JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Renowned for hearty, generous portions and piping hot subs, Firehouse Subs is heading north, announcing plans for expansion into Canada. With more than 900 locations across 43 states and Puerto Rico, the restaurant chain plans to open more than 90 locations in the Ontario market with future plans for further Canada expansion. The award-winning fast casual restaurant chain serves premium meats and cheeses steamed piping hot and piled high on a toasted sub roll with fresh, local produce and condiments. The authentic firehouse setting is based on the founders’ decades of firefighting experience. The first Firehouse Subs location will open in Oshawa, Ontario tentatively in October.
“Growing our brand has always been a priority and we are excited for the very first development outside of the United States to be with our neighbours to the north,” said Don Fox, Chief Executive Officer, Firehouse of America, LLC. “Firehouse Subs and our Canadian partners, ONFIRE Restaurants Inc., share an appreciation for great food, heartfelt service, and supporting the communities we serve. Together, we are looking forward to bringing exciting new flavours to Canada and growth opportunities for small business franchise owners."
ONFIRE Restaurants Inc. is a partnership between three Canada-based restaurant industry veterans. With more than 50 combined years of restaurant development and management experience, Alex Gerzon, Richard Jodoin, and George Heos are leaders in the Canadian restaurant industry.
"Our team researched many companies, but Firehouse Subs stood out for its exceptional product, dynamic culture and dedication to community service. We fell in love with the product after our first bite and know our fellow Canadians will do the same," said Alex Gerzon, ONFIRE Restaurants Inc. partner. “While people are very accustomed to sub-style sandwiches, they will find Firehouse Subs more compelling and differentiated than any brand out there. We are looking forward to bringing Firehouse Subs to Canada and expanding the brand across the country. Canadians have an appetite for bold, rich flavours, and we are confident Firehouse Subs will be a great addition to the country’s restaurant scene.”
From restaurant franchising and real estate to marketing and operations, the ONFIRE Restaurants Inc., team has lead successful expansion for some of Canada’s largest and most well known restaurant brands and has a reputation for formulating successful business strategies that align with Firehouse Subs’ practice of smart growth.
Firehouse Subs extinguishes guests’ hunger with medium and large hot specialty subs, including the number one selling Hook & Ladder sub, served with smoked turkey breast and Virginia honey ham smothered with Monterey Jack cheese. Other top sellers include the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket, loaded with USDA choice beef brisket smoked for at least 16 hours in an authentic Texas smokehouse and topped with melted cheddar cheese and a special combination of sauces, including Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce. In 2014, Firehouse Subs debuted its Under 500 Calories menu of four subs and three chopped salads. The low-calorie menu is the most significant menu addition in Firehouse Subs’ history and is available at all Firehouse Subs restaurants.
Unique to Firehouse Subs is Captain Sorensen’s Datil Pepper Hot Sauce, named in honor of the founding brothers’ father, Rob Sorensen, a 43-year retired fire captain. The sauce has a spicy-sweet flavour from the datil pepper, a hot pepper similar to habaneros but with a sweeter taste. Additionally, each restaurant offers an assortment of 50+ complimentary hot sauces.
In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Many first responders make do with older equipment and have limited or no access to needed resources, but Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has given $14 million to hometown heroes in 43 states and Puerto Rico. Local fundraising initiatives include recycling empty five-gallon pickle buckets and selling them to guests for $2 each, a Round Up Program allowing guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar and spare change donation canisters. The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada has been established so that all of the money raised at Firehouse Subs restaurants in Canada will be donated to Canadian first responders in need.
About Firehouse Subs
Firehouse Subs is a fast casual restaurant chain with a passion for Hearty and Flavorful Food, Heartfelt Service and Public Safety. Founded by brothers and former firefighters Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs is a brand built on decades of fire and police service, steaming hot subs piled higher with the highest quality meats and cheeses and its commitment to saving lives through the creation of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The founders are the real deal, the food is their creation and the company is built upon a family of franchise operators who share their same passion for serving others. In 2014, Firehouse Subs debuted nationwide a new low-calorie menu, Under 500 Calories. Firehouse Subs consistently ranks No. 1 among fast casual brands in the categories of food quality, friendly service and taste and flavour. In 2015, Firehouse Subs was ranked No. 1 consumer choice for welcoming and comfortable atmosphere by Technomic’s 2015 Chain Restaurant Consumers’ Choice Awards, and the brand produced the second-fastest growth in U.S. franchise units as ranked by Nation’s Restaurant News.