Client: Firehouse Subs
Location: U.S. Markets
Scope: Immersion Tour, Category Research, Line Extension, R&D Culinary Liaising
Challenge: Firehouse Subs (900+ units between franchise- and company-owned stores) sought a conceptual strategy to boost catering sales. While the company's iconic warmed sandwiches were a great success with guests in-store, they struggled to maintain quality in a catering format. A line extension—cold sandwiches—could better sustain freshness during transit and on-site at offices and parties.
Solution: I orchestrated a thorough assessment of 10 competitors' catering programs, then executing a two-market taste and brand immersion tour with Firehouse's founder. Ebbing and flowing, we visited 53 restaurants in 3 days on both coasts. This holistic research laid the framework for 6 innovative sandwich builds for market testing.