The team at Lennys Grill & Subs is energized about its growth prospects, believing it can be a major player in the sandwich segment. They’re not alone—in 2018, QSR magazine named Lennys a top franchise deal, ranking it No. 1 in the sandwich category.
Lennys’ signature subs include the Mile High Turkey as well as the Philly Cheesesteak. But these unique signature items are not the only reason why the franchisor believes it’s “not your average sub shop.” Its differentiation from the competition, says Ranee Huff, director of marketing and communications at Lennys, is owed to its exemplary guest experience.
“We don’t just make you a sandwich,” Huff says. “Our people and our food give you an experience. We are your favorite neighborhood sandwich shop, where we know our customers by name.”
The 70-plus-unit brand was founded in Memphis in 1998 and began franchising in 2001. More recently, GOSH Enterprises—owner of Charley’s Philly Cheesesteaks and Bibibop Asian Grill—bought Lennys and began implementing technology and other infrastructure to prepare for growth. So far, the results post-purchase have been overwhelmingly positive, with double digit sales growth year-over-year.
Lennys is now looking for franchisees who want to either open a single unit or want the rights to multi-unit territorial rights.
One of the reasons the Lennys team is confident first-time franchisees can be as successful as veterans is because of the ongoing support the brand gives its franchisees. It begins the moment the franchise agreement is signed. The support progresses during lease negotiation, restaurant buildout, while a marketing plan is being developed, when operations training is taking place on site, and beyond.
“One of our mottos here is that you own your own business, but you’re not alone,” says Daniel Moran, franchise developer for Lennys. “For example, we pride ourselves on the fact that if you have an IT problem, our IT team will get back to you in under 20 minutes. They’re very responsive because at the end of the day, as an organization, we just care.”
In that way, the brand’s dedication to its franchisees is emblematic of its positioning as a neighborhood sandwich shop, Huff says. There’s a personal touch to everything Lennys does.
“If someone has a dream of owning and running their own business, we are dedicated to making that dream a reality,” Huff adds. “If it works for both parties, then let’s do this. The restaurant industry isn’t for everybody. It’s really hard work. But it’s also rewarding work, and we can’t think of anything better than helping to provide jobs for people and put a smile on customers’ faces. That’s what it’s all about for us.”
For more on franchising with Lennys, visit lennysfranchise.com.