For the first part of our series focusing on sub-sandwich franchise Quiznos, FranchiseSales.com spoke to Quzinos boss Arjan about his day-to-day role and how a summer job turned into business ownership.
Arjan first worked for Quiznos, which was founded in Colorado in 1981, shortly after completing his A-levels. During a stint at Quiznos Bromley his customer service skills saw him rise to store manager within just three months.
When the Drury lane, Covent Garden location became available he jumped at the chance. “Once I was part of Quiznos and I could see how fast the brand was growing in the UK, it was just something I couldn’t refuse,” he says.
“I applied to go to university, but I saw the bigger picture and realised that university isn’t always the key to success.”
At the beginning of each week, Arjan schedules staff shifts using the brand’s own managerial tools and delegates tasks for each day.
“As everyone works different hours, briefing my staff as a group is just not possible, but I do make sure I keep a good relationship with my staff and that I’m always contactable,” he says. “We also provide full online training with videos and practical tests.”
On a typical day, Arjan leaves home at 7am and is ready for the breakfast rush when he opens the store an hour later.
Morning tasks vary depending on whether they have had a delivery. “We check all items and make sure everything we need has been delivered,” says Arjan.
“I then place the next delivery. We order twice a week and use one supplier.”
Before opening, he switches on all equipment and gets the ingredients ready to prep. To get the most from his staff he normally schedules prep in between the morning coffee rush and lunchtime.
Preparation is of utmost importance in a high-footfall environment where customers expect quick service, says Arjan. Using Quiznos’ easy-to-follow prep guides his staff hand-slice all meats, cheeses and vegetables in good time to fulfil orders as rapidly as required in what is, after all, the ‘fast’-food franchise industry.
“We start closing, cleaning up and switching off one hour before closing time,” continues Arjan. “The front-of-house area is always the last area to close.”
Quiznos, which has more than 2,100 locations around the world, gives franchisees’ considerable discretion over closing time. It’s a flexibility that Arjan exploits.
‘If we close the doors at 9pm, I usually aim to be out by around 9.15-9.30pm. But the other day I was closing up and a group of six came in. I just couldn’t say no, so I put the lights back on, turned the equipment back on and served them.”
Arjan says he is passionate about customer service, which he believes also sits at the heart of the success of the Quiznos brand. “I want to make a difference,” he says. “It’s all about what the customer wants: if they want it, we’ll do it.”