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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information 

What sets Cousins Subs apart from the competition? 

Founded in 1972 and franchising since 1989, Cousins Subs has perfected a system that delivers a high quality submarine sandwich quickly and efficiently. Cousins Subs offers the following to all franchisees: 

  • The potential to be sold both within the four walls of your restaurant and throughout your market area via mobile sales units and catering opportunities.

  • Innovative, quality product and Limited Time Only offerings to keep your customers coming back time and  again.

  • A comprehensive support system in all areas of your business.

  • A recession-resistant industry with implicit demand.

  • A cash business with few receivables and minimal inventory.

  • Ability and encouragement to open multiple units.
  • Reasonable cost of entry. 


How do I get started? 

Getting started is easy. You can begin by checking out the Steps to a Better Day page for a step-by-step guide of our process. You can also call us at 262-250-2836. Or, simply fill out the "Tell Me More" form and we'll call you.


What qualifications must I have to be a Cousins Subs franchisee?

  • Strong people skills
  • Sales/marketing skills
  • The required amount of capital
  • Financial stability
  • A strong desire to succeed in your own business
  • Entrepreneurial spirit 


What does it take to financially qualify?

For single store development, Cousins Subs requires you to have a net worth of $300,000 and liquid cash of $80,000. (Net worth is defined as total liquid assets, including cash, stocks, homes, cars, businesses, etc. minus total liabilities and debt.) For multi-store development (Area Developers), Cousins requires you to have a net worth of $500,000 and liquid cash of $150,000. 


What are Cousins Subs franchise fees, grand opening fee and royalties (continuing service fees)? 

The franchise fee for first store agreements is $25,000. Additional store agreements are $17,500 each. The  Grand opening marketing fee (for each new store)is $10,000. Franchisees also contribute 6% of their adjusted gross sales for royalties (continuing service fees).


Can I form a partnership in order to meet the financial criteria? 

Yes. Your franchise may be owned individually, by a partnership or a corporation. You must execute your Cousins Subs franchise agreement personally and later transfer it to a corporation that has been formed for the purpose of ownership. You must own a minimum of 51% of this corporation. The corporation must conduct no business other than Cousins Subs. Personal guarantees are required. 

Also, each partner must submit a separate Qualification Form


Does Cousins Subs provide financing? 

No. However, Cousins Subs does provide assistance in arranging financing through third-party sources that have been developed for the benefit of our franchise owners. Equipment leasing, SBA and direct loan packaging are available to qualified Cousins Subs franchise candidates. 

Cousins Subs is an approved franchisor per the SBA Registry. 


How much money can I make? 

Federal Trade Commission regulations and the various states regulating franchise sales activity restrict our ability to provide you with estimated profit figures. You are welcome to contact any existing franchisees. Once it is determined that you are serious about investing in the Cousins Subs franchise opportunity, our franchisees will usually be willing to discuss such information with you. Sales information and franchise lists are disclosed in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). 


What is an FDD and when can I review it?

An FDD is a Franchise Disclosure Document. This is normally disclosed to you after the first personal meeting or upon receipt of your completed Qualification Form. The FDD contains comprehensive and valuable information for franchisee candidates. You will need to confirm your commitment to the Cousins Subs opportunity by talking to existing franchise owners in the Cousins Subs system. 


What advertising/marketing support can I expect? 

Each market area has an assigned Marketing Consultant who works with each franchisee. They will help to develop a local marketing plan for each store location. We also have a product sampling program to really help the community get to know the brand and store. 

The National Advertising Fund will provide the necessary point of sale merchandising materials to help promote sales within the store. 

Cousins Subs will also provide professional brand-building execution of television, radio, billboards and coupon tactics. This is administered through participation with advertising co-op groups in our existing market areas. Visit our Marketing page to see some examples of our current marketing.


What are the advertising/marketing costs? 

The national advertising fees are 2% of adjusted gross sales, paid weekly to Cousins. The fees contributed to the funds are used to meet all costs associated with the creation of advertising media. From time to time Cousins Subs may designate a cooperative local or regional advertising program. 


