What is the salary and net worth of Jimmy John Liautaud?

The restaurateur Jimmy John net worth as an American has a $2 billion fortune. The Jimmy John’s sandwich chain is the most well-known creation of Jimmy John Liautaud. He started the company in 1983 and sold his first franchise in 1994. Through time, he opened a little over 2,800 sites, 98% of which are franchise-owned, greatly growing the network. As a charitable person, Liautaud has given to some nonprofit organisations.

In an agreement that assessed Jimmy Johns net worth at $2.3 billion, private equity firm Roark Capital purchased 65% of the company in September 2016. After more expansion, Jimmy John net worth pre-tax paper reached $1.7 billion in just two years.

Jimmy John’s was fully acquired by Inspire Brands, the parent company of Arby’s, Sonic, and Buffalo Wild Wings, in September 2019 through an all-stock transaction. The terms of the value were not made public. At the time of the deal, Jimmy Johns brought in $2 billion annually.

Childhood and Schooling

Jimmy John Liautaud, the second of industrialist James Sr. and Gina’s four children, came into the world in Arlington Heights, Illinois, on January 12, 1964. Robby, Lara, and Greg are his brothers and sisters. Liautaud attended Elgin Academy, a private prep school when he was younger. He continued his education at Eastern Illinois University but left after just one semester.

The beginning of Jimmy John’s Sandwiches 

Liautaud’s father gave him a $25,000 loan when he graduated from high school in 1982 so he could launch his own company. Accepting the money, he consented to his father’s demand that, should his business endeavour fail, he would join the US Army. Liautaud had originally intended to use the $25,000 loan to start a hot dog stand, but he quickly realised that this would not be feasible. Instead, he decided to create a sandwich business where he would purchase premium meats from his neighbourhood market and pair them with bread that he prepared himself. Later, in the beginning of 1983, Liautaud established Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches in Charleston, Illinois. 

Due to the store’s unfavourable location, he started delivering sandwiches door-to-door at the neighbouring Eastern Illinois University residence halls. Jimmy John’s was turning a profit by year’s end. Throughout the decade, Liautaud opened his second and third facilities as the business grew.

Jimmy John’s Restaurants

Jimmy John Restaurants
Source by gettyimages

Liautaud got to know Jamie Coulter in 1988. Coulter was a Pizza Hut franchisee and later founded Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. In 1994, Liautaud sold his first Jimmy John’s franchise under Coulter’s tutelage. Over the next few years, the company continued to grow, and by 2002, it had about 200 outlets. Later, in 2007, Liautaud enlisted the aid of Weston Presidio, a private equity group, to facilitate his continued expansion. In its first year, the company closed over 100 real estate transactions and bought a 33 per cent share in Jimmy John’s. Business flourished for another six or so years, but eventually things stopped being as enjoyable. Liautaud had trouble keeping up with the expansion of his business. Jimmy John’s could no longer monitor every component after the chain’s growth to over 2,000 sites by 2014. He claims, “I felt like I was running out of bandwidth.” It was growing incredibly large and intricate. I had $100 million in advertising money in the marketing department, and I thought, ‘How do I efficiently execute a $100 million ad fund?’ The chain’s first CEO was President James North, a long standing employee Liautaud had met while hunting in Alaska in 1998.

 In 2016, the company was acquired by Roark Capital Group, another private equity firm, which acquired a majority share. After that, Roark Capital Group sold Jimmy John’s to Inspire Brands three years later. Jimmy John’s has more than 2,700 locations around the US, 98% of which are franchisees, and its corporate headquarters are in Champaign, Illinois. This all amounts to Jimmy John’s net worth.

Accolades and Prizes

As a result of his commercial success with Jimmy John’s, Liautaud has won numerous awards. Ernst & Young Food & Beverage Entrepreneur of the Year for Illinois went to him in 2004. In the same year, Liautaud received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National CEO Conference.

In its first year, the company closed over 100 real estate transactions and bought a 33 per cent share in Jimmy John’s. In 2016, the company was acquired by Roark Capital Group, another private equity firm, which acquired a majority share. After that, Roark Capital Group sold Jimmy John’s to Inspire Brands three years later. Jimmy John’s has more than 2,700 locations around the US, 98% of which are franchisees, and its corporate headquarters are in Champaign, Illinois.

Other Projects

Liautaud frequently gives speeches in public forums such as schools. In addition, he owns hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in Central Illinois and makes investments in the wine industry. Liautaud also has a strong enthusiasm for hunting and fishing. He ran into controversy in 2015 after pictures of him posing online with large wildlife he had hunted in Africa went viral.

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