I was recently asked by Coca-Cola to visit a few local places that have the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines set up and document my visits. The first in this series comes from Firehouse Subs, the first national chain to implement the new system.
Firehouse Subs, founded in Jacksonville, Fla., by former firefighting brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, is a 490-unit fast-casual restaurant chain offering oversized portions of premium, hand-sliced meats and cheeses steamed to enhance their flavor, piled high with fresh produce on a toasted sub roll. Restaurants feature authentic firefighter décor celebrating local firefighting history, as well as the founding family’s 200 years of firefighting service. The industry standard, Nation’s Restaurant News, recently named Firehouse Subs’ CEO Don Fox its 2011 “Operator of the Year.”
On August 3, 2011, Firehouse subs began placing Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage dispensers in all their stores after a six-month test at the 25 restaurants in the Jacksonville market. Firehouse is the first national franchise chain to utilize the new technology in all franchises.
“The first time we saw Coca-Cola Freestyle, we knew it would revolutionize the beverage industry and we welcomed a test with our partners at Coca-Cola,” said Robin Sorensen, co- founder of Firehouse Subs. “Customers rave about Coca-Cola Freestyle. It offers an interactive experience that when combined with our subs, is unmatched, and has led to a substantial increase in beverage sales. We’re pumped to be the first national chain on the planet to bring the fountain of the future to all of our loyal customers.”
Coca-Cola Freestyle®, the first in a family of new dispensers, creates branded beverages by blending concentrated ingredients with water and sweetener at the point where the beverage is dispensed via proprietary PurePour Technology™. It does not use syrup, but instead uses concentrated ingredients stored in cartridges in the dispenser cabinet.
For brothers and former firefighters, Chris and Robin Sorensen, founding Firehouse Subs in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1994 was a dream turned reality.
Chris and Robin also utilized their travels to gain more inspiration for their food and its preparation, including a trip to the famous Carnegie Deli in New York. The result was Firehouse Subs’ unique steaming method, which intensifies the flavors and natural qualities of the premium meats and cheeses, while creating a hot sub that never sees a microwave.
More than 50 varieties of hot sauces line the counters at Firehouse Subs locations, including the signature Captain Sorensen’s Datil Pepper Hot Sauce further infusing the “hot” theme into the overall experience.
In 2005, the company created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the life- saving capabilities of emergency service entities in communities served by Firehouse Subs by providing funding, resources and support to public safety entities. Over the past two years, the Foundation has donated more than $3.5 million in life-saving equipment and resources throughout 275 communities.
Hook & Ladder – Smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, and melted Monterey Jack, served Fully Involved. Get it Fully Involved® – Loaded complete with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a dill spear on the side.
Firehouse Subs features Specialty Subs such as the No. 1 selling Hook & Ladder and the New York Steamer®, both named after fire trucks. The Hook & Ladder includes Smoked Turkey and Virginia Honey Ham smothered with Monterey Jack cheese. The New York Steamer, inspired by New York delicatessens, combines corned beef brisket and pastrami topped with Provolone. All large Specialty Subs boast a half-pound of meat. Firehouse Subs’ intense flavors result from a unique steaming method, which perfectly complements the natural qualities of the premium meats and cheeses.
Easy to use, with a nice touch screen with countless combinations – Coca Cola Freestyle
so. many. choices.
Fanta, lemonade mix