In the second part of our series focusing on Quiznos, FranchiseSales.com speaks to master franchisee Jack Rai about the enquiry process and setting up shop.
The popularity of the sub-sandwich franchise in the UK attests to a reputation for a convenient, fast-food product without the often substandard fast-food taste.
Emerging from the booming US restaurant industry, in which job growth outstripped that of the wider economy for 15 consecutive years, Quiznos has become one of the fastest-growing global franchises and an intriguing opportunity for prospective franchisees.
Buying a franchise reduces your risk because you have support in all areas, from finding a location to negotiating a lease and hiring contractors and staff.
It was this ‘turnkey experience’ – a complete package with operational training, marketing material and a tried-and-tested business model – that drew Jack to franchising over starting his own business.
“The sub-sandwich sector is a massive market and there is huge potential to grow the Quiznos brand in the UK. They are professionals, they do it best and they are on hand to help you,” he tells FranchiseSales.com.
Before deciding on a franchise Jack regularly scoured franchise portals, but it was Quiznos, on FranchiseSales.com, that stood out.
Jack tells us that the enquiry process was very straightforward: he only dealt with one person throughout, was armed with a list of questions to ask the franchisor from the British Franchise Association (BFA) and had invaluable help from his accountants.
It was the very first meeting that turned him from a mildly interested enquirer to a seriously aspiring franchisee: “It was enough to show me that these guys were genuine and cared, wanting to make this a win-win scenario for the franchisee and franchisor.”
Application and requirements
Buying a franchise is essentially buying into a brand, so when you are deciding to invest, you need to believe in the franchise and its potential for success.
“What I like is I have been able to enter a global brand in its infancy, therefore as the brand develops in the UK the value of my investment should also increase in value.”
Jack conducted some market research before choosing to invest in the Quiznos franchise, visiting all stores, meeting the franchisees and trying the food. This gave him confidence in the brand and led him to apply.
The application process was simple and Quiznos guided him throughout: “I filled in the forms and was introduced to the banks to help me to assess my application,” he recalls. “Quiznos were there to help and guide me with forecasts and designing the store and training.”
However, like any franchise the requirements are varied, depending on experience, commitment and, of course, your credit rating.
Funding and finance
The cost of a Quiznos franchise can vary between £125K to £150K plus VAT, including fitting out the store completely.
When it came to raising finance, Jack was “introduced to leasing platforms” and the banks were very supportive.
They were “aware of the Quiznos business model”, he tells us, and they helped to fund the VAT with a bullet repayment upon receipt of the VAT refund.
Location and premises
Quiznos allow their franchisees to choose their own franchise territory. Before coming to a final decision on location Jack looked at 48 sites, but for him, Drury Lane in London’s Covent Garden stood out.
The equipment and furnishings are provided by Quiznos and the building’s interiors are standardised throughout. Any suggested changes need to be submitted to Quiznos.
“They guided me with explanations as to what I could add and what wasn’t needed,” says Jack.
Quiznos offers a three-tiered programme, inclusive of 15 days’ full-time training, online instructions, operational in-store training, preparation guidance and business management to prepare the franchisee for opening.
Jack describes the initial training process as a “very enjoyable and effective” experience, telling us that he had a 24/7 helpline and a development agent who was there at every point to help when he needed support.
However, he is also keen to point out that the training doesn’t stop there: “Training is always ongoing at Quiznos with new subs and recipes being introduced on a regular basis.”
Before opening his first store in November 2015 Jack employed eight members of staff, of which three stayed on full- time and two part-time.
To prepare for his first day in business Jack had help from the Quiznos marketing team. They implemented a local store marketing (LSM) toolkit to help target different audiences.
Even though a Quiznos franchise comes with support and systems in place, it’s still hard work and the franchisee requires certain attributes – it’s up to the aspiring franchisee to prove they have what it takes and to take advantage of the help available if they pass muster.