All the usual fire department parallels have already been made. The company is hot! Firehouse Subs to the rescue! And, they have me hooked . . .and ladder!
So we’ll skip the set up and get right to the food.
Visiting a Firehouse Subs is not exactly like sitting down with the firefighters at the station, but it’s surprisingly close. There is a camaraderie shown at each restaurant location that starts when you walk through the door and hear, “Welcome to Firehouse!” Every time, and with a cheerful attitude that isn’t perfunctory or routine. Kind of like being greeted by close co-workers.
And there are the sandwiches. Any good firefighter pulling kitchen duty knows that a good effort will be met with cheers, and a poor one will be subject to derision for years. These are good.
Each sub is hot, a distinction that Firehouse Subs claims with pride. Each one is piled high with meat—nothing skimpy about these—and has flavor that comes from the quality meat as well as the sauces and vegetables that are specifically chosen for each sandwich to bring out that flavor.
Perhaps each sandwich feels back-of-the-Firehouse made because that’s where each one started. Two brothers, each having served as a firefighter, started Firehouse Subs and continue to lead its sandwich development.
The Hook & Ladder is smoked turkey, Virginia honey ham, and melted Monterey Jack—and if you order it “fully involved” you’ll get it loaded with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The New York Steamer is corned beef brisket, pastrami, melted provolone, with mustard, mayo and Italian dressing. There are plenty more sandwiches and salads to fit anyone’s taste.
Even better, each purchase gives you multiple opportunities to give back. You can “round up,” to the nearest dollar, with the change going to their Public Safety Foundation—a fund that provides life-saving equipment and resources for first responders. You can simply contribute spare change to the “canister.” Or, when you buy a Hook & Ladder, or buy one of their empty pickle buckets, a donation is automatically made to the fund.
(Speaking of which, if you are curious about what to do with that pickle bucket, you can see their suggested 101 uses on the Firehouse Subs Facebook page.)
The company donated $1.8 million in 2012 through its foundation, funding items such as K-9 search and rescue dogs, equipment for tactical simulation labs, disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy survivors, all-terrain vehicles, thermal imaging cameras, bunker gear and extrication tools.
There’s lots more to the experience, such as grabbing a drink cup that features a real-life hero, studying one of the murals hand-painted for each location, or testing any of the 50 sauces you can add to your sandwich—including their proprietary Captain Sorenson’s® Datil Pepper Hot Sauce, named after the founders’ firefighter father. Don't forget to add one of their specialty brownies to your meal to give you a truly sweet ending.
As added proof that the company is “hot,” they are up to more than 600 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico. Just take a look at some of the awards they’ve won recently:
- No. 1 Fast-Food Sandwich – Zagat
- No. 1 Chain Restaurant Consumers' Choice Awards for Fast Casual Category service – Technomic
- No. 1 Consumer Picks in the sandwich category – Nation’s Restaurant News
- No. 2 Fastest Growing U.S. Restaurant Chain – Technomic
- No. 19 Restaurant Social Media Index Top 100 – Nations Restaurant News
Now, don’t you want a sub?