Watch out, Texas: Submarina California Subs has big plans. Submarina, a premier sub sandwich restaurant, recently moved its corporate headquarters to Houston, and area developer Robert Pina plans to open 100 locations in the area over the next five years.
The first of Pina’s locations recently opened in Missouri City with a second restaurant debuting in Tomball at the end of 2012. In addition to Pina’s Submarina restaurants, a local franchisee is on track to open an additional three stores on his own by the end of the year.
Pina, a longtime veteran in the restaurant franchise industry, has plans for three new locations already in the works. The first location opened in Missouri City, just southwest of Houston, last month. The second location, set for northwest Houston, is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2012.
With big plans for the future, Pina says Submarina will continue to target the greater Houston area as expansion and advancements in the company take place.
“I’m very excited to debut Submarina in Texas,” Pina says. “With such an excellent product, combined with my experience in the franchise industry, we expect a successful launch and a warm response from the Houston community. This area has enormous potential for expansion, and I will ensure that each franchisee has the support and resources needed to create their own successful restaurant launch across Texas.”
In addition to launching the new Submarina locations, Pina owns 19 Wings ‘N More locations in Texas and has previously been a franchisee for Subway and CiCi’s Pizza. Before finding his knack for restaurant management, the Texas A&M alum was an engineer for five years out of college.
“Robert is an excellent addition to the Submarina family,” says Bruce Rosenthal, president and CEO of Submarina. “He is a key component to our aggressive expansion plans and is a welcome addition to the strong leadership team that is helping build the Submarina name.”
Since Rosenthal took over the company in 2009, he has been dedicated to reinventing the company. In his time as president and CEO, Rosenthal has increased margins and sales, enhanced the balance sheet and expanded the chain nationally, including Texas.
Submarina first opened its doors in 1977 outside San Diego. Founders and New York natives Les Warfield and Ron Vickers moved to Southern California in search of sunshine, but found the local subs were inadequate so they started making and selling their own subs locally.
Submarina expanded and began franchising in 1988. Submarina has 50 locations, primarily in Southern California, where it has more than 40 stores. More than 20 restaurants are projected to open across the country by the end of 2012.