Jersey Mike’s CEO Gives Strong Message for Contact Center Leaders


Did you see the thirty-second TV advertisement in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by Peter Cancro, Founder and CEO of Jersey Mike’s Subs? It is a strong message for all contact center leaders and associates.

If you missed it, you could watch it on YouTube…just search for Jersey Mike’s—Our Family.

For those of you that are not aware, Jersey Mike’s is a chain of over two-thousand stores serving high-end subs. It was started in 1975 by Peter Cancro, a Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, high school senior who talked his football coach into loaning him $125,000 to buy the sandwich shop where he had worked part-time for four years.

There were years of challenge. Today the franchise company enjoys $1 billion in annual sales and is currently the fastest-growing sandwich chain in the U.S.

This story, however, is not about a bootstrap kid who went from rags to riches through hard work and dedication. That story has been told in a wide range of business literature.

His words were, “I am so proud of our owners throughout the country for serving hospitals, first responders, and those in need.” He encourages everyone to “seek your opportunity to give and make a difference in someone’s life.”

There is no sales pitch, no tooting your own horn, just a humble plea of gratitude and encouragement. The word “grateful” comes from the Latin word Gratus that meant “pleasing or agreeable.” We use it now as the expression of thanks to those who please us in some manner.

People please us all year long. Some loudly, like the happy-go-lucky contact center agent, some quietly, like the janitor who cleans the restrooms so during a break there’s a clean place to relieve and regroup yourself.

Customers are notorious for pleasing us. They visit our enterprises in person or online and leave behind money for our benefit. Support employees leave behind their careful toil and dedication. Here is a half-dozen who made my life better because of their special contribution.

  • The Delta flight attendant who last year spotted my ice pack and, without saying a word, filled it with ice to comfort my aching back after way too many air miles.
  • The guy who mows my yard and on mow days brings my morning newspaper to the front door rather than waiting for me to walk to the end of a very long driveway to get it.
  • The nurse who drew blood for my annual physical exam last month and then brought me a cup of great coffee since I had fasted since midnight the evening before.
  • My financial advisor at Merrill, who weekly teaches me financial smartness as he briefs me on my investments.
  • The people who follow me on social media, retweet my tweets, and publish my guest blogs.
  • My family, who always gives me a wider than normal berth when I am preoccupied (and absentminded) while in the middle of writing a new book.

To all of you (and those not named here), you bless me with your greatness, and I am full of appreciation. Thanks. As a contact center leader or agent, take a page from Jersey Mike’s during these challenging times. Thank someone for what they have meant to you or your family.

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