Quiznos announced its Flex Plan, a pipeline for new product innovation that adjusts based on economic shifts. Quiznos founder and CEO Rick Schaden rolled out the Flex Plan system-wide as part of the company’s annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri.
A tiered product development strategy, Quiznos’ Flex Plan allows for simultaneous development of many different products, varying based on price point and balancing consumer taste with product cost. The plan is a guide for future product innovation at Quiznos, allowing the company to respond proactively to consumer feedback.
“Food is a staple. The key is to provide the right food at the right time for the right price,” Schaden says. “That’s why we spend a lot of time talking to our customers. Quiznos’ Flex Plan allows us to immediately implement customer feedback and anticipate trends to benefit both our customers and our franchise owners.”
Quiznos’ Flex Plan charted the course for two recent product introductions at Quiznos, including the $4 Toasty Torpedo and the $3 Toasty Bullet. The products, designed to appeal to consumers’ wallets and tastes while still protecting franchise owners’ margins, accounted for more than 20 percent of Quiznos’ product mix following their launch.
In a more robust economy, the plan provides for innovation of more indulgent products, such as Quiznos’ premium, double-meat sandwiches.
“This economy presents unique challenges, particularly as consumer confidence ebbs and flows,” Schaden said. “We knew there was a better way to address the changes that came with this economy. By preparing for eventualities, we’re taking the guesswork and delay out of product innovation and allowing for an immediate response to customer feedback. It’s better for our customers and it’s better for our franchise owners.”
Depending on the state of the economy and consumer spending, Quiznos is prepared to immediately introduce a product tailored to current consumer needs and specifically engineered to protect margins for franchise owner profitability.
The plan also incorporates a strategy for seamless product rollout—from product development and operations to vendor relations and marketing.
“A solid plan for product innovation puts our entire organization on the same page and allows the whole process to function more seamlessly,” Schaden said. “At the heart of it all is the quality, chef-inspired food Quiznos is known for. We know if we continue to focus on delivering Quiznos quality and proactively addressing consumer needs, we will continue to be successful.”