How did it all begin?
I started as a guest! Visiting my local restaurant whilst at college on a daily basis to get the “Sub of the Day”, one day the manager, Lorraine, asked me if I wanted a job… I said yes and my journey with Subway began.
I spent my first year working part-time as a Sandwich Artist, then took the leap into management (thanks to the support of the Franchisee), I continued my progression with Subway joining the regional team ran by father and son duo, Bob and Liam Dalgarno, my now business partners.
What does your Territory team and portfolio look like?
When I first joined in 2012, we had 44 open shops in the covering Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, from there we acquired additional regions and opened a vast number of fantastic Subway restaurants.
Back in 2012 there were just four in the team, we’re now an impressive team of over 150 individuals. What’s even better Lorraine (my hiring manager) is still a key member of our team!
Now Business developer for Subway covering counties in the East and West of England supporting 290 restaurants and a network of over 100 franchisees. I personally own and operate 17 restaurants in a range of locations from supermarkets, petrol stations and last year we opened our first drive thru restaurant.
What are the ingredients for building the Subway brand at a local level?
I think there are two things:
Firstly – making full use of all the central support and training available from Subway. Whilst Subway is a global brand but it’s vital to the success of the restaurant to have a local presence.
Secondly, I believe in the importance of investing in the local communities and demonstrating that you want to be an active and engaged member. You can do this by talking to your team, your customers, social media and following your local news reports to see what issues are affecting local people. Think about how you as a business can positively contribute to the local community.
It may be supporting local youth groups, sports clubs or youth programmes, community clean ups or a whole host of other initiatives – whatever you decide to do, make a commitment and stick at it!
A number of our franchise owners (myself included) donate their unused baked bread to local food banks/charities.
“Subway is an iconic global brand."
How does Subway support entrepreneurism?
The franchise model has enabled the brand to grow quickly across the world – Subway is one of the world’s biggest small businesses!
It is brilliant as an entrepreneur because you can set up and take on a new business, but one that already has brand recognition and broad appeal, as well as infrastructure, training, and further input from the brand. That is why people can grow and develop at Subway® – much like me.
Whilst the brand provides so much, we as franchise owners have a clear role to play and need to be super focused on providing our guests with fantastic food, in a great environment with amazing service and this can only be delivered with great people, so for me to manage a successful franchise you need to be able to inspire people.
What advice would you give to a new Franchisee starting out?
Subway’s® franchisees all come from many different walks of life, but we all share the attributes required to be successful business owners and a passion for the Subway® brand.
The good thing is that you’re not alone, running your business as Subway® franchise model provides world-class training and support, as you would expect from such a well-known restaurant brand. The training is both on and offline with courses covering a wide range of topics to help you operate your business successfully. These tools have been invaluable to me over the years and have helped me succeed in the different roles I have held during my Subway career.