07 May 2024 |

S9 E3: Deb Merrill’s Jimmy Johns Journey

By The Wolf

Deb Merrill had no idea she was destined for franchise management until her brother-in-law asked if she’d be interested in running a Jimmy John’s. Realizing that stage management wasn’t the dream job she had hoped it would be, Deb left her theater career behind for the food service industry.

In this candid conversation with the Wolf, Deb opens up about her rise from the bottom of the food chain to the top of the Jimmy John’s game. How did she take the dive into franchising with zero experience in the industry and eventually open 12 different locations? And what was it really like working with family?  

Deb also shares her wisdom into the daily rewards and challenges of running a Jimmy John’s franchise from the physical demands of the job to the importance of finding the right team members. What should the structure and setup of a fair franchise agreement look like? And what’s the importance of maintaining positive relationships with franchisees?

Plus, learn about the early days of Jimmy John’s, including the impact of the economic crash in 2008 and the struggles of balancing construction schedules and employee training. What kinds of unique opportunities does Jimmy John’s provide for franchise owners?

Tune in now to find out!


00:00:00 – Transitioning from Theater to Fast Food Franchise

00:03:06 – Navigating Responsibility and Control in Business

00:04:35 – Balancing Construction and Opening Schedules

00:07:03 – Corporate Training at Jimmy John’s

00:08:47 – Opening Two Stores in Six Months

00:14:41 – Arranging Fair Structures for Collaborations

00:15:48 – Navigating Family Business Dynamics Successfully

00:18:59 – 16 Years of Steady Store Growth

00:21:57 – Expanding Store Locations: A Timeline


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