Cause Marketing Before it was a Trend
I have had the honor and privilege of being a Jersey Mike’s Franchisee for over 5 years now. I first fell in love with the brand because I thought they were the best sandwiches I have ever had. I have since been proud to be involved with a company that had been “cause marketing” since it was founded in 1956 in Point Pleasant, NJ. And when the founder of Jersey Mike’s, Peter Cancro, bought the original Mike’s Sub in 1972, he carried on the original giving back to the community with the Month of Giving. This culture of giving has spread to my children, my staff and all of my fellow sandwich lovers that come into my store. We take MOG at my store dead serious and this year, for the 5th year in a row, we raised more money at my location in Van Nuys than all other locations. We work hard to defend our title every year but honestly, it would be a title we would gladly give up to raise more money for the causes of our local communities throughout the country.
Even in the beginning of the franchise expansion, most were mom-and-pop shops. For a business to survive, they had to offer a high-quality product and excellent service. Mike’s had an advantage, offering the submarine sandwich, which was a fairly new item introduced to American society. Over the years, Mike’s Subs changed to Jersey Mike’s Subs and became a franchise with more than 1,500 locations open and under development.
While Jersey Mike’s Subs continues to sustain the authenticity of their high-quality submarine sandwich, they also have created a company culture of philanthropy. Jersey Mike’s believes you should give simply to give – with no accolades or rewards in return. They believe that they can create a great submarine sandwich and make a difference at the same time. Every store that opens couples with a charity in the local community.
Jersey Mike’s also dedicates an entire month to giving. During the month of March, customers are encouraged to come into the restaurants and donate to a local charity partner. The month concludes with a nationwide event, otherwise known as Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving”, where 100% of the day’s sales, not just profits, are donated to a local partner charity. Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s has raised over $28 million and they raised over $6 million alone in March 2018. More than 170 different charities received donations this year.
Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving” isn’t their only philanthropic endeavor, however. From June 27th to July 11th, Jersey Mike’s celebrates “Christmas in July” in a nationwide fundraiser for Wreaths Across America. This non-profit organization lays thousands of wreaths at the graves of the nations’ veterans during the Christmas season and Jersey Mike’s stores across the nation collect donations for this campaign.
When Hurricane Harvey and Irma hit earlier this year, more than 1,300 stores across the nation partnered with local food banks to help residents that were affected by the hurricanes. Between two different fundraising efforts, the participating Jersey Mike’s locations raised over $370,000!
Additionally, Jersey Mike’s has previously held fundraisers to aid wildfire victims in the North Bay area of California, raise money for schools (otherwise known as “Subs for Schools”), and many other causes. The guiding principle “Giving…makes a difference in someone’s life” at Jersey Mike’s is a philosophy CEO and founder, Peter Cancro, strives to emphasize in each and every store. At the end of the day, you should support the community that supports you.