The Life of a Sandwich

Schlotzsky's from sandwich to bankruptcy

The Life of a Sandwich

1971: Don and Delores Dissman open first Schlotzsky's sandwich shop, 1301 S. Congress. The $2.95 Original – an 8-inch muffuletta stuffed with three meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, olives, and dressing on a sourdough bun – is an instant hit.

1981: John and Jeff Wooley and Gary Bradley pay less than $3 million for Schlotzsky's, then with 100 franchise stores and $18 million in sales.

1988: Schlotzsky's crosses border into Canada with first store outside the U.S.

1994: Company begins assuming credit risk on franchise restaurants, eventually driving up debt.

1995: Schlotzsky's goes public on Dec. 15, trading as BUNZ on Nasdaq stock market.

1999: Company makes $28 million buyout of area developer rights, increasing its financial vulnerability. Breaks $400 million sales mark the same year.

2001: Local musicians tapped for new national ad campaign.

2002: Former Gov. Ann Richards announces that Schlotzsky's will underwrite the new season of Austin City Limits.

2003: Company posts record $11.7 million loss. Shareholders vote against major shareholder's proposal to begin positioning company for sale.

2004, June 17: Board of directors fires Wooley brothers from day-to-day management, names Sam Coats as new CEO.

2004, July: Wooleys resign from board after filing lawsuit against company seeking to recover $2.5 million loan; new management axes 20% of corporate staff and shutters 11 company-owned stores.

2004, Aug. 3: Schlotzsky's files for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

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