2023 Power 100
2023 Power 100
Jersey Mike’s Subs is heading to America’s “Last Frontier.” The Manasquan-based sandwich chain – which has more than 2,500 restaurants in 49 states – expects to make its debut in Alaska this year, starting with locations in Anchorage and Wasilla.
Founded in 1956, Jersey Mike’s started out as Mike’s Subs, a small sandwich shop in Point Pleasant, and is now one of the fastest growing quick service restaurants in the country. Driving that growth is CEO and founder Peter Cancro, who began his business career in 1971, when he worked at Mike’s Subs. Shortly thereafter, at age 17, he decided to forego a potential college football career and purchased the sandwich shop.
In 1987, Cancro changed the name of the original Mike’s to Jersey Mike’s and spent the next couple of decades turning the brand into a nationwide empire. Over the past three years, Jersey Mike’s increased its number of units by 37.9%, earning the chain the No. 3 spot on Entrepreneur’s newly released ranking of 2023’s top 500 franchises. This year marks Jersey Mike’s fifth year on the list — and its highest ranking ever.
The chain was just named the Official Sub Sandwich of the National Hockey League as part of its first-ever partnership with a professional sports league. Jersey Mike’s also recently signed on to sponsor the Harlem Globetrotter’s 2023 tour across the United States. And its naming rights deal for Rutgers University’s arena is paying dividends as the men’s basketball team raises its national profile.
Philanthropy also remains a priority for Jersey Mike’s, with each of its stores partnering with local charitable organizations as a way to give back to the community. Since 2011, more than $67 million has been raised during the annual Jersey Mike’s Day of Giving campaign. The chain has also donated more than $11 million to Feeding America. Cancro is also leading, along with former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, a major fundraising campaign for Hackensack Meridian Health and made a significant personal donation to the network.