With over 1,500 stores in the UK and Ireland and more than 37,000 stores in 100 countries, the SUBWAY brand is now the largest quick service food outlet in the world.
Food & Beverage, Fast Food, Retail
The low investment, simple operation and unparalleled support make a SUBWAY franchise an attractive proposition for entrepreneurs across the world - and the franchise is currently seeking new franchisees.
The SUBWAY brand has its origins with Fred DeLuca, president and co-founder, who has led the company’s development since he started his first shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut during the summer of 1965 with a $1,000 loan from family friend Dr Peter Buck. The entrepreneurial pair set themselves an initial target of 32 stores within 10 years and, in an effort to reach their goal, decided the best way to expand the business was to begin franchising and give others the opportunity to succeed in their own business venture. The first SUBWAY franchise opened in the US in 1974, changing the way the brand did business and creating a highly attractive franchise option with universal appeal.
The concept is to keep franchisee investment low, the operation simple and offer customers fresh, great tasting food. There is no need for grills and fryers in a SUBWAY store and because of the simplicity of the operation there is an adaptable approach to the physical layout of the outlets.
SUBWAY franchisees benefit from operating in a tried and tested system with great training and a solid support structure. There are 20 regional development offices in the UK and Ireland, which assist and mentor all franchisees with site selection, leasing, design, construction, hands-on training, purchasing, operations, advertising and local store marketing. In addition, the head office for the SUBWAY brand in the UK and Ireland is based in Cambridge, with a local team of support staff focused on operations, leasing, R&D, customer service, training and franchisee services.
This high level of training and support is available to franchisees and their staff, regardless of how long they have been involved in the business. In addition to face to face training, the brand also runs the University of SUBWAY - a well established online training programme coordinated by the worldwide headquarters in Connecticut, USA. Offering over 700 online courses for store staff and managers, the university has delivered training for over 5.5 million participants.
“Joining a franchise may seem restrictive for some entrepreneurs or those wanting to make their own mark, but for the majority of business people they can clearly see the opportunities that the model provides, combined with the security of operating in a proven environment,” says Trevor Haynes, area development manager for SUBWAY UK and Ireland.
“The opportunities aren’t necessarily just on the high street either. The SUBWAY brand plans to treble the number of stores in non-traditional locations, such as within convenience stores, on petrol station forecourts, on university campuses and at transport hubs, by 2016.”
Contributing to the success of the SUBWAY brand is the fact it continues to keep start-up costs low and seeks ambitious franchisees who embrace the entrepreneurial spirit. One such franchisee is Bob Moodliar, who owns 11 stores.
It is a simple concept with popular appeal and great product. The SUBWAY brand has low upfront investment compared to other similar franchises and investors are usually ready to lend because it is a proven business model. This helps to create positive cash flow from day one.
I used to be a director in various roles for Tesco, Whitbread and Tchibo. In my last role I was responsible for transplanting a brand new operation in the UK from Germany. I opened 80 standalone stores and over 250 concessions in Sainsbury’s and other outlets.
We currently have 11 stores and have another three that we are in the process of opening. In total, we employ over 150 local people at our stores.
We opened our first store at the start of the recession, which was a difficult time for all businesses, with customers having less money to spend. However, we are now beginning to see good pick up with a range of customers, with an increase in an older demographic and families enjoying the great food a SUBWAY store offers.
Myself and my business partner have set ourselves an initial target of opening 30 stores.
Having your own business means the buck stops with you. Think very carefully and make sure you know the pitfalls as well as the potential rewards before taking the plunge with a franchise. You need to make sure you have real commitment, dedication and determination in order to cross every hurdle.
It is important you have the full support of your family and your financial backers. Always surround yourself with a network of experts, including an accountant, lawyer and advisers who may be other franchisees and businessmen. These people will be able to open doors for you and make things happen. Don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it - the SUBWAY brand has a fantastic support system.
The key attributes of a successful franchisee are well known:
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