Joseph Bisogno’s entrepreneurial dreams began at a young age with a lemonade stand – long before the idea of Goodcents was realized in 1989.

Now, the concept that began as Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pastas, celebrates its 35th birthday March 1.

“I’m really living my dream here,” Bisogno said. “I’ve always aspired to be someone who others could learn from, and I think we’ve managed to do that over our 35 years in business together. We’ve built a great team together and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together.  Goodcents has so many great owners who share a passion for the business, and I love to see them grow.”

Now known simply as Goodcents, the franchise is headquartered in De Soto, Kansas and has amassed nearly 70 locations in 10 states, with dozens more in development. While a lot has changed since those early days, much has endured through the years. The locations now offer online ordering, dine-in, carry-out, drive-thru and delivery of sub sandwiches, soups, innovative catering and Goodcents To Go meals. 

Bisogno always had an entrepreneurial mind. While it began with the lemonade stand, he didn’t stop there. At 18, he purchased his first ice cream truck. Then came a gas station and a used car dealership before he found a career with McDonald’s Corp.

But he still dreamed of owning his own restaurant.  

After 10 years with the McDonald’s Corp., Bisogno started Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pastas in Lenexa, Kansas, in 1989. The new concept started with the basics – perfecting its signature pillowy soft bread that would be the foundation of its sandwiches – along with a variety of the freshest meats and cheeses, hand-sliced to order, and toppings to complete sandwiches just the way customers like them.

While many franchise concepts have come and gone over the last four decades, Goodcents remains, including six of the brand’s original 10 stores. Part of that has to do with the relationships Bisogno builds with Goodcents owners.

“By having a personal relationship and spending the time with franchisees, shoulder-to-shoulder, it helps us understand why they love their store, their customers and where we can improve to help them thrive,” Bisogno added.

While he employs some old-school techniques to his leadership style and management, Bisogno knows technology is an integral component for the future of the restaurant business. Delivery apps, CRM systems, automated ordering, rewards programs and site selection tools are all tech-based solutions used throughout the industry. And Goodcents has gotten on board as new technology was introduced. 

 Technology is used to assist in site selection of its stores and the company has a new app and a refreshed rewards program that places new tech at its core of reaching new customers. 

Earlier this year, Goodcents’ marketing team was selected from among 275 brands to be named “Rookie of the Year” by Par Tech Inc. for its “impressive customization, data utilization and direct communication capabilities through their app.”

“Today’s technology has a lot to offer our owners and we try to incorporate that where it makes sense,” Bisogno said. “I’m proud of our team and their ability to adapt to the new technology in our industry.”

But even with those conveniences, Bisogno likes taking a more hands-on approach and travels to any new site location to see it in person.

 “There is something different about seeing the locations in person,” he said. “It’s a visceral experience. Computers can’t replace that yet. We count cars. We drive the area. We look inside to see what the buildout would be. There’s a lot you can tell from all of that, and it can make the difference in whether you are successful.”

But for Bisogno, it isn’t all about business. It’s also about giving back to your community.

Bisogno is the founder of the Goodcents Foundation and a strong longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity, The Children’s Miracle Network and the Leukemia Society of America. And with the restaurant’s anniversary, Bisogno continues to expand Goodcents’ community support. 



Last year, the company partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to help raise awareness and funds through the company’s foundation. Since that time, Goodcents has donated more than $26,000 to help fund Alzheimer’s research and care and support for families. Later this year, the Goodcents Foundation will be the presenting sponsor, and Joe and Laurie Bisogno serve as co-chairs, for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Kansas City. 

“This community has been so supportive of everything that we do and it’s our duty to give back,” Bisogno said. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished, and I look forward to supporting such a great cause.”