While much of the world had to adjust to remote working in 2020, Jason Steele was built for it. In his 22 years in the franchise industry as a high-level executive for real estate and development, Jason has worked remotely for the majority of his career, fielding site selection, leasing, and overall development for companies in the health care, retail, and food service sectors. Today, as chief development officer of PrimoHoagies, he’s now happily adjusting to an in-office environment, leading the ambitious growth plans for Westville, New Jersey-based national company. When he joined in October 2020, they had plateaued with 79 locations in 6 states. This was one of the reasons they recruited Jason, who has experience successfully growing smaller mom-and-pop companies as well as larger national brands. In less than 18 months, Jason has boosted that number to 85 locations open (at the time of this article), with 68 under development, and the projected addition of eight to ten more states in the coming year. For the first time, under Jason’s development leadership, PrimoHoagies is now ranked in the nation’s top 400 franchises, with its popularity spreading. “People are finally seeing this company for what it is, which is one of the best with the best products. I’m proud to be responsible for growing the brand and bringing PrimoHoagies to every city and state.” he says.
Jason handles the entire franchising process, starting with recruiting and qualifying potential buyers and working with them through the company research, sales, and approval process. Then he handles site identification and selection, right-to-market process, LOI terms, and lease negotiations and agreements. Over his career, he’s worked with companies on both ends of the business cycle—those that are growing and adding locations, and those that are downsizing and closing locations. This double-sided experience allows Jason deep insight into what works and what doesn’t. This, combined with the considerable nationwide network he’s amassed and the relationships he’s cultivated, is what has driven PrimoHoagies to its place as one of the fastest-growing QSR concepts globally. Those relationships allow him to identify new franchisees and quickly move to lease. And his attention to detail and honesty means that PrimoHoagies, just like his prior clients and employers, will know exactly what will work and what won’t, and the exact reasons why.
But underlying this seasoned veteran’s skill and business savvy is his personal desire to work with entrepreneurs and help them position themselves for growth and success. “I love working with someone who is looking to be in business for themselves or may be going into a field they don’t know much about, and helping them realize their dream,” he says. There’s no doubt that Jason has been extremely successful in his work, but he humbly points to simple yet profound catalysts behind it—"Simply working hard and doing it right.” While, as a young college student, Jason might not have preconceived his spectacular rise on the real estate stage, the words of Henry David Thoreau could very well have been written for him: “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”
For more information on the PrimoHoagies franchise opportunity, please visit www.ownaprimo.com
Chief Development Officer — PrimoHoagies Franchising, Inc.