General Session Speaker

Peter Cancro

Founder & CEO

Jersey Mike's

Peter Cancro is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc., a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise, with more than 3,000 locations open and in development and over $3 billion in systemwide sales.

Peter, a ’75 graduate of Point Pleasant Beach High School where he was captain of the football team and class president, began his business career in 1971 where his first job was at a place called Mike’s Subs. In 1975, at the age of 17, in March of his senior year in high school, he gave up a potential college football career to buy that sub shop. Peter credits Rod Smith, his football coach and area banker, with making it all possible.

In 1987, he changed the name of the original Mike’s to “Jersey Mike’s” and began his national expansion. Today, Jersey Mike’s ranks #2 on Entrepreneur’s 2024 Franchise 500, the company’s sixth year on the Franchise 500 top 10 list.

One of the secrets to Peter’s success is his philosophy of “giving.” Charities, hospitals, school systems and numerous individuals have benefited from his support, more than ever will be known. It’s a philosophy that he has emphasized to each and every Jersey Mike’s franchise owner: support the community that supports you.  

An example of this giving spirit is Jersey Mike’s Annual “Month of Giving” in March. Jersey Mike’s national fundraiser culminates on “Day of Giving,” the last Wednesday of March, when Jersey Mike’s franchise owners donate 100 percent of the day’s sales — not just profit — to local charities across the country. Since Month of Giving began in 2011, Jersey Mike’s has raised more than $88 million for local charities.

Peter has received numerous awards recognizing his vision and commitment to giving. He made the Nation’s Restaurant News Power List in both 2021 and 2017. He was named #1 Most Admired Fast-casual Leader in QSR’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards as well as the International Franchise Association’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” and a Golden Chain Award Winner by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2013.