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Jimmy John Liautaud Net Worth

James John Liautaud (born January 12, 1964) is an American restaurateur, who is widely known as the founder and former chairman of Jimmy John’s sandwich chain.

In October 2018, Liautaud was included in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people. At this time, Forbes estimated Liautaud’s documented wealth at $2 billion.

What is Jimmy John Liautaud’s Net Worth and Salary?

Jimmy John Liautaud is an American restauranteur who has a net worth of $2 billion. Jimmy John Liautaud is best known for founding the sandwich chain Jimmy John’s. After launching the business in 1983 and selling his first franchise in 1994, he went on to expand the chain considerably, opening more than 2,800 locations over the years, 98% of which are franchise-owned. Liautaud is also active in charity, and has donated to various nonprofits.

WebsiteOfficial website

In September 2016, private equity firm Roark Capital acquired 65% of Jimmy Johns in a deal that valued the company at $2.3 billion. Within two years after further growth, Jimmy John Liautaud’s pre-tax paper net worth was $1.7 billion.

In September 2019, Inspire brands – the parent company of Arby’s, Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings, acquired 100% of Jimmy John’s in an all-stock deal. The valuation terms were not disclosed. At the time of the transaction, Jimmy Johns produced $2 billion in annual revenue.

Family and early life

Liautaud was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois on January 12, 1964. His father is James Liautaud, longtime entrepreneur, and his mother is Gina Gudaityte Liautaud. He was born the second of four siblings, with brothers Greg and Robby Liautaud and a sister Lara Liautaud Berry. He attended high school at Elgin Academy, a private prep school in Elgin, Illinois, where he became close with and was influenced by the dean, James Lyons.

He studied at Eastern Illinois University, but left after one semester to grow his up-and-coming restaurant business.

Start of Jimmy John’s Sandwiches

Following his graduation from high school in 1982, Liautaud was given a $25,000 loan from his father in order to start his own business. Taking the money, he agreed to his father’s condition that he would enlist in the US Army if his business venture failed. Although Liautaud originally planned to open a hot dog stand, he soon realized that the $25,000 loan was an insufficient amount for such a business. In lieu of this, he decided to open a sandwich shop by buying premium meats at his local market and combining them with his own baked bread. Liautaud subsequently founded Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches in Charleston, Illinois in early 1983. Because the store wasn’t in the best location, he began delivering sandwiches door-to-door at the dormitories of the nearby Eastern Illinois University. By the end of 1983, Jimmy John’s was making a profit. As the business continued to grow throughout the decade, Liautaud opened his second and third locations.

Jimmy John’s Franchising

In 1988, Liautaud met Jamie Coulter, a Pizza Hut franchisee who would go on to found Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. With the guidance of Coulter, Liautaud sold his first Jimmy John’s franchise in 1994. The business kept expanding over the ensuing years, amassing around 200 locations by 2002. Later, in 2007, Liautaud recruited the assistance of private equity firm Weston Presidio to help him expand further. The firm acquired a 33% stake in Jimmy John’s and closed on more than 100 real estate deals within the first year. Another private equity firm, Roark Capital Group, bought a majority stake in the company in 2016. Three years after that, Inspire Brands purchased Jimmy John’s from Roark Capital Group. Headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, Jimmy John’s has more than 2,700 locations throughout the United States, with 98% of them being franchises.

Honors and Awards

Liautaud has received a number of accolades for his business success with Jimmy John’s. In 2004, he was named Illinois’ Ernst & Young Food & Beverage Entrepreneur of the Year. The same year, Liautaud was given the National CEO Conference’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Later, in 2012, he won the Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain. Among his other honors, Liautaud received the 2018 Horatio Alger Award for achieving success through personal adversity.

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