Cousins Subs

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Cousins Submarines
Private
IndustryRestaurants
Founded1972 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
HeadquartersMenomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Key people
Bill Specht
Founder
Christine Specht-Palmert
CEO
Jason Westhoff
President[1]
ProductsSandwiches
Salads
Other food products
Websitecousinssubs.com

Cousins Submarines,[2] better known as Cousins Subs, is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based sub sandwich shop which was founded in 1972. Cousins Subs is a regional chain with restaurants in Wisconsin, Arizona, and the Chicago area.

History[edit]

Cousins Subs was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1972 by cousins Bill Specht and James Sheppard, who could not find a suitable sub sandwich option in Milwaukee like they had when they lived in New Jersey.[3]

The first Cousins Subs location in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 60th & Silver Spring Drive.

Specht and Sheppard opened their first restaurant in Milwaukee, which was located at 60th Street and Silver Spring Drive.[4] After opening the shop, they partnered with a local baker to make their own bread,[5] highlighted in the slogan "Better Bread, Better Subs". A large segment of customers during Cousins' early years were former East Coast residents.[6]

In 2009, Cousins announced a marketing initiative to focus on the local side of the business.[7] During the Great Recession, Cousins closed over 40 locations in an effort to focus on quality.[8]

Christine Specht-Palmert, daughter of co-founder Bill Specht, took over as CEO in 2015 when her father retired.[9]

Cousins Subs announced another rebranding in 2016 that includes expanding their footprint to Midwest metropolitan areas;[10] remodeling all locations to its Milwaukee Sub Shop to unify the brand;[11] updating its exterior design,[12] logo, packaging and uniform designs;[13] and offering improved in-store experience for its guests.[14] Along with the remodel, Cousins struck sponsorship agreements with the Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Wisconsin Badgers.[15] It has also worked with separate real estate firms to look into new markets like Madison, Wisconsin.[16]

As of May 2017, Cousins operates 95 stores in Wisconsin and two in Arizona. The Milwaukee area stores are corporately owned but the rest are all franchises.[17]

In August 2018, Cousins announced their expansion into the Chicago market with 40 new locations opening by 2025.[18] Three of these locations will open by the end of 2018.

Menu[edit]

The company specializes in standard sandwich shop fare, but differs from other franchise-based sandwich restaurants in that they offer french fries and cheese curds as sides in addition to the typical offerings of chips and cookies. In 2015,[19] the company began using more local and regional products in their food as part of a wider series of rebranding moves.

Charitable giving[edit]

In 2013, Cousins started the "Make It Better Foundation" to help improve health and wellness and eliminate hunger.[20] Cousins has also supported local charities near its locations.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ruggless, Ron (Mar 14, 2019). "Cousins Subs' CFO promoted to president". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100621135958/http://www.cousinssubs.com/home/legal/. Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Cousins Subs has new CEO". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  4. ^ "Jagler: Cousins Subs CEO raises the stakes". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  5. ^ "Cousins Subs Franchise Information". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  6. ^ "Cousins Subs & Johnsonville Owners Converse All Things Wisconsin". Cousins Subs & Johnsonville Owners Converse All Things Wisconsin. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  7. ^ "Milwaukee Talks: Cousins Subs president Christine Specht". OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  8. ^ "Cousins Subs shrinks in push to grow". Nation's Restaurant News. 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  9. ^ "www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/blog/table_talk/2015/06/christine-specht-succeeds-father-as-ceo-of-cousins.html". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  10. ^ "Cousins Subs makes sweeping changes to refresh brand, returns to original logo". www.qsrweb.com. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  11. ^ "Cousins Subs launches rebranding, remodeling initiative". Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  12. ^ "Milwaukee's Cousins Subs launches rebranding effort". WISN. 2016-05-19. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  13. ^ "Cousins Subs launches rebranding strategy to promote future growth | BizTimes Media Milwaukee". BizTimes Media Milwaukee. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  14. ^ "Cousins Subs to rebrand 44-year-old business". www.gmtoday.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  15. ^ a b "Cousins Subs rebrands, remodels". OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  16. ^ "Cousins Subs exploring new Midwest locations | BizTimes Media Milwaukee". BizTimes Media Milwaukee. 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  17. ^ "Milwaukee Talks: Cousins Subs president Christine Specht". OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  18. ^ Trotter, Greg. "With new franchise deal, Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs will open 40 locations in Chicago area, three this year". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  19. ^ nicole (2015-11-13). "Cousins Subs Honor Wisconsin Roots with Cheese, Sodas". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  20. ^ nicole (2015-06-03). "Cousins Subs Founder Is Succeeded by his Daughter". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-17.