TOM MEJSTRIK'S TWO BEST JOBS: FATHER AND FIREHOUSE SUBS FRANCHISEE
Tom Mejstrik’s Two Best Jobs: Father and Firehouse Subs Franchisee
In honor of Father’s Day on June 20, we are recognizing some of our amazing Franchisee Fathers who work closely with their kids in their Firehouse Subs restaurants.
Tom previously worked in the restaurant industry for more than 40 years and retired when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. After about six months, she begged him to go back to work and get out of the house. That's when he decided to open a Firehouse Subs restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska with his son and daughter in 2016.
In what capacity do you work with your children at Firehouse Subs?
My daughter Ashley is our general manager and has been working with me for about five years, and my son also worked with us to open the restaurant.
What’s your favorite part about being a dad?
Being there to help them succeed and then watching as they grow and become who they are as adults.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about owning and operating a restaurant within a family dynamic?
Keeping up a different dynamic in the restaurant versus at home. We’re very professional in the restaurants and have much more levity at home.
Are there any similarities between being a father and a franchisee? If so, what?
Definitely. Sometimes I feel like a father for all of our team members. My goal with our crew was similar to raising my kids -- help them grow and be the best they can in whatever path they choose. Knowing that many crew members are with us temporarily, I’m happy to be there for them before they move onto their next chapter.
What does your ideal Father’s Day look like?
I’ll be making subs this year! I love spending time with my family at home, grilling steaks on the grill, with no one on their phones.
What are each of your favorite Firehouse Subs?
My favorite sub is the New York Steamer® with sautéed onions. At our restaurant we say to make it “Tom’s way.” Ashley is vegetarian and loves the Veggie sub; she adds potato chips on it.
What activities do you enjoy doing together outside of the restaurant?
Anything with the kids -- going out to dinner or the movies. Ashley just got a puppy so we’ve been spending a lot of time with them.
What advice do you have for new dads?
Don’t take it personally. Sometimes it can be tough but just love them and everything will be okay.