Why Did Blimpie Subs Go Out of Business?

Blimpie Subs was a popular sandwich chain in the United States, but by the 2000s, it was struggling. The company had made big profits in the first half of the 90s, but in the second half, its net worth began to decline. A major factor in this was that the rights of sub-franchisors to the Blimpie Subs chain had been largely sold by the mid-1990s, ending what had been a steady stream of revenue. In 1967, Blimpie had successfully expanded to Manhattan, with 10 stores already producing hoagie-style subs.

Intrigued by its popularity, the founders of Blimpie did a bit of culinary espionage and ate some of Mike's Subs. This led to the launch of several new concepts in 1994 to boost its commitment to non-traditional places. Blimpie's also became part of the first restaurant section of Home Depot grocery stores, located in Atlanta. Citing a difference of opinion, since one founder wanted to keep Blimpie East Coast and the other wanted to expand southward, the original founders decided to reform Blimpie into two different companies under the same brand.

Bandassare left Blimpie in 1965, but Conza and DeCarlo continued without him, selling Blimpie franchises in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. During this time, Blimpie's competitor Subway grew across the country, jeopardizing Blimpie's finances. It was decided that DeCarlo would run Blimpie Metropolitan and maintain control of most of Blimpie's locations in New York, New Jersey and the East Coast. Kahala Brands now owns Blimpie and has placed it in league with other savory destinations such as Pinkberry, Baja Fresh and Cold Stone Creamery.

Nearly 60 years later, Blimpie continues to fight drafts in an effort to stay true to its motto as America's Sub Shop.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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