to grow and expand its brand recognition both domestically and abroad.

2. Add-Ons

It’s nice that Firehouse Subs offers a condensed menu to prevent menu confusion among customers. 

However, it would be even better if they could choose from a wider selection of soups and sides to accompany their meal. 

In addition to these, they ought to think about adding wraps and perhaps morning meals. The system-wide revenue stream may also be strengthened by these additions.

3. Marketing

The marketing presence of Firehouse Subs isn’t as prominent as that of certain American sub-sandwich chains. 

This is probably because there are fewer franchisees and a lesser advertising budget. National visibility could help businesses attract more clients.

4. The Wild Card

Firehouse Subs will be acquired by Restaurant Brands International (RBI), according to a November 2021 announcement. 

The parent business of well-known food companies like Popeyes and Burger King is the same. 

According to a company representative, the brand has enormous US and global expansion potential. 

You should anticipate a significant increase in the number of Firehouse Subs stores in the upcoming years based on this acquisition and statements made by corporate officials.

Is Firehouse Subs Franchise Right For You?

In the end, Firehouse Subs might be for you if you’re searching for a straightforward but effective sub sandwich chain. 

They have a business mindset that benefits franchise operators as well as the communities in which they operate, and other franchisees have generally favorable things to say about them. 

The fact that Firehouse Subs has become well-known over the years makes it an excellent business to introduce to your community.

What is an Alternative Firehouse Subs Franchise?

Subway is a different chain of sub shops you might try. Since 1965, Subway has operated in more than 43,000 locations across the globe. 

You can choose from a menu or create your own unique sandwich, just like Firehouse Subs. They also provide salads, wraps, and other vegetarian options.

For a Subway franchise, you will require $40,000 in liquid capital. The initial franchise fee is $15,000. With our guide, learn more about franchising Subway and the various costs involved.


Over the past three years, Firehouse Subs has seen improvements in both franchise units and average franchise revenues. 

The initial costs of starting a franchise are substantial, though, and given the industry’s multiple, it will be challenging to sell the franchise for a profit. 

Purchasing more than one Firehouse Subs franchise increases your chances of making a profit. Even if this might be the right business for you, be sure to look at other opportunities.

By chance, are you prepared to open a local Firehouse Subs? We really hope that this guide was able to assist you in deciding whether opening a Firehouse Subs franchise is the best choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

$75,000 to 125,000.


Yes, it is.

Restaurant Brands International bought firehouse sub for $1 billion.


Between $1,314,500 and $2,306,500.


Restaurant Brands International

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