University of Iowa
November 5, 2018
Jimmy John Liautaud spoke at a round table with Kellogg MBA students.
Jimmy John Liautaud visited the University of Iowa to discuss his business success to an entrepreneurship class. During the talk, Jimmy recounted his story, from starting a small shop in Charleston, Illinois to a national chain of 2,800 franchised locations. He told students about how he taught himself to bake bread, learned to balance his books by himself and worked 7 days a week to make the business a success.
“I learned early that this business is hard work, its long hours, and it can be brutal,” Liautaud told the class.
Dedication and hard work are an essential part of being a Jimmy John’s franchisee. When 70 stores were struggling in 2002, Jimmy took it upon himself to personally visit each store and come up with a plan to improve their sales. Although seven stores eventually closed, the other 63 were able to recover and remain in operation. The experience taught Jimmy to be more selective with franchisees and who is able to join the company.