Firehouse Subs surpassed company goals and industry averages last year, resulting in a record-breaking 2012, according to a company press release. The brand opened 98 new restaurants and added 144 new franchisees last year, and grew the average unit volume from $648,407 to $731,006, an increase of 12.7 percent, said CEO Don Fox. Bolstered by a same-restaurant sales increase of 7.8 percent — overall system wide sales grew from $285 million in 2011 to $385 million in 2012; an increase of 35.2 percent.

Community outreach
Reaching 78 million people through 156 donations, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation expanded its scope of grant recipients from municipal and volunteer fire departments, police departments, and emergency medical services to nonprofit organizations and public school systems. Raising $1.8 million in 2012, the Foundation donated items including 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. During October Fire Safety Month, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation partnered with P&G Professional/Duracell to provide restaurant patrons a free Duracell 9-volt battery for their home smoke detector.

"In 2012 our focus was on three key objectives: supporting the communities we serve through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, increasing our guest's satisfaction by staying true to our brand heritage of heartfelt service and hearty, flavorful food, and growth in sales within our franchise system," Fox said. "This laser focus yielded results that are the best in our 18-year history, and we thank our loyal guests, dedicated franchise community, and more than 8,000 employees across the country that made it happen."

The chain is also striving to make 2013 a banner year, Fox said. By the end of the year, the company aims to increase its average unit volume, raise $3.5 million for Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and increase its restaurant count to 715 units with a long-term goal of 2,000 restaurants by 2020.

Read more about growth.

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