In terms of branding and aesthetics, franchisees will have the option of simply updating logos and color schemes or going with the full-fledged approach of adding new equipment. The typical Quiznos restaurant is about 1,300 square feet, while the Hobbs store is about 2,000. The company anticipates future units will be substantially smaller.
“What I can share today is that we are very far along in a rather revolutionary approach to the restaurant model that will pick up on a lot of the components that are at the Hobbs restaurant that just opened, but will also contain some really cool options for considerably smaller site opportunities,” Phillip says. “Greg and I are both really excited about the opportunity for utilizing sites that others typically couldn't because of the size of a footprint that is in development today.”
Quiznos had nearly 5,000 U.S. restaurants in the late 2000s before seeing its footprint shrink due to the Great Recession, growing competition from fast casuals, and issues with franchisee profitability. The company declared bankruptcy in 2014, and four years later, private equity firm High Bluff Capital purchased the sandwich chain. Quiznos was placed under the watch of REGO, which also oversees Taco Del Mar.
The brand had 306 U.S. outlets to start 2019, and that number has now dipped below 200. There are expectations that a handful of new locations will open this year with the new design, followed by dozens more in 2023. Phillip says Quiznos will see a “rather sharp curve” to growth in 2024 and beyond. He believes the brand can leverage its “massive” consumer awareness to enter new and existing markets across the country, no matter the geography. The idea is to sign big deals with multi-unit operators and build out areas.
Quiznos is almost entirely franchisee-owned, and Phillip says the concept will stick to that methodology as it battles for more market share and expansion opportunities in the coming years.
“I think that varies by brand for sure, but some of our reasoning is that Quiznos franchisees have always been an integral part of the brand, and they've especially been an integral part of the brand as it’s evolved in recent years,” Phillip says. “And we've just really seen the value in a responsible and cooperative support center feedback relation with franchisees.”
“So we really do see franchisees as important partners in this and needing their feedback, their learnings, their knowledge to represent a variety of markets to help drive the brand forward,” he adds. “So when you think about two things, one is brand development, and we see franchisees as a critical part of that, but we also see the restaurant economics as also reliant on entrepreneurial, inspired franchises."