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Firehouse Subs plans to grow with first responders and veterans as franchisees

The First Responders Program, a new incentive program unique to the QSR industry, offers $100,000 cash per restaurant to qualifying individuals

Firehouse Subs-Firehouse Subs Plans to Grow with First Responder

Courtesy of Firehouse Subs (CNW Group/Firehouse Subs)

Photo via Firehouse Subs

Press Release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Firehouse Subs, founded by two former firefighter brothers, is embracing its roots and launching the 2024 Veteran and First Responder Development Incentive Program (“The First Responders Program”) to attract current or former first responders or veterans to become franchisees in the fast-growing restaurant brand.

The First Responders Program offers $100,000 cash to open a new Firehouse Subs restaurant and will offer the same for a second and third restaurant. Unlike most incentive programs in the restaurant industry, this is not a credit against future payments; it is up-front cash to help first responders or veterans build an exciting business in their local community.

“At the core of our brand is flavorful food, service and public safety. Many of our flavorful, hot subs were crafted by our firefighter founders and inspired by meals served in the fire station. And, since our foundation’s inception in 2005, we’ve awarded more than $84 million in lifesaving equipment and resources to first responders and public safety organizations,” said Mike Hancock, President, Firehouse Subs. “I couldn’t be more excited to announce this program, which allows us to attract a new generation of franchisees that embody the heritage and purpose of our brand. We are proud to give first responders and veterans who spent their careers serving their communities this opportunity to build a meaningful business to support their families. They will be incredible ambassadors for the mission of our foundation.”

The unique program is part of a multi-year strategy to rapidly grow the Firehouse Subs brand across the United States and Canada. Last year, the brand announced its “2023 Development Incentive Program,” which co-invested tens of millions of dollars alongside existing, top-performing U.S. Firehouse Subs franchisees to help build new restaurants. On average, it costs $400,000 to $500,000 to build and open a Firehouse Subs restaurant. The First Responders Program offers $100,000 of upfront cash to help with construction costs. Additionally, this year, Firehouse Subs will continue to prioritize growth by piloting its new “operator to owner” initiative, a distinct program that will place top-performing managers and operators on the path to franchise ownership, ultimately creating even more opportunities for growth.

Founded by former firefighter brothers out of Jacksonville, Florida nearly 30 years ago, the foundation of Firehouse Subs is built upon serving hot, flavorful subs using quality ingredients, offering exceptional guest service, and commitment to public safety. A proprietary steaming process unlocks flavor and maintains moisture in every made-to-order, sliced in-house sub, making signature items like the Hook & Ladder and Firehouse Meatball fan favorites.

Beyond innovation within the kitchen, the brand is focused on digital developments in the QSR space with a newly-relaunched app and website, achieving record guest endorsement. Outside the walls of its restaurants, Firehouse Subs remains deeply committed to saving lives through the Firehouse Public Safety Foundation, which provides lifesaving equipment and needed resources to first responders and public safety organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

Under parent company Restaurant Brands International (RBI), Firehouse Subs opened its first location outside of North America in 2023 in Zurich, Switzerland. The brand is poised to continue both domestic and global expansion in 2024, with new international locations opening in Mexico, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

To learn more about owning a Firehouse Subs franchise visit:

About Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs® is a restaurant chain with a passion for hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service, and public safety. Founded in Jacksonville, Florida in 1994 by two former firefighting brothers, the brand is built on decades of hot and hearty subs piled with high quality meats and cheeses, and committed to saving lives through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, providing lifesaving equipment and needed resources to first responders and public safety organizations. Firehouse Subs is a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (“RBI”), one of the world’s largest quick service restaurant companies with over $35 billion in annual system-wide sales and approximately 30,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. RBI owns four of the world’s most prominent and iconic quick service restaurant brands – Burger King®, Tim Hortons®, Popeyes®, and Firehouse Subs®. To learn more, visit and