Shultz Hartgrove, senior vice president of convenience development for Quiznos, says the breakfast initiative follows research by the brand that found about 35 percent of transactions at convenience stores were during the breakfast daypart.
“We found that there was a real void with the convenience store consumer and operators,” Hartgrove says. “What was happening was the convenience store consumer was stopping there, filling up, maybe grabbing some smokes, and then going somewhere else for that breakfast purchase.”
The Quiznos breakfast menu includes a Giant Cinnamon Roll, a Country Sausage and Egg Biscuit, Breakfast Sammies, and Breakfast Subs. Each item will be between $2–$3.
“We’re a lunch concept. We’ve not been a breakfast concept,” Hartgrove says. “One of things we did was we went out and surveyed [to see] what was selling out there, what was selling in convenience stores today. That was why we came up with the sausage biscuit.”
Hartgrove says Quiznos also wanted to maintain its identity in its breakfast items.
“We wanted to make sure we had a component that really reflected our heritage, which is subs,” he says. “A breakfast sub, just taking that toasted platform and loading it up with eggs and cheese and sausage, that’s kind of the heritage link.”
In order to communicate to consumers that Quiznos is now carrying breakfast, Hartgrove says the company is providing c-store operators with banners, pump toppers, and other local-store marketing tools.
“Doing store-specific advertising—the local-store marketing—is really almost more important than spending jillions of dollars on ads when not every store is going to have breakfast,” he says.
“And, more specifically, at the convenience level, it’s so important to grab them while they’re there, because at that point, it’s an impulse [purchase].”
Hartgrove says there are plans to implement the breakfast menu into Quiznos’ traditional locations “surgically” in the future, on a market-by-market basis.
In the meantime, the brand is aiming to become a bigger player in the convenience store segment. It developed a 400-square-foot model that is available to c-store operators, and condensed its menu to make the convenience operations more efficient.
“It fits nicely in the convenience store and provides a great billboard for the convenience store operator and a way for them to compete with guy across the street who has the same $3 gas and the same $4 smokes and the same 20-ounce sodas and the same king-size candy bars,” he says.
“Foodservice, and especially nationally branded [quick service], is the way that these guys are able to compete and set themselves apart, and Quiznos is a really big part of that.”
By Sam Oches