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My franchise story: being a multi-unit Subway franchise owner with my sibling

My franchise story: being a multi-unit Subway franchise owner with my sibling

Follow in the footsteps of brothers Simon and Mark Ledwick, who own 17 Subway stores in Cumbria and Lancashire

Do you want to run your own business, but not sure where to start? A Subway franchise could be the step into business ownership you have been looking for.

Franchising is one of the most successful routes to business ownership, as it enables hard-working, entrepreneurial individuals to fulfil their ambition to become their own boss, but with the added reassurance that they are joining a tried and tested business model.

Opportunity to grow

Brothers Simon and Mark Ledwick own 17 Subway stores in Cumbria and Lancashire and employ 160 people across the region. They made their first leap into business ownership with Subway in 2006 and have never regretted their decision.

Simon says: “We looked into a Subway franchise in detail and were impressed with what we saw. It offered a proven business model, with opportunity to grow.

“The brand was already well established in the UK and had a strong customer following. It seemed to be a safe investment, with plenty of opportunity to establish and develop our own business.”

Owning their own business has allowed Simon and Mark to have more control over their work-life balance and their future. They can grow their business at a speed that suits them, knowing they will have full support from Subway’s business development team.

“We certainly set ourselves a tough challenge as we opened three stores within five months, so we had to work very hard and long hours and be prepared to be hands-on,” Simon says.

“Nowadays, we spend less time in the stores and are more focused on running the business and our store network.”


Like all new Subway franchise owners, Simon and Mark attended a two-week training course to learn everything there was to know about running a Subway franchise, even down to working in a store and making a sub.

“The training was a combination of classroom and store-based sessions,” Simon says. “They provide all the training and knowledge needed to set up and manage your own store.

“My local business development agent has always provided great support and mentoring and is available at the end of the phone or via email to answer any queries. The business development agent helps with everything from site selection, leasing and design to construction, hands-on training, purchasing, operations and advertising.

“My business development agent is also a great sounding board and always willing to listen to suggestions and work collaboratively to help me maximise the success of my business.”

Robust system

Subway is one of the largest and most successful franchise brands, with over 2,500 stores open across the UK and Ireland. Its robust franchise system has helped thousands of entrepreneurs across the world to build their own businesses.

When asked about future business growth, Simon says: “We plan to continue running our network of Subway stores across Cumbria and Lancashire.

“We don’t have any specific new store growth targets, but will be looking to refurbish and modernise our existing network with the new Fresh Forward branding that was introduced earlier this year to provide an enhanced customer experience.

“The new décor provides a fresh new look and feel and includes digital menu boards and special displays for the brand’s cookies, breads and vegetables.”


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