BY MARK GOODSON — Jimmy John’s advertises that they deliver “subs so fast you’ll freak.” For Hyattsville’s Baltimore Ave. location, that means subs at your doorstep ten minutes after you place the order. Freaky fast indeed.
Jimmy John’s calls their delivery employees “runners.” In some cases, the label is a literal one. Hyattsville’s Area Manager Louis Mozzano said the most dynamic sub-runner he’s worked with, Sergio Torres, “ran a dead sprint if it was within half-a-mile.” Torres set the delivery record of 84 deliveries in one day for the College Park Jimmy John’s location.
According to Mozzano, Torres “looked like an American gladiator” and was a “very competitive delivery guy.”
As Area Manager of four locations, Mozzano often recruits athletes and competitors like Torres, who played football. “Competition is big for me,” Mozzano said. The restaurant’s computer system logs a runner’s delivery time, making it possible to track delivery time and bestow honors.
Mozzano has himself set a record, logging nine minutes round trip on a delivery from the College Park Jimmy John’s to St. Mark the Evanglist Catholic Church, three miles round trip on a bicycle.
“Jimmy John’s is all about whatever gets it there the fastest,” Mozzano said. That meant rollerblades at the Rockville location he used to manage. “There is a mall, a lot of parking lots and high rise buildings. I had a couple of guys from the high school’s football team. They were in good shape and liked to rollerblade.”
Rollerblades are not efficient in Hyattsville because of “Jefferson Mountain”—Mozzano’s nickname for Jefferson Street—and long stretches of busy local roads.
Carlos Gomez has been delivering subs at Hyattsville’s Jimmy John’s for nine months on his bicycle. “It’s easiest to bike in the area because we don’t have to deal with traffic as much as drivers do,” he said.
When he is not on a delivery run, Gomez helps on the sandwich assembly line or in the back. When the store is busy he will prepare the delivery order and take it out himself.
The store’s policy is to have subs out the door in five minutes, and then delivered in five minutes, making a ten minute wait for your sub.
Mozzano explained that he is not opposed to automobiles as a means of delivery, but in Hayttsville, “cars are slow.” In the Gaithersburg store he manages, cars are used for deliveries because “there are two main roads to get to all locations,” he said.
In general, Mozzano prefers non-automotive deliveries because runners “don’t need a licence or insurance. Just find an athlete and they can do it. I’ve recruited multiple tri-athletes from the University of Maryland Triathlon club. Excellent delivery guys.”
He said he manages his stores like a sports team. And while runners are awarded competitively, he said that what truly delivers subs so fast you’ll freak is “pure pride.”