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Client Stories

Firehouse Subs® Turns Up the Heat on Food Safety and Quality

November 25, 2019
by CMX
by CMX

How Firehouse Subs® Leverages ActivityStudio™ to ensure

food safety, quality, customer service, and brand standards


Firehouse Subs® is a fast casual restaurant chain with a passion for hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service and public safety. Founded in 1994 by brothers and former firefighters Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs is a brand built on decades of fire and police service, hot subs, steamed and piled high with the highest quality meats and cheeses and its commitment to saving lives through the establishment of the non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation®.


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Firehouse Subs is consistently recognized as one of the leading brands in the U.S. among consumers.

  • Newsweek named Firehouse Subs No. 1 in the fast casual restaurant industry on its 2019 list of America’s Best Customer Service Brands.
  • In 2018, Firehouse Subs was named the No. 1 brand in the restaurant industry that “Supports Local Community Activities” 
  • Firehouse Subs ranked No. 1 among Fast Casual brands in “Food Quality” and “Taste and Flavor” in Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics rankings.
  • Firehouse Subs was named No. 2 in “America’s Favorite Fast Casual Chain” rankings by Technomic Ignite


Challenges faced


Prior to selecting CMX, Firehouse was looking for a new auditing and assessment technology platform to ensure food safety, quality, customer service, and brand standards across their more than 1,170 locations across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and non-traditional locations.

The group had identified a number of challenges with their existing processes and technology to overcome including:


  • The lack of self-service tools for creating and managing their forms. The turnaround time and expense with their existing solution provider made it challenging to make changes and move quickly when adjustments were necessary.
  • The ability to distribute updates to forms and programs easily and simultaneously to their 130+ internal auditors
  • The ability to create distinct workflows, reports and notifications for each program.
  • The ability to configure unique scoring and Corrective Action Preventative Action (CAPAs) workflows for each program.
  • The ability for auditors to work online or offline and chose their devices (Android, Microsoft, iOS - iPad and iPhone). 
  • The ability to build their own reports and visualization of results



Enter ActivityStudio


CMX's ActivityStudio is designed to enable organizations of all sizes to digitize their operating procedures and protocols for taking a systematic approach to achieving and maintaining Quality and Operational Excellence. Its drag-and-drop form builder and program design tools can be used to create and manage company policies, audits, self-assessments, inspections, checklists, and survey programs. 

“We chose to work with CMX because of their proven technology platform, innovative design and vision for ActivityStudio. Since the technology went live, we’ve been impressed with how easy it is for our team to evaluate our results and make adjustments to our programs. 

ActivityStudio gives us the ability to make updates and implement them to our system immediately. That flexibility and agility is critical when it comes to food safety and quality, which are paramount to Firehouse Subs and our brand mission of excellence.”

Tim Foster, Senior Manager of Training for Firehouse Subs


CMX began working with Firehouse Subs' Operations and Training Teams in late 2018. Shortly after going live in early 2019, Firehouse Subs’ 130-plus internal auditors had already completed 5,000+ audits and the numbers continue to grow today.


Firehouse’s “F.I.R.E.” Reports can vary from 1 to 2 days in length and are designed to measure restaurant quality, customer service, food safety, and brand standards. Auditors conduct audits online or offline with web and native applications for IOS, Android and Windows.


When a critical item is missed, the system automatically turns non-conformances into corrective action and preventive action plans. Additionally, through the application’s repeat detection feature, auditors are able to determine if a restaurant missed a question from the previous audit, which factors more heavily into their scores on audits.


“The repeat detection capability is having an impact on our culture and behaviors. We are seeing much faster response times in identifying and addressing root causes for issues, to avoid impacting subsequent audits.

Tim Foster, Senior Manager of Training for Firehouse Subs


It has enabled Firehouse Subs’ restaurant managers to address issues in a timely manner, with review and sign off by the auditor.


“CMX is proud to partner with Firehouse Subs to help fuel their ability to exceed the expectations of an increasingly discriminating customer base while protecting and growing their brand. Their growth has been impressive – they have risen quickly to the top of a competitive market. We are committed to further enabling their success with ActivityStudio.”

Mitch Porche, CEO, CMX


For more information and other Client Stories, please visit www.cmx1.com or call 1-858-866-8888.

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