Since opening its first Wisconsin sub shop in 2012, Firehouse Subs has been red hot, prompting the Jacksonville, Florida, company to plan at least a dozen more stores in the market over the next three years.
The fast casual chain will open a location in the White Stone Station retail development in Menomonee Falls and in Brown Deer this year. Restaurants are also planned in Pewaukee, Delafield, West Allis, Greenfield, New Berlin, Grafton, West Bend, Oak Creek and two in Waukesha.
Another site on Miller Park Way in West Milwaukee is also being considered. And other markets throughout the state are being evaluated, said Eric Erwin, Firehouse Subs Wisconsin representative.
“People in Wisconsin seem to love Firehouse subs,” Erwin said. “Sales have been phenomenal. We have the third highest sales volume here in the total U.S.”
Firehouse Subs’ last three Wisconsin openings, in Racine in January, in Janesville in March and in Oshkosh in April, were the chain’s three busiest openings in history, Erwin said.
Once a community is chosen, Firehouse Subs has to approve it. Then the franchisee chooses the location, the company’s real estate department reviews it and Erwin approves it. The stores are 1,700 to 2,500 square feet and all “A-level” sites, Erwin said.
“I think all of these locations we have scouted will happen, it’s just a matter of when,” Erwin said. “I can’t control leases and landlords.”
All of the locations are in various stations of negotiation or development, said Tom Bruss with Commercial Property Associates, who represents Firehouse Subs along with Tom Treder of Commercial Property Associates.
Treder credits the increase in popularity of the Firehouse Subs name to the local and national advertising campaign the company was able to run in Wisconsin once it opened enough stores.
Firehouse Subs currently has nine Wisconsin locations. Since opening 22 years ago, Firehouse Subs has opened more than 960 restaurants across 44 states.
“We’re excited to work with them and are looking forward to rolling the stores out to the rest of the region,” Treder said.