Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Firehouse Subs

When you're in the middle of a long, strenuous workday, it's never a bad thing to stop by a sandwich shop and get yourself a filling, satisfying lunch. There are loads of sandwich shops out there that you can do this at — Jimmy Johns, Subway, Quiznos – all with incredible meat sandwiches that will fill you up to power through the rest of your day. One such of these locations, which is a fan favorite among sandwich fans, is none other than Firehouse Subs.

The firefighter-founded chain is known for its incredible tasting subs, along with all of the fantastic ingredients that you can use to customize and build your favorite meal with. But what's it like working at a Firehouse Sub store? You have to do everything that comes with working in a sandwich shop, as well as any food chain in general: putting up with difficult customers, making sure everyone gets their orders on time, and in terms of sub shops, making the sandwiches to everyone's unique palettes and choices. There's a lot that goes on behind a Firehouse Sub, and here, we're going to reveal that all to you, so the next time you enter one of the chain's stores, you'll know a little bit more about what happens behind the counter.

Many employees feel Firehouse is a fantastic place to work

Working at any food chain out there can come with its downsides. No job is perfect, admittedly, but that doesn't mean every food-related job out there is awful — and in some cases, a job can be pretty amazing, especially when it comes to Firehouse Subs. For many, it's a great way to get some cash, especially if you're a student who needs a flexible job. In the case of Firehouse Subs, despite a lot of flaws that come with working with fast food chains, many employees have found the sub store to be a fantastic place to work, and even hold fond memories of the place.

Employees who have worked at Firehouse Subs have a fair amount of positive things to say about their time at the sub chain. One such worker stated that the environment was a fun one to work in, with coworkers that were like family to them, along with a regular flow of friendly customers (via Niche). Another employee wrote that they also had a good experience at the restaurant, claiming that their manager gave them great advice, and made working there a lot easier for them (via Indeed). It's clear that making delicious sandwiches isn't the only good thing about Firehouse, but the nice co-workers and customers that many employees met, as well.

Some of the franchisees are also firefighters

Making deliciously hot sandwiches is one thing, but fighting fires alongside that job is a whole other story. It's well-known that the chain was founded by firemen (via Firehouse Subs), who have not only put their lives on the line to protect us, but also put their heart into making sure that Firehouse Sub customers have incredible sandwiches to enjoy. Some firefighters work at the restaurants — or are Firehouse franchise owners — and when they aren't on the clock fighting fire, you can find them running the sub shops.

The firefighting employees at the sandwich chain seem to adore their work for Firehouse Subs. One such individual, Lyric Cain, helps out her father at his franchised locations, raising money for first responders and assisting customers all at once (via Firehouse Subs). Another such employee, Robbie Carroll, operates a Firehouse location of his own after retiring from his job as a firefighter, and also enjoys the fact that he can give back to local stations through donations and equipment. Working out of a Firehouse Subs might not be as dangerous as running into a fire to save someone, but being able to give back to those who tackle those dangerous jobs is never a bad thing.

The employees don't enjoy the lack of tips and low pay

If you've ever worked out of a restaurant or a café, then you know just how crucial tips are in terms of pay. When you're not getting paid the best, and only receiving minimum wage — even as a high school student, it isn't always enough to get by. It comes as no surprise how important restaurant tipping can be.  Unfortunately, not every job comes with this benefit, including the sandwich-making and serving jobs that you can find at Firehouse.

The employees at Firehouse Subs don't get tips with their pay — and that's not something that they're happy about. Even the employees who have had wonderful experiences with the sub sandwich chain have noted that there was one aspect dragging them back in terms of their enjoyment and satisfaction in regards to the job, and that was the lack of tips (via Indeed). One worker even said on Indeed that they were told they would get tips, but didn't see any come their way. That's not exactly a great addition to the low pay that they were already receiving. Working in a fast-paced, hard-working environment is a great thing to look for in a job, but if you aren't making much money — with or without tips, is that job honestly worth it?

Firehouse employees get a discount on their food

If you spent your day surrounded by delicious sandwiches, then there's a good chance you'd want to eat those sandwiches every once in a while, if not every day. The sandwiches served at Firehouse subs are incredible, so if you were to work there, we could imagine the desire to eat the sandwiches one makes would be pretty strong. The employees do have to wait, unfortunately, for a break or after their shift to get one of the sandwiches, because you can't eat while on the job. When the employees are finally able to get some Firehouse Subs, though, they get an extra benefit since they work for the chain.

According to reviews on Indeed, some employees said they got a 50% discount on the food sold at Firehouse Subs. When the subs range from $6 to around $9.50, that discount can be pretty useful. For some, this seems like it was the only good thing they had to say about the sandwich joint, while others lamented that they got "no free meals" (via Indeed). A free sandwich is definitely more enticing than one that isn't, yet many employees also seem to see the discount as a pro for working at the sandwich shop, and appreciate the fact that they get it.

The management at some locations could use some work

Many of the employees who come out of Firehouse Subs have a lot of positive things to say about their coworkers, the customers, and the management that they work for. However, at the same time, there's a good number of employees who haven't had as smooth of a time at the sandwich chain, and not just because of tough customers, but instead, it's primarily thanks to their management. If the people you work for are rude, aren't communicative, and are difficult to work at, you aren't going to have a good time no matter where you are, including Firehouse Subs.

Some employees have gone so far as to write entire rants online about their frustration with their management (via Reddit). According to the user, their general manager was barely present at the store, and whenever he did show up, he was rude, or goofing around, and making it difficult for other employees to work. This isn't an isolated occurrence, either. Other employees have quite a bit to say about their managers, and it isn't all that pretty (via Indeed). Not every Firehouse Subs shop will have poor management, but it's good to know that some workers speaking up about it.

