Cousins Subs

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Cousins Submarines
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1972 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Headquarters Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Key people
Bill Specht,
Christine Specht-Palmert,
President & CEO
Products Sandwiches
Other food products

Cousins Submarines,[1] better known as Cousins Subs, is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based sub sandwich shop serving grilled & deli fresh subs on freshly baked bread since 1972. Cousins Subs is a regional chain with restaurants in Wisconsin and Arizona.

Overview & History

Founded by two cousins from Jersey City, New Jersey in 1972, Bill Specht and Jim Sheppard, were determined to bring their favorite style of sub sandwich from the East Coast to their new hometown of Milwaukee. Driven by a belief that "there is no substitute for quality," they began a legacy of meticulously crafting the finest sandwiches possible–using only bread baked daily, ingredients sliced deli-fresh and grilled subs made to order.

The first Cousins Subs location in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 60th & Silver Spring Drive.

Specht and Sheppard opened their first restaurant in Milwaukee—located at 60th Street and Silver Spring Drive. After opening the shop, they partnered with a local baker to make their own bread, highlighted in the past slogan "Better Bread, Better Subs".

Cousins Subs became a huge hit, and several more shops were opened. More people wanted to join the family, and new franchise shops opened all over town, all united by a common obsession with doing things right, serving a better sandwich, supporting the community and providing an enriching experience to every partner, teammate and guest.

Today, Cousins operates 104 restaurants and continues to stay true to its mission to Believe in Better, while expanding its footprint throughout Wisconsin, the Midwest and Arizona.

Current History

Cousins Subs is united by a common obsession with doing things right, serving a better sandwich and supporting the communities it serves—all of which is the driving force behind the next phase of Cousins' longstanding history. Today, Cousins Subs continues to stay true to their mission to Believe in Better through the continual improvement in everything they do.

Lead by President and CEO Christine Specht, the daughter of co-founder Bill Specht, Cousins Subs is undergoing a rebranding effort that includes: expanding their footprint to areas that crave their food most; remodeling all locations to its Milwaukee Sub Shop to create a better dining atmosphere; updating its exterior design, color palettes, logo, packaging and uniform designs; and offering improved in-store and online experience for its guests.

By investing in these key areas, Cousins Subs is reimagining the brand to thrive in existing markets and launch its fast casual restaurant concept nationally.


The foundation of Cousins Subs' success has come from being uncompromising in the quality of the product served to their guests. By serving deli-fresh and made to order grilled subs, using only the freshest ingredients, and it's signature bread that's baked daily, they deliver on their cuisine philosophy that "Quality Has No Substitute."

As a Wisconsin-based company and iconic Milwaukee brand, Cousins Subs uses locally-sourced products such as Wisconsin Cheese, Badger Ham, Klement's Sausage, Johnsonville Sausage, Best Maid Cookies and Sprecher Root Beer.

In addition to deli fresh and grilled sandwiches served on a variety of bread that's baked daily, Cousins Subs also serves: Fresh fries*, Wisconsin Cheese Curds*, potato chips, soups, salads, and freshly baked cookies.

Recent menu improvements include: antibiotic-free, all-white meat chicken and antibiotic and hormone-free 100% USDA choice steak for all grilled sub sandwiches; spinach and guacamole as permanent topping options; and a Gourmet Garden Salad now made with spinach.

See also


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