Charley's Grilled Subs

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Charley's Grilled Subs

At Charley's Grilled Subs, our mission is to be America's Best "Fast Casual" restaurant chain.


Company president and CEO Charley Shin opened his first restaurant in 1986 on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Now over 20 years later his "really good" sandwich shop has grown to over 300 franchise units across 38 United States and in seven countries worldwide. Charley now has formed a team of professionals targeting leadership in both brand equity and store expansion within the Sub-sandwich niche of the Fast Casual Restaurant sector.

With a national trend toward more healthful eating, grilled foods are rapidly gaining popularity over fried foods. Charley's menu specialties feature nutritionally beneficial foods, including made-to-order grilled steak or chicken sandwiches and fresh-cut gourmet fries, as well as freshly squeezed lemonades and a variety of fresh salads and soups - therefore offering today's health-conscious and yet taste-loving consumers a better alternative to the higher-calorie and fat-laden menu offerings of most competitors.

Recent food and lifestyle trends show that today's restaurant patrons want quick service - but not necessarily those offered by "fast food" formulas. The Fast Casual concept that Charley's Grilled Subs restaurant offers its diners is a high-quality quick-service experience; with premium foods; energetic and attentive employees; enjoyed in a comfortable store ambiance and within a fun "watch-it-cooking" atmosphere. There's no compromising on taste with our premium fresh products and our made-to-order service that can fulfill every customer's food preferences.

In over 20 years of doing business, Charley's has been recognized at the "top" of numberous lists for successful franchising, entrepreneurship and management. A key strength of our operation is the ongoing franchisee support provided by our professional management team and our productive programs. As one franchisee stated, "This is the best business opportunity out there. The team at Charley's consistently develops products that taste best -- and then they provide the training and expertise to make it and serve it consistently the right way."

At Charley's our mission is to be America's Best "Fast Casual" restaurant chain; our pledge is to provide Charley's entire franchise family with the most winning business formula in the industry.

Key Advantages of Charley's Grilled Subs

Uniquely positioned in the fastest growing segment of the restaurant industry, "Fast Casual."

  • Fast Casual sandwich concepts, positioned between fast food and sit-down restaurants, are growing at an annual double digit rate, more than double the rate of any other restaurant segment and have a 7.5% compounded sales growth projected through 2006 (Technomics -2002 top 100).
  • Charley's Grilled Subs is in a unique niche offering a premium, great tasting grilled sandwich, made-to-order fresh right in front of the customer, served hot in 90 seconds or less, in an upscale and engaging environment.
  • A proven, leadership concept with almost 200 locations has opportunity for growth to 3000 locations in North America alone, "ground floor opportunity." Superior food and locations are making Charley's recognizable across the country.
  • Creating a relational network of successful restaurant operators and marketers (not just selling franchises). A proven development program guides each franchisee from financing through opening. A strong Franchisee Advisory Counsel along with continuous operating and marketing support help stimulate franchisees to continuous success.
  • One of the most affordable franchise food operations available. Investment dollars are low and a simple operating system supports low operating costs as a portion of total sales.


What does Charley's Grilled Subs look for in a franchisee?

We are looking for individuals with a successful track record. We are especially looking for individuals with P&L responsibility and successful experience in managing people and developing/implementing marketing programs. Successful retail management/ownership is extremely valuable experience.

What makes Charley's Grilled Subs unique in the sandwich segment?

  • Superior Taste! It is grilled, served hot, fabulous ingredients and sauces, and plenty to fill the heartiest eater.
  • Charley's quick service stands apart from the traditional fast food eateries by always offering freshly produced made-to-order foods in 90 seconds or less.
  • We provide a superior customer experience by inviting customer interactions and show-like observations at each step of our food preparation process. Furthermore, our innovative store ambiance and comfortable surroundings offer our guests a highly engaging atmosphere that invites a relaxing and social dining stay or a quick take-out alternative.

Where are Charley's restaurants located?

  • Everywhere!
  • There are nearly 300 Charley's franchise units Worldwide. We have locations in 38 U.S. states, Guam, Puerto Rico, Ontario Canada, and internationally in countries such as Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Kuwait, and UAE.
  • We are in airports, mall food courts, on college campuses, on military bases, and in most other retailing venues inviting to specialty restaurants.

What about financing? Does Charley's offer financing? How much money do I really need to open a Charley's restaurant?

  • You will need a minimum of $75,000 in liquid assets and at least $200,000 net worth to qualify for additional financing secured through third-party lending sources which Charley's recommends.
  • Charley's does not offer financing.

What is Charley's initial franchise fee?

  • There is a one-time franchise fee of $19,500 for a single unit.
  • For Market Development agreements the fee is $10,000 for each additional unit.

Once I am approved how long does it take to open my store?

  • The specific location and existing build-out condition will vary significantly and consequently the time to open.
  • Opening could be as quickly as 60 days from signing a franchise agreement.
  • Typically it will take six to eight months from the signing of your franchise agreement to celebrating your opening day.

What kind of support does Charley's offer me?

  • We need you to be a successful business partner as a franchisee, so we offer you guidance for all processes including obtaining financial support, designing and constructing a location, and operating a successful restaurant.
  • Our training for up to three people per location is comprehensive and includes 4 weeks of time prior to opening.
  • Our opening support helps to create a successful business launch.

Training / Support

Comprehensive 3-Week Training Program in Columbus, Ohio, including business plan, staffing and training, store operations, local store marketing, system-wide support services, store grand opening and business consulting services.

Qualification requirements

Successful business track record, Employee management, Marketing experience, Successful management or ownership experience.

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Franchise details

  • Franchise category:
  • Franchise type
    StoreBased franchise
  • Year established
  • Franchising since:
  • Franchised units:
  • Provides financing?
  • Start-up cash:
    $100,000 to $100,000
  • Investment:
    $300,000 - $400,000
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