The uniform rules can vary based on location

Uniforms are an important aspect of many jobs. If you go to a Home Depot, you're going to look for someone wearing orange, and if you go to a Cinnabon, it would be strange to see the employees without their bright blue shirts and white aprons. When it comes to the employees at Firehouse Subs, you'll find them decked in the provided red Firehouse shirt that you see them wearing as they make your subs, along with a cap, visor, and black apron. In regards to the rest of what the employees can wear, however, the standard changes based on location.

According to employees on Indeed, their uniform policy was extremely strict. They had to wear black pants that couldn't be jeans, long black socks, and couldn't have jewelry, tattoos, dyed hair, or piercings. However, another employee notes on this page that they were allowed to wear jeans, while another said that the tattoo policy varied by location, as they were able to have them in one store, but not another. This could definitely be confusing to some employees, so if you do have plans on working at this sandwich shop, figure out whether their uniform policy is a little more relaxed or not.

Grow opportunities for employees might be limited

Some people get a job at a store or restaurant in order to make a bit of cash, though others dive in with the hopes of growing, and possibly becoming a manager or some other higher position. If you've frequently eaten out of a Firehouse Sub shop for a while, then perhaps you've become enamored with their sandwiches, and are hoping to pursue a career with the company. Even if you aren't hoping to pursue an entire career with the chain, it's always nice to know that it would be possible to do so, right? Unfortunately, you might not find that sort of growth at Firehouse Subs.

One employee notes that while this is a great starting job, if you're looking for upward mobility, you won't find it at Firehouse Subs (via Glassdoor). No matter how enjoyable or good the job is as a whole, if you can't grow, and you want to, then why stay there? Other employees note that while working at Firehouse does indeed make for a good first job, in the long run, it isn't the best place to stay if you want to see growth (as per Indeed). That's not to say no employee will ever see growth — some certainly have, though there are a good amount of those who haven't, as well.

Rude customers are just a part of the job

One of the most difficult aspects of any job that involves customer service is, or course, the customers. For the most part, an employee (at any food service place) is met with a majority of fairly calm and polite diners. However, not all customers are like this. Unfortunately, some of the customers that grace sub shops are the complete opposite of your typical diner: rude, loud, and entitled. Not every customer who walks in the door will have a bad attitude — in fact, most won't. But if you spend a long shift at a Firehouse Sub, then you're likely to come across a few of the more unreasonable diners (via Glassdoor).

While this does have a silver lining, as it could teach an employee how to deal with less-than-friendly customers (via Indeed), that doesn't necessarily mean the employees are going to like it. Sometimes, the customers can be extremely rude to the people making their sandwiches, and when that happens, you'd hope that at least the management would have your back, right? Unfortunately for some employees, this isn't the case, and they're left to deal with the angry, hungry customers themselves (as per Indeed). This could definitely make for a toxic or painful work environment in any sandwich shop, and it's a shame that the Firehouse employees have to deal with it, as well.

Some of the employees can be just as toxic as some of the customers

A difficult customer is never fun to deal with, but what about a difficult employee? Unlike a guest, who will come in, bicker with you, grab their food, then leave, you're stuck with a coworker for the entirety of a shift. Just as difficult customers are an unfortunate aspect of any job out there, difficult co-workers are equally as prevalent, and equally as bad. You can't escape from them at Firehouse Subs, either, as the employees who have worked there have had to put up with some pretty nasty people during their time at the sub chain.

One such employee wasn't necessarily rude to his coworkers, but instead, rude to a customer who came into their store. When a man went in to retrieve an order placed by his wife, he found an offensive slur written on the paper (via Fox News). Imagine having to work along with someone with that attitude — many Firehouse Sub employees do, and note that this alone makes or breaks a position at the chain for them (via Indeed). Not all coworkers that you meet at Firehouse Subs will be that way — some employees loved their coworkers — but do be warned that many of the employees do take issue with their coworkers.

Not all of the owners are great to work for

There seems to be a streak of poor coworkers, customers, and other individuals who you might encounter at Firehouse being one of the main factors many people find themselves not enjoying their work at the sub shop. You can have rude customers, you can have difficult coworkers that you work alongside, you can even have a manager who won't stick up for you and is simply goofing around. But what about the owner of an establishment? You'd expect the owner of a Firehouse Sub location to at least remain professional, but unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

One customer reportedly went in and ordered a sandwich from Firehouse Subs, and noticed that they only had half of the meat they requested on their sandwich (via News Channel 6). However, when she went to request that her order be fixed, she was met with the owner of the chain yelling and arguing with her, which eventually became so bad that he made a death wish towards her (as per Business Insider). It isn't fun to deal with that from the customer's standpoint, but imagine the embarrassment the employees must have felt upon seeing the store's owner act like that themselves!

Making the sandwiches is a pretty easy job

If you're at home, and in a rush to make yourself a hearty, filling, and simple meal, what food would you have? For many, it's a sandwich — whether it's peanut butter and jelly, turkey, or even a regular grilled cheese, sandwiches are quick, easy, and delicious. It's a bit different from making a sandwich at a food chain, though, not just because you're making it for someone else, but because you're placed in a much more fast-paced situation, as well. At the Firehouse Sub chain, however, it's not as difficult for the employees to make the sandwiches as you think — they are just sandwiches, after all.

According to some reviews on Indeed, the sandwiches are pretty simple to make. Sure, you have to prepare the vegetables, the meats, and everything else that goes on the sandwich, but it's pretty easy in terms of a food preparation job. Other employees agree with this statement, stating that the actual making of the sandwiches is a piece of cake, and we can only imagine that it gets difficult to get the orders right and done on time when there are lots of customers and a lot of orders to handle. Either way, it's a good thing that the primary job duty of working at the chain isn't the most complicated task.