How do you accomplish that? What kind of community outreach do you do, or marketing?
Lisa: When we get calls for community outreach, we try to work with each individual to say yes when we can, whether that be giving meals 50 percent off or free, depending on the event and relationship we have with them.
How did you each get into franchising?
Steve: I was working for my father after college, but it was a 90-mile commute and I was looking for a change. My father, who provided full-service distribution to 7-11, AM-PM and Stop-N-Go (those were the days!) knew a Subway owner in LA, and I began working in a Subway restaurant that was up for sale at the time. After six months, I really enjoyed doing the work and the possibility of owning my own business was an incredible feeling. Once I purchased that restaurant, I knew it was a good fit and after one year, I doubled the sales for that restaurant. After several years, my wife joined the team and we decided to expand the business.
Just how different is the business of running a restaurant today versus when you first got started?
Steve: It’s very different today than when we started. The world has changed from 30 years ago. To name a few: technology has moved in, the way customers give feedback through other third-party applications, increased competition, and procedures that require being more detail-oriented and hands-on than ever before.
What are some challenges you face today that you never thought you’d encounter back then?
Lisa: We knew we would face challenges during the process of owning a franchise/business. That is the nature of owning your own business. Since we have been in it for so long, we’ve learned that challenges come with the business in general. The cost of doing business has become our biggest challenge to date—it costs much more to run a business in today’s environment than when we started 30 years ago.
How is Subway positioned to meet these challenges? What are some key ways the brand is evolving? Steve: To meet these challenges, we are giving it our all each and every day to be the best we can be for our staff and our customers. The brand is evolving to improve every touchpoint of the guest experience—from launching third-party delivery and a new and improved app, to refreshing the look of restaurants themselves.