• With: Jimmy John Liautaud, Jimmy John's founder

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": A live look here on Sixth Avenue in New York City, just a block away from where we are at Fox.

    Paul Ryan will be attending a very big fund-raiser, the Republican ticket making a big push for dough ahead of tomorrow night's big debate.

    And my next guess is happy to oblige.

    Jimmy John Liautaud is of course the founder and the CEO of the gourmet sandwich empire that bears his fine name, a big Romney backer.

    Are you doing this Ryan event tonight or providing the food?

    JIMMY JOHN LIAUTAUD, FOUNDER AND CEO, JIMMY JOHN'S: I am not doing the Ryan event tonight.


    But you know you are a big Romney backer. And you and I were chatting briefly during the break you thrived under Democratic and Republican presidents alike and opened up, what, a few hundred more stores just during the Obama years. So Obama's been good to you.

    LIAUTAUD: Fine. Obama -- the last four years have been very good to us and the 26 years before that were also very good to us.

    CAVUTO: What did you say? You were a 30-year overnight story.

    LIAUTAUD: Exactly.

    CAVUTO: But if he's been so damaging, you wouldn't have been able to expand like you have, right?

    LIAUTAUD: Well, a lot of our -- 80 percent of our expansions come from current franchisees. So they have been in the system for a long time.

    And with a system that is as healthy and viable as ours, that is what happens over time. It's exponential growth. But what's happening right now with the future, I have -- a lot of these franchisees, they're holding back because they're not sure what is really going to happen with ObamaCare, if in fact...

    CAVUTO: You have a lot of hourly workers, right?

    LIAUTAUD: About 60,000.

    CAVUTO: So, like Darden, you heard what they're doing. They're going to cut down on those hours, workers, so they're not hooked into that overtime dilemma or the health care automatic provide...

    LIAUTAUD: Exactly.

    CAVUTO: Are you going to do the same thing?

    LIAUTAUD: We have to do the same thing.

    CAVUTO: Really?

    LIAUTAUD: Yes. We're not doing it now, but we have to bring them down to 28 hours. Yes, we have to do that. There's no other way we can survive it, because we think it will cost us 50 cents a sandwich. That';s just the actual cost.

    CAVUTO: Really?

    LIAUTAUD: Yes, we do.

    CAVUTO: What about just paying the penalty?

    A lot of your competitors say, you know, down the road, Neil, we could see paying the penalty and sucking it up.

    LIAUTAUD: Well, if you have 40 or 50 employees at a restaurant, and the penalty is $2,000, and you're going to pay $80,000 or $100,000 penalty, there goes the profit in your restaurant.

    So it's very expensive to just pay the penalty as well. And I think we have to manage around it.

    CAVUTO: How did you start? Like Mitt Romney, you didn't really need the government, but you hit up your parents for a loan, right?

    LIAUTAUD: My parents lent me $25,000.

    CAVUTO: What did they say? What did you sell them on?

    LIAUTAUD: Well, I told them that I would be successful. And they said, well, if you're not successful, and then -- and you don't pay us back, you've got to give us two years in the Army. And I said, it's a deal.

    And so I did it. And I made it happen. And my father actually owned 48 percent of the business for two years. And I finally bought him out, and I owned it myself in '85.

    CAVUTO: He made a killing, didn't he?

    LIAUTAUD: My father made...