Long before Gary Rohwer started PepperJax Grill, he patented a way to produce the thinly sliced, fast-cooking beef that’s routinely used today for Philly cheesesteak, Italian beef and French dip sandwiches. Rohwer sold the rights but kept an eye on the restaurant business, noticing the lack of a better-cheesesteak concept among the pack of fast-casual startups. So he fired up PepperJax, whose fresh ingredients include house-developed breads and sauces. Patrons spec their orders to whomever cooks their meal.

LocationOmaha, Neb.
2013 Systemwide Sales$31,200,000*
% Change in Sales44.4%
2013 U.S. Units34
% Change in Units88.9%
2013 Average Unit Volume$1,200,000
% Change in AUV0.0%
Future 50 Year2014