What You Should Know Before Eating At Jimmy John's AgainFeb 27, 2020
Jimmy John's is one of the new sandwich shops hurting longtime staples like Subway, but there's always more going on behind the scenes than most customers realize. So
knowabout this freaky fast chain? As devotees probably
know, Jimmy John is a real person. Jimmy John Liautaud started with the idea of owning his own business at an age when most of us are still trying to figure out
whatwe want to do with life. He laid the foundation for his restaurant chain when he was just 19, and he had one person to thank for everything: his father.
Liautaud's father gave him something of an ultimatum: join the US Army or start a business. While he would have preferred his son to go the military route, he agreed to give her $25,000 to start a business in exchange for 48 percent ownership in whatever opened up. Originally, it was supposed to be a hot dog stand. It didn't take long for Liautaud to realize he had no money to buy hot dogs, and he opened the cold-sandwich shop with low overhead in 1983. He made a profit in year one, bought his father out in year two, and never looked back. back.
In 2016, Jimmy John got into serious trouble for a crazy non-compete clause that forced his employees to sign. According to Reuters, all of the employees were forced to sign a waiver as part of their hiring package, agreeing not to work for any other sandwich or deli shops within 3 miles of the Jimmy John location. This clause was not only in effect while they worked at Jimmy John's, but also for the two years after the end of JJ's employment. Not surprisingly, Jimmy John's found itself in court over the settlement that several states, including Illinois and New York, said only served to secure low-wage jobs for employees and restrict their ability to go elsewhere.
Ultimately, Jimmy John's promised to remove the clause from its hiring paperwork, not to enforce any previously signed, and to give $100,000 toward development of a program designed to inform people about the truth of non-compete agreements. In March 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally announced that the food poisoning outbreak that had started in December 2017 had come to an end. There were 10 confirmed cases in Wisconsin and Illinois, and eight were linked to Jimmy John's outbreaks. The chain eventually removed the offending item from its menu, and while any outbreak is terrible, this is only half the story. That wasn't the first time Jimmy John's customers had gotten sick from
eatingsprouts on their sandwiches.
In May 2014, 19 people contracted a strain of E. coli, with some reporting
eatingJimmy John sprouts before becoming ill. It was E. coli
againin 2012, when 85 percent of cases were linked to chain outbreaks. Two salmonella outbreaks in 2010 and another in 2009 were
againlinked to the Jimmy John outbreaks, and in 2008, University of Colorado students became ill with E. coli traceable to Jimmy John outbreaks and employees who continued to work while they were sick. And in case you were wondering, sprouts are back at some Jimmy John locations, but they're only available on demand. "Chris, I'm dying." "I was dying earlier today...and then I died." Politics and business rarely mix well, and in 2010 a group of protesters took to a Jimmy John's in Arizona to draw attention to founder Jimmy John Liautaud's support of controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Yep, that's the guy who dresses inmates in pink and has been at the center of lawsuits involving allegations of racial profiling, criminal negligence and abuse of suspects. Even the owner of the protested franchise has been quick to distance himself. of Liautaud's politics. The backlash came on the heels of a court case over whether or not the names of top GOP donors
shouldbe kept secret and, according to the Phoenix New Times, it was only after the court ordered transparency that Jimmy's name John Liautaud emerged as one of the largest donors to Arpaio's so-called "Sheriff Commando Association".
Do some research on exactly what it is and you'll find that no one is really sure. The Verty Law Center describes them as, I quote, "a shady entity," while another person involved described them as, I quote, "Just a group of people who are concerned about what's going on in Maricopa County." themselves. In 2010, Jimmy John's employees in Minneapolis voted whether or not to join the Industrial Workers of the World, or IWW. Those who voted to unionize said some pretty bad things about their employer. One worker told Minnesota Public Radio: "I'm going to vote 'yes' because conditions at Jimmy John's are pretty dire right now." They went on to cite things like the lack of sick days, the need to find their own replacements if they get sick, the years spent earning no more than minimum wage and no health insurance as some of the biggest problems.
According to the Huffington Post, the six leaders of the unionization movement were fired for going public with the fight and the conditions. They filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, and the law absolutely intervened in their favor. Unfortunately, thanks to all the legal red tape, the case dragged on for years before the employees were close to being reinstated. It took so long that it was something of a hollow victory, since many of the former employees had moved on or changed places in their careers. But it was a victory nonetheless. "I love my job." "You hate your job." "I love my job." "You are miserable." "I love my job.
I love my job, honey" Jimmy John's "incredibly fast delivery" service was at the center of two horrific accidents. In 2011, motorcyclist Ty Cirillo was struck by a Jimmy John driver as he was on his way to a delivery. Then, at 19, CBS Las Vegas reported that Cirillo suffered injuries so severe that he was expected to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Then, in 2013, a 79-year-old West Virginia man was struck and killed by a Jimmy John's driver who eyewitnesses described as going, quote, "very fast." The West Virginia record says that the police report specified that the driver was not looking ahead but at the clock when he struck J.