Am I responsible for any other advertising/marketing costs? 

Yes. As a franchisee, you are required to spend an amount not less than 3% of adjusted gross sales on local advertising.


Do I have to find the store location? 

Franchising a Cousins Subs store can occur in a number of ways:

  • You may find a location, however, it will need to be approved by Cousins Subs. 

  • You may acquire an existing Cousins Subs location from a current franchisee or Area Developer if one is available in your market. 

  • You may convert an existing non Cousins Subs restaurant to a Cousins Subs. Again, it would need to be approved by Cousins Subs. 

Whichever option you choose in acquiring a location, our Development Department will be there to assist you through the entire site selection process. 


What kind of location should I look for? 

Cousins Subs restaurants operate from freestanding, in-line strip mall and non-traditional locations. Each has positive business attributes, so one is not necessarily better than the other; the choice is driven by the type and quality of the real estate available. 

A desirable location will have great visibility, easy accessibility, high traffic count and a strong consumer base. The typical square footage for a Cousins Subs in-line location is 1,250 to 1,600 sq. ft. Non-traditional locations can be as small as 600 square feet. We do have freestanding units with drive-up windows. 

Cousins Subs support systems provide the assistance necessary to help you identify suitable sites in your market area. 

Visit our Real Estate page for more information about our site criteria. 


I have an approved site, what is my next step? 

The Cousins Subs Development Department will help you through the entire construction/equipping process. We can recommend architects, contractors, and various other vendors in each market that Cousins Subs does business in, as well as review and approve both the preliminary floor plan and the final construction documents to ensure consistency within the Cousins Subs system. 


Who negotiates the lease? 

You will initially negotiate with your potential landlord. With our years of experience, Cousins is able to assist you by reviewing and advising favorable lease arrangements. We have found that significant savings can be realized for our franchise owners by doing this. Your attorney should review your lease prior to your signing it. All leases must be reviewed and approved by Cousins Subs before execution.


Can I purchase an existing Cousins Subs store? 

You may, if they are available in your market. Please ask your franchise representative about existing stores for sale in your area.


From start to finish, how long does it take a store to open? 

Each location experiences its own peculiarities and delays, but we have found it takes approximately four to eight months after signing the franchise agreement to open a new Cousins Subs restaurant. 


What is my total initial investment to complete my store to Cousins Subs requirements? 

A new store will range from approximately $119,200* to $300,800* depending on type of store, number of square feet and other factors. This is an estimate of the capital needed to open and operate your restaurant during the initial three months after you open your business. Many people qualify for SBA loans through local community banks that will help finance up to 80% of the total investment.

Visit our Estimated Initial Investment page for a detailed breakdown of these expenses.  


Where do I buy my restaurant equipment and furnishings? 

Cousins Subs approved equipment and supplies are available through a national account program with major equipment dealers. The collective buying power of our national accounts program is available to each franchise owner. Third-party equipment leasing options are available through our leasing partners.


Where does my food product come from? 

The Cousins Subs product distribution system was developed through a national full-service distributor. Its network of distribution centers provides a minimum of weekly delivery of food, beverage and supply products to Cousins Subs restaurants. 


How much inventory must I carry?

This will depend on the store's sales volume, the number of deliveries scheduled during the week and the size of your storage area. A reasonable estimate would be in the area of $2,500 to $5,000 per week.


What training do I receive? 

You or your designated managers will spend a minimum of 21 days participating in on-the-job and classroom sessions at an approved Cousins Subs training facility. At your store opening, you will receive ten days of assistance in training your staff by a Cousins Subs certified trainer. In addition, you will receive assistance with conducting on-site training sessions for your hourly staff at least two days prior to opening day. 

Visit our Training and Support page for more information. 

The above FAQs are provided for informational purposes only. This is not to be construed as an offer of a franchise, a commitment, or a binding agreement on either party. We offer franchises only through the Franchise Disclosure Document. 

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