At Penn Station, Fresh is the Name of the Game: With 300 restaurants in 15 states, more growth is in store in 2016

It all started with a humble cheese-steak sandwich for Penn Station CEO Jeff Osterfeld. After noticing the popularity of the cheesesteak sandwich while traveling in Philadelphia in the 1980s, Osterfeld realized he wanted to bring this comforting and convenient meal option to his home state of Ohio. Two years after that fateful trip, he opened the very first Penn Station, serving cheesesteak subs on homemade bread, fresh cut fries, and lemonade. Today the restaurant group has grown to 300 stores in 15 states across the country with plans to expand in 2016.

Penn Station is a popular option with diners who want a fresh, fast, and delicious alternative to the typical sandwich options. “We position ourselves as a sandwich restaurant, not a sandwich chain,” says Jad Buckman, director of sales for Penn Station. At Penn Station, fresh is the word that is heard over and over again when describing the menu. The french fries are cut fresh in-house, the lemonade is fresh squeezed, and the bread that the sandwiches come on is baked fresh, in-house, every day. The menu still includes the classic cheesesteak that inspired Osterfeld decades ago, but has also grown to include options like chicken teriyaki subs, pizza subs, desserts, and more, meaning there’s something for everyone.

The company is looking for franchisees who have a “small business mindset and some management experience. We want franchisees with a clear business strategy that matches Penn Station’s strategy,” Buckman says. Franchisees who want to grow with the brand and are ready to work hard in their stores are a perfect match. “We want owners to be as close to the counter as possible. We really promote an ownership mentality among all of our franchisees, and we’re successful when our franchisees are successful,” he explains.

Investment ranges from $269,000 to $535,000 and depends on the market where the store is opened. An investment with Penn Station is an investment in one of the most successful franchise quick-serve brands in the country. The company was ranked No. 22 out of 2300 franchise concepts by Franchise Grade, a research company dedicated to finding the best franchise opportunities for investors.

After being approved, franchisees are invited to the headquarters in Cincinnati to meet the executive team and the franchisee advisory council, which will help them throughout the process of opening a store. After opening, the Penn Station team offers support to franchisees to help the business stay on track. “We have a team of area representatives who visit each restaurant six to eight times a year and evaluate success,” Buckman explains. “Twice a year we also have meetings with franchisees and general managers of each store.”

An investment with Penn Station Subs is not just about opening a franchise restaurant, it’s about building a profitable business and being a part of an expanding restaurant group. Says Buckman, “We really invite our franchisees to have a seat at the table when it comes to our brand.”

For more information about franchising opportunities with Penn Station East Coast Subs, visit