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My franchise story: from farming to franchising

My franchise story: from farming to franchising

Subway’s Will Bray is proof that if you work hard and have the right support, you can achieve your dreams of running your own business

Franchising with Subway came about for Will Bray because of his passion for the brand and his love for his local store, not because he had experience as a food retailer.

In fact, Will opened his first store in Bath when he was 22, not long after graduating from university with a degree in agriculture and business studies. A second store followed two years later in 2018.

Recognising the potential

Will says: “I loved the brand and its future potential. My family is in farming, but I didn’t feel this was the right career path for me. With the business studies knowledge I had gained at university and my passion for the brand, a Subway franchise felt like the perfect career.”

Like all new franchise owners, Will attended a two-week training course at Subway UK and Ireland headquarters in Cambridge. This provided all the necessary classroom and in-store experience Will needed to run his Subway franchise.

“The training was really good fun,” Will says. “I had a great group, many of whom were from different countries in Europe, and we have stayed in touch. It’s great to hear from them and learn about their experiences in their home countries. I’ve even had the chance to visit one of my fellow trainees in Amsterdam.

“The support Subway provides for franchise owners is ongoing and consistent. My business development agent is always at the end of the phone to help with anything, from deliveries to financials and advertising.”

Big brand

Franchising is one of the most successful routes into business ownership and Subway epitomises this.

The company provides franchise owners with the benefits of working with a big brand, while running their own business, having the independence to define their own work-life balance and knowing they are employing, working with and serving people who are part of the community.

Typical day

A typical day sees Will spreading his time across his two Subway stores in Bath. He regularly works on the front line, serving customers alongside his 15 members of staff.

“I enjoy building a rapport with my customers and getting to know them and the local community,” Will says. “It’s important my customers realise that behind the big Subway brand is a small business owner who wants to be a valuable member of the local community.”

Will says he plans to keep growing and developing his Subway franchise business and will open new stores in the right locations as and when they become available.

Asked what he would say to prospective franchise owners, Will comments: “Do your research and ask lots of questions. Speak to your local business development team, as well as other franchise owners. I’m always willing to talk to someone who is considering becoming a franchise owner. It’s also worth visiting other stores.”

At a glance Subway

Established: 1965
Number of franchised outlets: 43,000 globally
Location of units: worldwide
Investment range: £85,570-£221,240
Contact: Tel: 0800 0855 058 (UK) or 1800 413 076 (Eire)

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