Are you looking for a no-frills sub sandwich brand to franchise? I’d like to introduce you to Blimpie, a sub sandwich chain that’s been in the business for more than 50 years. Their menu is simple: subs, wraps, grilled paninis, and salads. Don’t let the simplicity of this chain fool you though. Blimpie surviving all the other sub sandwich competitors to this day is a testament that simple may just be the way to do business around here.
How much does it cost to open Blimpie? Blimpie is looking for franchisees with a liquid capital of $125,000 and a minimum net worth of $250,000. The estimated initial investment range is $74,780 to $524,325 and the initial franchise fee from $11,900 to $19,900.
Learn more about franchising Blimpie here as I breakdown the details about their financial requirements and fees, what to expect as an operator of this sandwich chain. Take our 7-minute franchise quiz to find out if this is the best fit for you.
- Financial Requirements and Fees
- Average Sales / Revenue per Year
- Blimpie Franchise Facts
- How Much Does Blimpie Make in Profit?
- Advantages of a Blimpie Franchise
- Challenges of a Blimpie Franchise
- Is the Blimpie Franchise Right For You?
Financial Requirements and Fees
These are the fees and financial requirements to expect when you franchise with Blimpie:
|Fees / Expenses||Financial Amount|
|Liquid Capital||$ 125,000|
|Net Worth||$ 250,000|
|Total Investment||$ 74,780 to $ 524,325|
|Franchise Fee||$ 11,900 to $ 19,900|
Blimpie gives you several options when you franchise with them. These options range from opening a traditional restaurant, a non-traditional one which is restaurants you see in airports or college campuses or an express restaurant similar to a small store or kiosk that can fit into smaller retail spaces like a mall.
The type of Blimpie restaurant you want to operate will determine the total investment. A traditional restaurant is estimated to have an investment range of $232,770 to $524,325 while a non-traditional one will range from $74,780 to $335,700.
Other expenses to expect are Blimpie’s royalty fees which are 6% and their ad royalty fee which is 4%. Veterans who want to franchise with Blimpie can get a discount of 20% off the franchise fee. The term of agreement to run a Blimpie franchise is 10 years and may be renewable.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
Revenue has declined sharply over the past 10 years for Blimpie. For example, back in 2011 the companies total revenue came in at $115.3 million. In 2020, the company only brought in $63 million in revenue. That’s a decline in revenues of 45% during that time period. Obviously, sales need to turn around if this chain is going to survive for another decade.
Blimpie Franchise Facts
|Subsector||Food and Beverage|
Blimpie was founded in 1964 by three highschool friends. Anthony Conza, Peter DeCarlo, and Angelo Baldassare decided they wanted to open a sub sandwich in Hoboken, New Jersey. With just $2,000 they were able to open the first Blimpie sub sandwich shop.
The business got its name when the founders saw an image of a blimp and thought that it resembled their sandwich. They started out selling just subs at that time and had aggressive growth goals. Through the years, the company expanded their menu option into more than just subs.
Presently, the menu at Blimpie consists of subs, wraps, grilled paninis, and salads. They have deli subs such as the Blimpie Best which has slow-cured ham, salami, capicola, prosciuttini, provolone, and vegetables. They also have the classics such as turkey, ham, and roast beef sandwiches. As for hot subs they have the Meatball Parmigiana, Philly Cheesesteak, and the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Ranch. For their grilled paninis, Blimpie has sandwiches on ciabatta or pretzel.
Wraps are also available on the menu. They have a Chicken Caesar, Buffalo Chicken, and Southwestern wrap. There are also salads such as their Ultimate Club and Grilled Chicken Caesar. Sides like soups, chips, and cookies are also available on the menu. Whew! That’s a pretty expansive menu.
Blimpie also offers catering services. They offer sub sandwiches, wraps, cookies, and cheese trays for office events, parties, birthdays, and other event gatherings.
You don’t need any experience in franchising Blimpie. To franchise with them, fill out their contact form here. Blimpie will reach out to you for an initial meeting once they’ve received your inquiry. The initial meeting will include getting to know you, your background and an overview of the sandwich business. Blimpie will also discuss the characteristics they are looking for in a franchisee. If both parties seem agreeable with each other, you can move on to the next step in the process.
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A copy of Blimpie’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) will be given to you to review. This document contains all the information you need in franchising Blimpie so it’s best to review this document thoroughly. You’ll be given two weeks to study the FDD, continue to discuss with Blimpie about your concerns and have Blimpie get to know more about your qualifications. If both agree to move forward by this time, you’ll sign their franchise agreement making things official.
Training will commence afterward with you at the company headquarters. You’ll be able to learn how to operate the business under Blimpie’s team supervision. When everything is finalized, you’ll get to finally open your location. Blimpie’s support for you and your location continues even though you’re already operating.
