I can’t stand Jimmy Johns… I really just wish that they would leave me alone… and get away from my local deli, and take their stupid ads off of the radio… I mean, really, would someone call them instead of the fire department if their house was on fire? They are worse than the Geico commercials…..arrrgggg.
But that is not why they should give it up…. I will tell you why.
Jimmy John’s has taken their sandwich naming over the top…. they have decided that should sue another smaller sandwich shop (Halsted Street Deli) for infringing on their names of their sandwiches. The two sandwiches in question are the Turkey Tom and the Hunter’s Club.
I have quoted the article below. As well as included the court docket of the lawsuit. I understand that people take their sandwiches seriously, but this is just ridiculous for a couple of reasons. Jimmy John’s Sucks as a sandwich shop just isn’t going to cut it as a valid excuse, so let me give some more details.
1. The names in question are really not that original at all. In fact, I should probably take up a fight with the patent office, because they are names that should not have been patented at all. Turkey Tom is actually more of a generic term than a lot of other things out there. A male turkey is either a Jake or a Tom, so I don’t seem to think that you should be able to patent a proper noun. The Hunter’s Club? Really? they got that patented? I mean how many hunting clubs are there? How many Hunter’s Clubs are there? I just don’t seem to think that it is all that original?
2. If you have to patent a sandwich name, and then enforce that patent because you feel as though others selling sandwiches are a detriment to your business, then there is probably something fundamentally wrong with your business model. I thought you were a sandwich shop, not a law firm? Lets look at this a little deeper shall we?
2a. From their content page:
What makes Jimmy John’s different from the rest is that it’s honest, it’s damn good, it’s damn fast, at a decent price! Jimmy John’s definition of fresh is worlds apart from everyone else’s. Bread is baked in-house everyday and served fresh. Meat and veggies are sliced fresh in-house everyday. The turkey is real turkey, the roast beef is real roast beef – no additives, no vegetable-based fillers, no fake stuff. Nothing is delivered pre-sliced. Real Hellmann’s mayo, real Grey Poupon, real olive oil and red wine vinegar – it’s the best of the best.
With perfect bread, systems in place, spectacular employees and leaders who lead and don’t pass the buck, Jimmy John’s box rocks. The culture that was created in the restaurants is the same culture that drives the corporate office. “Make a deal, keep a deal” is the Golden Rule. Do it now – make it happen – be a go-getter, no excuses. Jimmy John’s employees are the ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They want to be the best. They don’t mind doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Their hustle is part of how they live their daily lives, and they enjoy the fruits of a hard-earned entrepreneurial lifestyle. Once again, Jimmy John’s wants only the best for the best.
Just by reading some of their corporate history, their franchise investment page, and a little bit more about their company philosophy, it seems to me that suing another sandwich shop goes against the initial attitude that Jimmy John Liautaud had when he started the sandwich shop in the first place. Suing someone over a name of a sandwich doesn’t seem very “honest” from someone who “doesn’t pass the buck”. it seems to me like they are trying to make a quick buck because they can’t cut the mustard.
2b. From a financial standpoint: Jimmy John’s Must not be quick enough:
If Jimmy John’s is relying on suing another company, it means that they probably feel like the loss of business from the competitors that are “infringing” on their sandwich names. Jimmy Johns feels as though there is reason enough to believe that spending a couple of thousand dollars on a law suit is a better way of putting money in the bank than selling sandwiches and franchises. There are about 25 locations of the Halsted Street Deli vs close to 100 Jimmy John’s. According to the Jimmy John’s site, there the average net sales are close to $1,172,013 per store. With an average of 9.5% of those net sales going towards franchise fees and marketing costs, jimmy john’s should be pulling in close to $110,000 annually from each of their locations. With over 1,000 locations, corporate is looking at close to what…. $112 million? Take away another 30% for taxes and overhead, and $84 Million seems like a good number to me..
Bottom Line is pretty freaky, but not freaky good:
I don’t have any actual numbers because Jimmy John’s is privately held company, but I am guessing with over 2500 delis in the chicago area, not to mention to the millions of other local delis, sandwich shops, and other QSR restaurants, that Jimmy John’s is trying to do whatever they can to promote themselves. They offer cheap prices, gourmet ingredients, and on occasion, sandwiches for $1. It must be difficult to make a profit when you are selling things at bottom line prices… or way below. I obviously understand the desire to get people in the shop and get them hooked on your sandwich, but I would be really interested in seeing what their return rate on customers from deals like that are? i am guessing somewhere less than 15%, but it also seems to me like they don’t do a lot of tracking…. but that is probably a per-franchise basis. I prefer to go to a shop with higher prices, longer waits, and better sandwiches.
here is the article…. feel free to give me your thoughts….
Jimmy John’s sues Halsted Street Deli over sandwich similarities
By: Lorene Yue October 11, 2010
(Crain’s) — Jimmy John’s Enterprises LLC is crying foul that a competitor’s sandwiches are too much like its own.
Jimmy John’s is suing Chicago-based Halsted Street International Inc., the parent of Halsted Street Deli, for infringing on two of Jimmy John’s trademarks.
Champaign-based Jimmy John’s, which has more than 1,000 locations across the country, claims it created its Turkey Tom and Hunter’s Club sandwiches in 1984 and trademarked the names in 2002.
Now Jimmy John’s says Halsted Street, with more than a dozen Chicago-area locations, is deliberately confusing customers with its Tom Turkey and Hunt Club sandwiches. Jimmy John’s claims they have virtually the same ingredients.
There are an “unlimited number of readily recognizable and readily distinguishable sandwich names that have been and could be developed by competing restaurants for sandwiches,” Jimmy John’s attorneys said in the suit.
Bill Gomez, owner of Halsted Street International, declined to comment on the suit.
In July, Jimmy John’s sent a letter to Halsted Street International and all of its locations, asking them to stop using the names “Tom Turkey” and “the Hunt Club.”
Halsted Street responded by saying it could see no similarities between the items, according to a letter included as part of the Jimmy John’s suit.
“Our client’s use of Tom Turkey is generic and not likely to create confusion vis a vis your client’s Turkey Tom mark,” a patent attorney wrote on behalf of Halsted Street International. “Your mark includes the possessive form of ‘Hunter,’ namely ‘Hunter’s,’ while our client does not use the possessive form.”
Jimmy John’s attorneys sent a second cease-and-desist request in September but received no answer.
Now Jimmy John’s wants a federal judge to order the names off Halsted Deli’s menu and pay unspecified damages, as well as court costs. Jimmy John’s also wants destroyed all menus and signs displaying the two sandwich names.
The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.