With 28,500 restaurants in the United States and Canada, Subway offers a valuable case study in understanding how the location of your bakery cafe or sandwich shop can play a pivotal role in the success or failure of your business.
Speaking at the 2018 National Restaurant Association Show, Subway’s James Walker offered a strategic tactic for mapping out your best possible sites.
“One of the tactics that has worked really well for us at Subway over the years is driving to the proposed location from every possible direction and videotaping your route,” says Walker, vice president of development. Upon reviewing tapes, “you see things that you may have missed while driving.”
The secret lies in accessibility, one of the four cornerstones of Subway’s PAVE program. The acronym stands for people, accessibility, visibility and energy.
“Just because you’ve got a hundred thousand cars going past your restaurant,” he says, “if they’re not able to get in with that hard left or easy right, they’re going to continue on down the road — probably to one of your competitors.’
Visibility matters, as well. While planning signage for your retail store, Walker says, make sure to negotiate the large signage package allowed by the specific municipality. It is crucial to make sure customers can see and find you.
Founded 52 years ago, Subway remains a family-owned business that works with 21,000 franchisees in 113 countries around the world. Globally, the company serves 7 million sandwiches a day.
Earlier this year, the company introduced its Subway MyWay Rewards program that entices loyal customers with surprise rewards and exclusive offers. The program is a customized experience, tailored to an omnichannel approach featuring the integration of the Subway app, remote ordering and in-store restaurant kiosks.
“We know time and money are important to our guests,” says Subway’s chief digital officer, Carissa Ganelli. “It’s important to us that we deliver a seamless, convenient experience to help our customers get what they want when they want it.”
Walker points out that when developing locations, it’s best to start with your long-range goals, rather than simply adding numbers. “A development goal should focus on where you want to be 10 years down the road,” he says. “Identify the customer base, the guest base in that individual market. If you’ve got a brand that appeals to millennials, you probably want to be in an area that has a lot of millennials.”
Subway serves an estimated 7 million sandwiches a day at more than 44,000 restaurants in 100 countries. Guests choose from 37 million combinations of quality proteins, fresh vegetables and bread baked daily.