Firehouse Subs® Celebrates 25 years, Looks to the Future with Newest Restaurant in Jacksonville
Firehouse Subs announces the grand opening of its newest restaurant in Jacksonville, the brand’s hometown, at 480 Durbin Pavilion Drive, Suite 103. The restaurant will open its doors to the public on Monday, July 1. Firehouse Subs serves premium meats and cheeses steamed and piled high on a toasted sub roll, served “Fully Involved®” with fresh produce and condiments. In addition to its signature subs, the restaurant offers a variety of catering options from sandwich and dessert platters to salads and snacks to fuel any occasion.
The new restaurant is a prototype of the brand’s Restaurant of the Future. The design features improved efficiency for Firehouse Subs guests with a repositioned ordering area and a designated space for Rapid Rescue To Go® orders. In addition to the layout, the furnishings, fixtures, finishes and graphics are all new for the brand as well. Every element of the prototype is designed to demonstrate the brand’s commitment to community, first responders, heartfelt service and quality food that satisfies. Giving a nod to the shared family-style experience of a fire station, there will be a new community table in the front that seats six.
“The Restaurant of the Future prototype at our Durbin location is the first fundamental redesign of the restaurant that we have ever undertaken,” said Robin Sorensen, Co-Founder of Firehouse Subs. “After 25 years in business, it’s an honor to be able to look to the future with our brand. We believe this prototype provides a better Firehouse Subs experience that adapts to today’s busy guests, while still placing focus on the support of first responders and the communities we serve.”
In addition to the enhancements for guests, the prototype will have a new back-of-the-house design with a more efficient flow for Firehouse Subs crew members.
“At the start of this project, we needed to address the pain points from an operational and customer standpoint, in addition to refreshing our look to remain relevant and current,” said John Namey, Vice President of Real Estate Services at Firehouse Subs. “We surveyed guests and their response matched our intuition. We wanted to fix the customer flow to make it clearer for our guests on where to order. We also knew there was an opportunity for improvement on our production line – there’s a lot of motion between crew members to make a sub, and we’ve come up with a solution that we hope will be a quicker experience for our guests.”
Namey also said that once this location is open, the Firehouse Subs headquarters team will be measuring optics and surveying guests on the success of the changes featured in this prototype.
The new Firehouse Subs restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will offer third-party delivery and in-house catering services to accommodate occasions of all sizes, from office meetings to family gatherings. Additionally, the restaurant will continue giving back to military, first responders and public safety organizations across the country though Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®, which has granted more than $7.2 million in Florida.
Founded in Jacksonville, Florida by former firefighting brothers, the Durbin restaurant décor reflects the founding family’s decades of fire and police service with a community collage, a designated area for photos and décor relevant to the area’s first responders, and custom hand-painted mural by Chief Mural Artist Joe Puskas. Since the opening of the first Firehouse Subs in 1994, Puskas and his team have painted more than 1,170 murals from his studio at Firehouse Subs Headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
Firehouse Subs offers small, medium and large hot specialty subs, including the No. 1 selling Hook & Ladder® sub, piled high with smoked turkey breast and Virginia honey ham smothered with Monterey Jack cheese and served Fully Involved with mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion and a kosher dill pickle on the side. Other top sellers include the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket™ loaded with USDA choice beef brisket smoked for up to 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. Additionally, each restaurant offers an assortment of 25+ complimentary hot sauces, including Captain Sorensen’s® Datil Pepper Hot Sauce, named in honor of the founding brothers’ father, Rob Sorensen, a 43-year retired fire captain.
The Durbin location will feature the latest version of the touch-screen operated Coca-Cola Freestyle® fountain, Freestyle 9100, which offers 175+ sparkling and still beverage options with 90+ zero and low-calorie options, the most flavor options available to guests by any restaurant brand. Choices include the top-selling exclusive Firehouse Subs recipes, Cherry Lime-Aid™, Cherry Lime-Aid™ Light and Sparkling Cherry Lime-Aid™, served with fresh squeezed lime.
In 2005, the Firehouse Subs founders established Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, lifesaving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. The 501(c)(3) Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has granted more than $44 million to hometown heroes in 49 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Each restaurant recycles five-gallon pickle buckets, available to guests for a $2 donation to the Foundation. Donation canisters on register counters explain the nonprofit’s mission and collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar. All funds raised benefit the Foundation.
More than 1,170 restaurants in 46 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and non-traditional locations
$44+ million granted to public safety organizations via Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.