Subway franchise rival plants flag in UK market

Global expansion is underway at Jon Smith Subs. The fast-cast casual concept, known for its full-flavor sub sandwiches, is opening its first international locations in the UK. (PRNewsfoto/Jon Smith Subs)

A US rival to Subway that is owned by a franchise group boasting 1,400 stores globally is about to set foot in the UK for the first time.

Jon Smith Subs has teamed up with United Franchise Group (UFG) to “fast-track” its global expansion and will open its debut UK store in Kingston in early 2018.

It is targeting up to 45 locations in the UK over the next eight years as it looks to muscle in on the country’s thriving grab-and-go market.

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The master license partner for the UK territory is Hasna Sheikh Ali, who has an extensive background in commercial and residential real estate and currently owns and operates Pepe’s, a chicken franchise restaurant in Bournemouth.

In addition to the Kingston location, Ali plans to open two additional Jon Smith Subs locations in Bournemouth and near the Kensington High Street area of Central London in the coming months.

“I’m truly honoured to be part of this major milestone for the brand and to help expand the Jon Smith Subs franchise internationally, starting in the UK,” he stated. “The help I have received from the Jon Smith Subs and UFG teams has been instrumental in ensuring consistency with our brand message and menu to match the renowned quality of the stores in the United States.”

The new location in the UK is part of a larger international expansion plan for the Jon Smith Subs brand, which until now has been wholly based in Florida.

Other near-term international targets include Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, Singapore and the UAE.

Tipton Shonkwiler, international director and executive VP of United Franchise Group, which comprises more than 1,400 franchises across 80 countries, said: “With plans for the overall global growth and development of UFG’s franchise concepts, the introduction of Jon Smith Subs to the UK is a tremendous milestone for both the brand as well as UFG. The brand is in an excellent position within its international expansion plan, showing the potential to exceed our global growth goals.”

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