Robert McClain, leading to a lawsuit that claimed his high-pressure delivery option led to driving. reckless and accidents. By 2015, BizJournal reported that the chain was beginning to move away from the idea of super-fast delivery. It's not really a secret menu if everyone knows about it, but there are some items that you can only get if you know how to ask for them. That includes a version of the Gargantuan, which is basically a bunch of cured and smoked meats salami, roast beef, capicola, and smoked ham on a sandwich. Do you want extra meat with your meat? Order Noah's Ark and you'll get a double helping of everything.
There's also another little menu trick you
shouldknow about. Since Jimmy John's is all about speed and efficiency, they sacrifice some variety for that. That means mustard lovers are limited to Dijon...sort of. Most locations still have regular yellow mustard in packets, you just have to ask. Now you know! If you're looking for a quick and healthy lunch, a carefully chosen sandwich from Jimmy John's might seem like just the thing. But some of his subs are surprisingly unhealthy, even the ones that sound like they're good for you. Let's take #6, The Veggie. It has tomato, cucumber, lettuce, sprouts, avocado, mayonnaise, and a bit of cheese, so it sounds pretty healthy, right?
So healthy, in fact, that you can feel safe ordering the larger size. Take a look at its nutrition information, though, and you'll find that the giant will set you back 1,380 calories and comes with 78 grams of fat and 2,470 mg of sodium. There are plenty of healthy options at Jimmy John's, thanks to their lettuce-wrapped Unwich options. But shopper beware, not everything that looks healthy actually is, and this is just one more fast food chain where the fine print really pays to read. Jimmy John Liautaud's name might be on the company, but in 2016 he sold most of it to Roark Capital, the same company that bought Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jamba Juice, Seattle's Best, Sonic and Auntie Anne's, among others.
The buyer put a value on the company at an impressive $3 billion. Forbes says that Liautaud kept 35 percent of the company, a role as president, and was put in charge of, I quote, "food and culture." However, at the end of the day, it was Roark who made all the decisions. It is not the first time that Liautaud has sold a part of the company. In 2007, he sold 28 percent to Weston Presidio as a way to diversify, saying, "I knew if I could make $2 million a year, no matter what happened with Jimmy John's, I could live my whole life." In late 2019, Liautaud took an even bigger step, selling his remaining stake in the company to Inspire and parent company Roark Capital.
The remaining stake in the sandwich chain was sold for an undisclosed amount, and Liautaud has officially retired from anything but an advisory role. It's safe to say that the transfer has given him even more free time, so people are more likely to see him cruising around in one of his 50 cars or taking to the seas in his megayacht, a huge ship that might not be amazing. called Rock It. Forbes says that when Roark took over Jimmy John's, the incredible growth the brand had seen over the years was beginning to wane. One of the reasons, they said, was that it was no longer as special as it had once been.
Jimmy John's became popular because it offered delivery, and when it opened the chain, it made them unique. Thanks to the rise in popularity of services like Uber Eats, other chains are starting to get a piece of that pie. What is a string to do? Try to make it clear that they have better delivery. That's why a recent marketing campaign has emphasized the fact that when customers order at Jimmy John's, Jimmy John's is going to deliver. And it may still be a selling point, surveys estimate that 35 percent of people who order through third-party delivery services are not satisfied with the result.
But to make sure customers get the freshest possible sandwiches in the shortest amount of time, Jimmy John's won't deliver more than five minutes from its stores. If you're further away, you're out of luck. Wage theft in the restaurant industry is a huge problem, and Jimmy John's has received more than its share of accusations. In 2014, two former employees took the company to court for what they described as, in quotes, "systematic wage theft." The workers claimed they were regularly given tasks to complete, made to stay until they were finished, and clocked them out before they finished, the Huffington Post reports.
According to Chicago Business, the class action lawsuit saw a monumental ruling in 2017, when the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that they could sue both companies and franchisees for wage theft. At the center of the problem, they say, were managers who were given bonuses based on meeting unreasonable payroll costs, leading to a common practice of forcing work off the clock. It's not the only time they've been sued, either. The drivers sued in 2014, claiming they were not compensated for using their own vehicles. They were responsible for paying all maintenance and insurance costs without reimbursement from the company, according to the lawsuit.
And what's worse, they paid for delivery, not mileage. Then, in 2019, another lawsuit was given the green light. Top Class Actions reported that the assistant managers were filing a lawsuit because they were regularly forced to work overtime, performing the same duties as other employees, while being classified as "exempt" from overtime wages. It seems that all is not well behind the counter at Jimmy John's. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, more Mashed videos on your favorite things are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and activate the bell so you don't miss any.
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