Quick-service restaurant giant Subway promises new franchisees a whole heap of support when setting up a franchise, including assistance with procuring kitchen equipment and all the guidance they could need to make their business a success. But what’s the process really like for somebody entering the industry for the first time? FEJ reports.
When husband and wife team Mohammed and Raeesah Jassat decided to give the foodservice market a shot by opening a Subway franchise, it truly was a world away from what they’d come from. Mohammed was a marketing manager for an online women’s clothing store, while Raeesah was a marketing graduate.
Raeesah’s father owns several convenience stores in Manchester, Birmingham and London so the couple had some insight of the retail sector when an ideal space became available in Urmston, Manchester.
The Post Office, a previous hub of the local community, had become available and the pair set their sights on transforming it into a convenience store. Their first steps down this route took them to the National Convenience Show at the NEC in Birmingham which is where they were introduced to the Subway brand as a franchising option.
Mohammed explains: “We were drawn to the Subway brand as its brand image is so strong and it has such a high awareness amongst consumers. We definitely wanted to have a convenience store as we both have a good understanding of how they work, thanks to my father-in-law, but after seeing the Subway franchise at the National Convenience Show we wanted to explore the possibilities of having both. Luckily for us Urmston Post Office is a large space and has easily accommodated both a Subway store and a convenience store.”
They made a plan of how the Subway store would look and talked us through each stage of the process so that everything went smoothly.
The couple got in contact with the local Subway field consultant who helped them through every step of the preliminary stages. Mohammed says their field consultant provided them with an overview of how the unit would operate.
“They made a plan of how the Subway store would look and talked us through each stage of the process so that everything went smoothly. The field consultant also arranged for us to visit other local Subway franchisees so we could get a good first-hand understanding of what it was like to be a Subway franchisee. I came away from that experience excited and looking forward to being a part of that group, all the franchisees knew each other and there was a friendly competitiveness between them which I thought was great.”
The next stage for Mohammed was the two week Subway franchisee training at Subway’s UK & Ireland headquarters in Cambridge. Mohammed comments: “I learnt exactly how to run a Subway store and let me say that there’s a lot more to it than making sandwiches. I came away with so much information and so many plans that the challenge was making sure that I put into practice everything that I’d learnt to bring the Subway brand’s way of life into my store.”
For the first couple of weeks the Jassats had their field consultant with them every day helping with everything from ordering to operations.
Although this is only their first Subway store the couple say they’ve caught the ‘retail bug’ and will definitely be looking for new opportunities in the future.
Mohammed says his advice for anyone thinking of buying a Subway franchise for the first time is simple. “You need to really know the area – inside out and back to front. And you must do your research, the time I spent with the other local franchisees gave me an insight into Subway franchising that I would not have got elsewhere. Perhaps most importantly, you must be ready to work hard – you will only get out of your business what you put in.”