For the Phillips, you could say Firehouse is a family affair.
Couple Bryan and Laura Phillips joined the company, which was founded by two former firefighter brothers, in 2009 when they opened their first restaurant in Cedar Park. Slinging sandwiches was the first job for all of the Phillips’ four daughters.
Now more than 10 years later, the family collectively owns three Firehouse Subs locations in Austin, Round Rock and Cedar Park.
"We always had a common goal and watching them grow and learn how to take pride in their job, that has been a great experience, to see how hard work can really grow a business," Laura said.
Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant has maintained their focus on giving back to first responders and the communities around them.
Staying 6 feet apart, Firehouse Subs isn't playing games when it comes to keeping their customers and employees safe. The staff is wearing gloves and masks and taking extra precautions to make their customers feel comfortable stopping by.
"We treat our employees like family, we want to make sure everyone feels safe and I think that people come back because that feeling of family is passed to them," said Laura.
The eatery is sending a portion of every purchase to its Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which is working to provide equipment to coronavirus first responders. So far the foundation has:
Donated more than $50 million to first responders in both the U.S. and Canada
Created a coronavirus relief fund
Partnered with locally-owned Firehouse Subs restaurants to donate more than 70,000 meals to healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the pandemic, as well as individuals and families in need and seniors who are unable to leave their homes.
"We appreciate being able to support the community in any way that we can and seeing the immediate impact of what we’re doing," said Laura.
Firehouse Subs has been involved in a variety of community events and organizations since its opening.
In the past the restaurant has been able to donate $78,474 in grants to equip local first responders with equipment and devices through the franchises Public Safety Foundation.
The Firehouse Subs locations are open for limited dine-in accommodations and though these changes have not been easy, the Phillips remain optimistic.
"It’s important to reach out and help people and we’ve been really fortunate to have a supportive community around us," Laura said. "Now we're able to help and know that we’re supporting the community during the pandemic and it feels great to be able to give back."