Quiznos announced Thursday that the nationwide launch of Quiznos’ Operating Partner Program, a unique ownership opportunity that allows entrepreneurs with prior restaurant management experience to earn the opportunity for full ownership while operating a Quiznos location with an initial up-front fee of only $5,000. The Operating Partner Program will serve as a catalyst for both company and economic growth, as Quiznos seeks to partner with up to 200 qualified quick-service entrepreneurs nationwide.

According to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation, challenging economic times encourage an increase in entrepreneurial capitalism. With the rise in entrepreneurial activity, the Operating Partner Program allows Quiznos to engage with entrepreneurs with restaurant experience and provide affordable franchising options, creating both jobs and financing opportunities.

The program combines interested individuals’ experience, drive, and determination with Quiznos’ proven formula for success to create a mutual partnership and commitment. A significant benefit of the Operating Partner Program is that operators receive a salary and benefits from Quiznos while they work their way toward the opportunity to have full ownership of the restaurant.

“The experience and passion of qualified candidates paired with Quiznos’ strong brand equity and world-class operational model is a powerful combination,” says Rick Schaden, Quiznos’ founder and CEO. “The primary objective of the Operating Partner Program is to engage with solid restaurant operators with entrepreneurial drive and excellent industry experience. We know by doing so we ensure the highest operational standards and consistently deliver on a promise of quality to our customer, which ultimately elevates our entire brand.”

The program includes a Quiznos-funded financing initiative, intended to alleviate the limits of the current lending environment for qualified applicants. Through the program, Quiznos will contribute the balance of the investment, with the store’s operating profits paying down Quiznos’ contribution and providing the operating partner with an opportunity for full ownership in as little as two years.

“We recognize many good operators may not necessarily have access to capital in this difficult lending environment, and we want to be sure our partners in this program are well-positioned when the economy rebounds,” says John Fitchett, president of the Operating Partner Program for Quiznos. “Quiznos’ Operating Partner Program goes further than financing; instead, it establishes a truly mutual commitment to the restaurant’s success. I don’t know of any other opportunity for qualified, hard-working individuals to pursue an ownership stake so quickly and with such support.”

The Operating Partner Program is designed to attract the highest caliber candidates from the restaurant industry. As part of the selection process, Quiznos will undertake stringent screening of applicants, including a series of one-on-one interviews, cognitive and personality assessments and in-store instruction and evaluation.

For individuals interested in more detail on Quiznos’ Operating Partner Program Quiznos and Fitchett will host a weekly live webinar each Tuesday, beginning in May, at 7 p.m. EST on www.ownaquiznos.com.

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