As students at The Gregory School are dismissed from their C or G Block class and make their way to the cafeteria for lunch, Jimmy John’s worker Ken Mahue, 20, waits in the office with a delivery order.
“This is my third delivery order today,” said Mahue. “I probably deliver around eight orders a day just to The Gregory School.”
Jimmy John’s is a sandwich restaurant chain that was founded in 1983 in Chicago, Illinois by Jimmy John Liautaud. Liautaud’s father had offered him the proposition to either join the military or start a business of his own; Liautaud chose the latter and Jimmy John’s was conceived.
In the 30 years that Jimmy John’s has been around, it has expanded to over 2,000 locations in 43 states. In the Tucson area alone, there are nine locations.
“There is an elementary school, St. Cyril’s, that orders from us, too. It’s mostly teachers that order because the kids are young. The Gregory School is the only high school we deliver to,” said Mahue.
Office receptionist Elaine Kornfeld, who is new to The Gregory School this year, said, “When I was in high school, we couldn’t get delivery orders, so when I came here I was a bit surprised because I had never seen that done at a high school before.”
Students at The Gregory School credit Jimmy John’s quick delivery and cheap prices as its appeal, two aspects which the company prides itself on.
“I order Jimmy John’s Turkey Tom sandwich maybe once a week, as they have a more extensive menu than the school cafeteria,” said senior Ashton Yazzie.
Sophomore Ben Siemens said, “I order Jimmy John’s about twice a week. It’s a better deal to buy a sandwich, chips, and drink from Jimmy John’s than it is to buy the same meal at the school cafeteria.”
However, some students find that Jimmy John’s sandwiches are bland and too simple in terms of what they have to offer.
Senior Alyssa Metcalf said, “I actually get Baggins more often than I get Jimmy John’s. It takes a lot longer, but I think their food is better.” Baggins is another sandwich chain restaurant local to Tucson.
Students at The Gregory School have a long-standing relationship with Jimmy John’s sandwiches, and the amount of orders has increased the amount of business Jimmy John’s receives on a daily basis.
“The Gregory School really helps our business just because of the amount of orders we get per day and the fact that they’re all coming from the same location so it’s easier to deliver,” said Manager Ricky Reulas.
Reulas has been at for the Jimmy John’s corporation since last May, and has been working at the Swan and Grant location for the last 4 months.
“We receive anywhere from 75 to 95 delivery orders per day. Most of the delivery orders come in during lunch. We probably get around 10 to 15 orders per day from The Gregory School during the weekdays,” said Reulas.
Joe Tunzi, co-owner of Kavo & Tunzi who rent out the school cafeteria to sell their food to students, does not think Jimmy John’s poses a threat to their business. “I think they provided more competition last year more so than this year. The seniors last year were more interested in ordering Jimmy John’s, but I don’t see it as much as I did last year.”
Tunzi added, “We try to compete with them. We try to make sandwiches like them.”
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