Chris Brown, the Jersey Mike’s franchisee who purchased the Keene sub shop and recently opened a second one in Hudson, announced two more stores coming in Plaistow and Tilton this summer.
Brown said the company is finalizing leases to open a Jersey Mike’s location at the former Moe’s Southwest Grill spot at 5 Plaistow Road in Plaistow, and another at a former Zumiez store in the Tanger Outlets at 120 Laconia Road in Tilton.
The Plaistow shop is due to open sometime in June, and Brown said he hopes Tilton will be open in time for July 4 in order to capture late holiday tourist traffic up north.
Brown said he is submitting plans for refitting the 1,200-square-foot Plaistow store, with under 20 seats, for permitting. He said the same company that helped set up the Hudson store interior, TCD Construction, will be hired to build the Plaistow store, which he said will take about eight weeks.
The Plaistow location will hire up to 15 full-time and part-time employees, Brown said.
“I think that will be an average store,” Brown said, referring to projected sales. “But it’s all relative because rent’s more reasonable there than it is in other places.”
The Tilton space is bigger. Brown said they will build out about 2,000 of an available 3,000 square feet, with fewer than 40 seats. He expects to hire about 20 employees in Tilton.
“This will be one of the larger stores I’ve ever built,” Brown said.
Brown said he did not yet have an estimate on the cost of construction for these two locations. He said he thinks the Tilton store will do better than the average store in sales.
“I quit predicting these things a long time ago. Because every time I predict, I get reminded I don’t know. But I do believe it will be above average,” Brown said.
In general, he said the economy is doing well for restaurants like his.
Gregg Ryan, the co-owner of the New Hampshire-based sandwich shop franchise Wrap City, said the industry segment is doing well, and the take-out option has attracted a lot of new customers during the COVID-19 era, which has seen dine-in dwindle due to consumer concerns and government restrictions.
“To me, the fast casual has always been a good opportunity and a good alternative to the consumers, and certainly during COVID it offered a good alternative,” Ryan said.
He said take-out was an “overwhelming percentage of the business” during most of last year. Earlier this year, the chain opened two new stores in Manchester and Derry.
The fast casual restaurant segment is expected to grow by $83.5 billion globally over an eight-year period, according to a report by Allied Market Research published last summer.
The report said the fast casual restaurant market earned $125.6 billion in revenue in 2019 and is expected to reach $209.1 billion by 2027. Of that, the burger and sandwich segment is expected to earn the most revenue with about a 30 percent market share.
In 2019, North America dominated the global fast casual market with about half of the total market, and is expected to maintain that dominance through 2027.
In March, Brown said he expected to raise about $12,000 to $15,000 in New Hampshire during the company’s Month of Giving, which is a Jersey Mike’s tradition. Donations raised at Hudson and Keene stores throughout the month and gross sales revenue from March 31 will be sent to the New Hampshire Food Bank.
Brown, who moved to Bedford from Savannah, Ga., in 2019, owns 50 Jersey Mike’s restaurants under parent company Century Restaurants in eight states, including New Hampshire.
He intends to open 10 to 12 Jersey Mike’s in the Granite State.