Blimpie is also open for franchising internationally. The qualities they are looking for in a master franchisee for international locations are the following:
- Currently involved in food and beverage, retail, or other service-related industry
- Possess a thorough knowledge of their local marketplace and have the ability to bring in a strong management team
- Have successfully introduced and developed other retail or food and beverage concepts
- Possess a strong understanding of import/expert regulations between their country and the U.S.
- Are financially well-prepared to make the investment
Blimpie doesn’t offer financing directly to applicants. However, they can connect you with their 3rd party financiers should you need any help raising investment capital.
At present, Blimpie is owned by Kahala Brands who also owns Cold Stone Creamery, Baja Fresh, Pinkberry, Samurai Sam’s, and more. Kahala Brands is also managed and owned by Canadian operator MTY Group which also owns a number of restaurants such as Papa Murphy’s, Bâton Rouge Steakhouse & Bar, Sushi Go, Taco Time, and many more. Blimpie’s headquarters is located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
How Much Does Blimpie Make in Profit?
There is no known updated profit record for Blimpie as of the time of this writing. But we can make estimates based on industry averages for a sandwich shop. It’s not uncommon for a sub shop to have a profit margin between 5% – 10% after considering food costs, lease, and paying employees.
Using this average as a baseline based on the annual revenue for the company in 2020, you could expect a Blimpie Sub shop to yield a profit of $18,639 – $37,278 per unit.
Advantages of a Blimpie Franchise
There are some distinct advantages you can expect when franchising this sub sandwich chain. Here are a few of them:
Blimpie is very simple. The menu is all about subs, wraps, and grilled paninis. There are no other items that may confuse customers and the specials that pop up from time to time are also in line with what Blimpie offers. Like we said above, it’s really a no-frills sub sandwich brand that people can enjoy for what it is.
Blimpie has several options when you decide to franchise with them. You can choose to get a traditional store, a non-traditional store, and an express. These are all different store sizes with different financial requirements so if you would still like to run a Blimpie but you’re sticking to a budget, you can find which one fits your expenses.
Blimpie is in the process of upgrading their look! Franchising with them now will let you be a part of this transformation, and not to mention your store will get a fresh new Blimpie look when you sign up to franchise with them. The company has seen declining revenue numbers for more than a decade so its good to see the company is taking action to update and revamp their marketing assets.
Owned By a Big Brand
Having a business that’s owned by a big brand such as Kahala Brands and MTY Group means they’re more credible. Admittedly, Blimpie isn’t the same Blimpie it was before when it was more aggressive and business boomed to about 1,000 locations. But it’s assuring to know that they’re being handled by a big company that knows how to handle the business and can hopefully return Blimpie to the glory days.
Challenges of a Blimpie Franchise
Blimpie, like any other business, also poses some challenges. Here are a few you can expect.
Yes, we did praise Blimpie for its simplicity. But it might just be a little too simple for some that when you look at it, it doesn’t have an edge over other competitors. For example, Subway, Quiznos, and Firehouse Subs seem to have more sandwich options and specials than Blimpie based on their online menu.
It would probably help boost revenue if Blimpie added more sub sandwich options and sides on the menu.
Blimpie isn’t the only sub sandwich place in the United States. There are many sub sandwich chains all over the country that it’s difficult to compete with them. Blimpie will have to invest in a lot of marketing to get their name out there to increase their brand presence.
Blimpie’s history started really well until they slowly dropped due to being mismanaged by their owner. From a thousand locations to just over 169 at present. That’s not exactly a story you can be proud of. And their history might be brought up from time to time so it might seem like bad PR for the business should you decide to franchise Blimpie near you.
Is the Blimpie Franchise Right For You?
Blimpie seems like an affordable sub sandwich franchise with a simple menu that you can franchise. However, you’ll have to take into consideration the location and the competitors around you should you wish to pursue this business. There are a lot of sandwich business options out there and to be blunt, there are sandwich concepts with a lot better financial performance over the past 10 years.
You should also take time in reviewing their Franchise Disclosure Document as well as have a financial advisor take a look so you can consult with them if Blimpie is the right franchise to bring to your area.
What is an alternative Blimpie franchise?
One sub sandwich chain you can also franchise is Firehouse Subs. Originating in Jacksonville, Firehouse Subs has been around since 1994 and are known for selling gourmet sub sandwiches. They’re also built for take outs, drive thrus, and curb side pick ups.
To franchise Firehouse Subs, expect investments to reach around $350,000 to $425,000 with a franchise fee of $ 20,000. To know more about franchising Firehouse Subs, check out our full guide here.
The sub sandwich franchise industry in the United States was valued at $20.56 in 2020. You too can be a part of this industry should you decide to get into franchising sub sandwiches.