Penn Station East Coast Subs, the fast-casual restaurant known for its grilled, made-to-order sub sandwiches, hand-squeezed lemonade, and fresh-cut fries, made some big changes—and reached 30 years in business—in 2015.
Penn Station helped celebrate its 30th anniversary with a brand update. The company debuted a new logo in spring 2015. Designed by founder and CEO Jeff Osterfeld and the Powers Agency, the logo features a stacked PS. It’s more visible on the retail spaces and highway signs and goes perfectly with the new Penn Station website, which was unveiled in October. Penn Station also embraced the times in 2015 by switching from its traditional paper gift certificates to reusable gift cards.
Penn Station made some enhancements to its physical brand as well, debuting a new restaurant design late this year. The new design is lighter and more streamlined, corresponding with the new logo. As with everything Penn Station does, return on investment for franchisees was a top priority in choosing the new look, which features new wall coverings and flooring.
“We made some exciting brand updates this year that are already setting us up for a great 2016,” says president Craig Dunaway. “Reaching 30 successful years was a great accomplishment, and we’ve proven that we aren’t going to coast on that success. The changes we made this year will help us to continue to grow in new and existing markets for another 30 years.”
Penn Station saw comparative store sales increase by almost 7 percent in 2015. System-wide sales are up more than 11 percent through November compared to last year.
Penn Station signed new multiunit agreements for Atlanta and Chicago in 2015. That sets Penn Station up for substantial growth next year. The restaurant chain expects to open 25 units and is targeting Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Richmond, Virginia, for most of those units. In preparation for the anticipated growth, Penn Station recently hired an area representative to service franchisees in the expanding West Virginia and Pittsburgh markets and is in the process of hiring another representative for the Middle Tennessee area.
“We have more signed leases for restaurants set to open in 2016 than we had openings in 2015,” Dunaway says. “We should cross the 300 restaurant mark in January and expect that growth to continue throughout the year.”
Penn Station will also reintroduce some popular limited time offers from 2015, including the BLT and Founder’s Special. In addition, Penn Station is planning at least one new LTO for 2016.
“Our BLT and Founder’s special LTOs were so popular in 2015 that we will bring them back again next year,” Dunaway says. “We’re also currently testing additional LTO options, and customers are loving them in the test phase. We expect to add at least one, possibly two, to the schedule next year.”