Nikola Pekovic of the Minnesota Timberwolves meets a young fan while serving free sandwiches to customers as part of the Timberwolves "Get Closer" season ticket membership campaign on March 28, 2013 at the Jimmy John's Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photograph by David Sherman—NBAE/Getty Images
By Robert Hackett
December 1, 2015

When the founder of sandwich chain Jimmy John’s decided to scrap plans for an initial public offering, he explained it with a food metaphor, of course.

“I made the whole Thanksgiving dinner and right before I was going to serve it, I threw it out,” Jimmy John Liautaud said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg. .

“I don’t think my wheelhouse is comfortable in Wall Street,” said the founder and CEO of the restaurant chain that has born his name since he first opened it in 1983. “My wheelhouse is small-town America.”

Liautaud had been speaking to bankers about the IPO possibility for two years, according to Bloomberg, before he abruptly ditched the idea in October. He told the news outlet that he prefers to focus on managing the chain’s expansion at the moment.

Headquartered in Champaign, Ill., the company owns 51 of its 2,3000 mostly franchised stores, and it plans to open another 1,300 over the next five years in Calif., Bloomberg said.

The eatery may have been valued at $2 billion, according to Reuters, which first broke news of the IPO talk in May. The chain was set to begin a roadshow with Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriter a few months later in October, the Huffington Post reported at the beginning of that month.

Fast food companies that did go public this year include Shake Shack [fortune stock symbol=”SHAK”], Wingstop [fortune stock symbol=”WING”], and Bojangles [fortune stock symbol=”BOJA”] but the once-hot casual restaurant sector has cooled dramatically in recent months.

For more about food chains in the public market, watch the video below:

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