Reporter's Notebook

Jimmy John’s, The Early Years (Video)

Few businesses are as people fueled as foodservice, where an experience shared by one person might light the way for many others.

One can hear such informative or inspirational stories from industry figures during the educational presentations and networking events at the annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators SuperShow, or MUFSO, staged by Nation's Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality and Food Management. These stories touch on everything from business histories and strategies to personal growth, and while I could just report on them, I've been inspired in recent years to try to catch a few on video so viewers can get to know the teller, as they might come to know the tale.

A link at the bottom of this post will take you to one of these teller-and-the-tale videos, which in this case, is a two-minute clip of Jimmy John Liautaud, founder and chief executive of the 1,500-plus-unit Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches system of Champaign, Ill.

Here is the video scene setter: Liautaud was one of six recipients of a 2012 Nation's Restaurant News Golden Chain award for leadership of a successful and growing foodservice organization. In accepting that award at MUFSO in Dallas, he spoke of how he operated his company in its early years and about his initial financial backers and mentors. As always, Liautaud spoke his mind and along the way shared details of one of the best stock deals in recent memory and why he doesn’t work with “big money guys.”

View the video in the NRN video library here:

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What's Reporter's Notebook?

Reporter's Notebook is NRN's newsroom blog, where our editors give their points of view on news happening in the restaurant business.


Lisa Jennings

Follow @livetodineout From the Los Angeles office, Lisa Jennings covers companies based in the West, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Alaska and...

Ron Ruggless

Ron Ruggless covers the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He joined Nation's Restaurant News in 1992 after working 10 years in...
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