Phil Castle, The Business Times
A fast-growing chain of sub sandwich shops has announced plans to open two locations in Grand Junction within the next three years.
The expansion is part of a five-year effort to more than double the number of Erbert & Gerbert’s shops nationwide by 2017.
Unique flavor combinations differentiate Erbert & Gerbert’s in one the fastest-growing and most competitive segments of the quick-service restaurant market, said Jeff Thames, director of franchise sales. “It’s unique flavors and tastes.”
Thames said no franchisees or locations yet have been selected for Grand Junction. “We’re just starting that process.”
But the market offers potential, he said, with a large population and the added benefit of a university campus.
To meet financial qualifications, potential franchisees should have at least $60,000 in cash or liquid investments and a net worth of at least $300,000, Thames said.
With comparatively low fees and development costs, franchisees could operate four or five Erbert & Gerbert’s locations for the same investment required to open just one location for some other franchises, he said.
And with an average annual revenue of $600,000, a Erbert & Gerbert’s shop offer the potential for a higher return on that investment, he added.
Experience in the food service industry isn’t required, Thames said.
Rather, what the company looks for in potential franchisees is passion for the brand, the work ethic required to launch a business and involvement in the community.
Founded in 1988 in Eau Claire, Wis., Erbert & Gerbert’s has grown to more than 70 locations, Thames said. The first Colorado location opened in downtown Denver in January.
In addition to Grand Junction, new locations also are planned for Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Golden and Lakewood.
With a push in Colorado and eight other states, an additional 30 locations are expected to open in 2014, Thames said. If the five-year plan is realized, 200 locations will be in operation by 2017, he added.
Thames said Erbert & Gerbert’s plans to grow on the success of a menu offering not only what the company bills as its classic sub sandwiches made with ham, roast beef and turkey, but also such combinations as cranberry wasabi chicken and pesto mayo turkey. The restaurants also serve proprietary soups and its own line of chips.
Erbert & Gerbert’s offers healthier fare than other quick-service restaurants, Thames said, with vegetarian options and a certified gluten-free menu.
In addition to service in restaurants, Erbert & Gerbert’s offers delivery and catering, he said.
The fare and quality service encourage repeat business with customers, Thames said. “Once they taste the flavors and get a good customer experience, they keep coming back.”
For more information about Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shops, including franchise opportunities, log on to www.ebertandgerberts.com or call Jeff Thames at (952) 303-4026.