A Recipe for Success: Father-Son Duo Become Business Partners at 

Firehouse Subs

In honor of Father’s Day on June 20, we are recognizing some of our amazing franchisee fathers who work closely with their children in their Firehouse Subs restaurants. 

Jim Chandler opened his first Firehouse Subs restaurant in 2003 in Mobile, Alabama and now owns and operates three area restaurants. His son, Jay Chandler, has spent the last decade working his way up in his dad’s restaurants. Recently, Jay received the promotion of a lifetime and became a co-franchisee alongside his father. 

In what capacity do you work with your son at Firehouse Subs? 

For the first 10 years, my son Jay worked with our franchise as shift manager, general manager, and progressed to area supervisor. Recently, he officially became my business partner and co-franchisee.

What’s your favorite part about being a dad? 

The moments of extreme pride you get with seeing one of your children meet milestones in life like home runs, marching in the band at a football game, graduations, weddings and other momentous occasions.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about owning and operating a restaurant within a family dynamic? 

The lines blur between the roles we play and the hats we wear. Sometimes you must carefully choose your approach to resolve an issue. The perspective you look at the issue with and the action you take is all so important.

Are there any similarities between being a father and a franchisee? If so, what? 

Pride is the one commonality. Whether a Dad or a boss, when you work to get those around you up to speed, turn them loose to do the job, and then see they have been paying attention and have become self-sufficient, that’s a good moment from both a father and boss point of view.  

What does your ideal Father’s Day look like? 

That would be baby back ribs on the grill and family on the pool deck -- and presents, of course.

What are each of your favorite Firehouse Subs?

I was on the fence about buying a Firehouse Subs franchise and went back to the Daphne, Alabama location for another look at the brand. The Sweet & Spicy Meatball sub was so good that I decided to buy our restaurants on the second bite, and it’s been my favorite sub for years. Jay’s favorite sub is the classic Italian™.

What activities do you enjoy doing together outside of the restaurants? 

I’m famous for having projects going all the time and for being accused of fixing things that aren’t broken so we work on various tasks when we’re not working in the restaurant.

What advice do you have for new dads?

Never lose sight of the fact that you are your kid’s safety net. We have always tried to have a “Plan B” to help stay ready when things don’t necessarily go according to “Plan A”.