- Premises Based
- Food & Drink
The Subway brand has its origins with Fred DeLuca, president and co-founder, who led the company’s development since he started his first shop in 1965. There are over 2,500 locations in the UK and Ireland.
The concept is to keep franchisee investment low, the operation simple and offer customers fresh, great tasting food. Franchisees can take advantage of operating in a tried and tested system with support on aspects such as site selection, leasing, purchasing, marketing and more.
Worldwide, there are more than 43,000 Subway stores in 110 countries, with over 2,500 locations in the UK and Ireland.
A Subway franchisee can be confident in the strength of the Subway brand; it is globally recognised and has built up the support and loyalty of millions of customers worldwide. Being a Subway franchisee allows you to sell superb products that are known and loved around the world.
The Subway Training Centre in Cambridge delivers hundreds of training courses each year. Each franchisee receives a comprehensive two-week training course and there is ongoing support to keep franchisees and staff continually informed of all the latest information and techniques.
The University of Subway offers simple-to-follow interactive training and development for franchisees and their staff. New franchisees are invited to attend local seminars or talk to their regional development agents and field consultants.
As a Subway franchisee you can find yourself doing a whole variety of tasks from accounting, running a payroll and employment law, to working in the store, baking bread and completing stock control.
Mastering all aspects of your business, from behind the counter and serving customers, to managing the everyday running of the store, is invaluable. It’s important you know your franchise, your market, local community and competitors.
Rachana owns five franchises and is responsible for the Subway brand development in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. She has previously won Subway franchisee of the year twice in a row and is a busy working mother.
She says: “At the Subway brand you are given a lot of training and support as you set up your franchise, and afterwards on an ongoing basis. As a development agent for Derbyshire and South Yorkshire I have become part of that support system, working with franchisees to ensure they are getting the most out of their business.
“The high quality of training given to all new franchisees and the continued support from field consultants, development agents and access to online training resources and the University of Subway all contribute to the Subway brand being a world-leader when it comes to franchising.”
Tesh comes from a retail background. Along with his two brothers, Tesh became a franchisee with the Subway brand in 2000, and in May 2004 became a development agent. He is now responsible for the brand’s growth in line with consumer demand across much of the Thames Valley and East Midlands regions.
He explains: “The Subway brand has developed a franchise system which is both efficient and effective. We work tirelessly to ensure that the transition for our franchisees is as easy as possible and that they head into their new ventures with confidence and the knowledge that they have a global brand backing them.
“The Subway brand has built up the support and loyalty of millions of customers worldwide by offering great value products and a recognised health platform. New franchisees can rely on the fact that demand for our wide range of great value Subs and salads, including a low fat range, is unwavering.”
At the age of just 27, Abhilash (Abhi) Prakash is one of a growing number of millennials that has recognised the benefits of franchising, and is the proud owner of his first Subway store in Ilkeston, Derby.
It was a simple change of heart that led Abhi to a Subway franchise. After graduating university with a degree in medicine, Abhi changed his mind about his whole career path, and wanted to own his own business, instead of working for someone else. After trying several options, including recruitment, he decided a franchise would be the best and lowest risk route to business ownership for him.
The choice of franchise wasn’t a difficult one for Abhi. He researched many different types of franchise, but knew he wanted to work within the food industry, for a well-known brand with low costs. Subway was the obvious choice.
Abhi said: “I grew tired of working for others, or sitting at a desk. I wanted to be physically involved in a business, making the decisions and on my feet, not sat down all day. Making the choice to open a Subway store has been a long journey, including all the research, but it has been fun, interesting, a lot of work, but totally worth it.”
The support offered by Subway was a big factor in Abhi’s choice of franchise. He and his brother both attended a two week training course at Subway’s UK and Ireland Support Centre in Cambridge. During this training, new Subway franchise owners take part in both classroom and store based training. Beyond this course, Subway’s team of Business Development Agents are on hand to answer any questions or offer advice that a franchise owner may need, at any point along their Subway franchise career.
Abhi continued: “There is a lot less risk with a Subway franchise compared to going it alone. The Business Development Team are always on hand to answer any questions I have, to help if something goes wrong or something happens unexpectedly that hadn’t previously been planned for. There is so much to learn, but you are never alone.
“I don’t have any previous food industry experience, and the Business Development Agents have been able to answer any questions I’ve had and point me in the right direction. But, Subway is great because all of the food is made in front of our guests, there isn’t any grilling or frying or need for any big or heavy equipment, so with a bit of guidance it has been easy to navigate the set-up process and managing the store.”
Since opening his Subway store, Abhi has felt a change to his work life balance and enjoys the independence of being his own boss. While the store is still in its infancy, he plans to continue working on the front line, serving guests and making sure the customer service is as he would expect it to be in a Subway store.
He said: “I work in my store every day, taking part in the day-to-day running including opening up, preparing the meat and vegetables, baking bread, cleaning and serving guests. I think it is important meet the regular guests in the store and for them to get to know me. I get to set the expectation of customer service in the store - some people walk in and I know exactly what bread and what filling they want in their Sub before they ask. Great service is what will keep people coming back to the store.”
Running the store is a family affair for Abhi both this brother and girlfriend are amongst the 12 members of staff he employs. His brother usually opens up the store in the morning, and is heavily involved in the running of the store. So much so, Abhi is working with him to open his own Subway store.
Abhi said: “I’m hoping to help my brother open a Subway store in the next six months. Right now my focus is on my store, and whilst I hope to expand, I want to get my first store exactly right before I think about opening another. But, my brother has seen the benefits of opening a Subway franchise, and I will be helping him along the journey when he decides to open a store.”
Like all new franchise owners Abhi found it helpful and insightful to talk to other franchise owners about their experiences with Subway. The best advice he could give to someone who is looking to become a Subway franchise owner is: “Do your homework properly, it is a simple operation, but it is still best to eliminate any surprises. Be patient, the process takes time, but you will be kept informed by your Business Development Agent. Be prepared to work hard, it is worth it.”
Gurdeep Kaur is the latest in a growing number of millennials to recognise the benefits of franchising. Gurdeep is a Subway® franchisee, having opened her first store in Peterborough in March 2016 at the age of just 27.
Prior to joining the Subway® brand’s global franchise network, Gurdeep worked as a Project Lead on a cost improvement programme being delivered across the NHS, helping to reduce its £1.25bn deficit. With the programme coming to an end, it provided the ideal opportunity for Gurdeep to fulfil a long-held ambition: to start her own business.
She explains: “I had always wanted to work for myself, running my own business, but I hadn’t expected to achieve it so soon in my career. With the project I was working on coming to an end, it gave me the push I needed to explore the options available to me. Franchising had always been an attractive proposition as it offered me the chance to work for myself, but within a tried and tested business model. I did a lot of research and was attracted to a Subway franchise because of its strong brand and loyal customer base, as well as being a big fan of the product. It also provided the best financial fit.”
With support from her parents, Gurdeep applied to become a Subway® franchisee. After spending time in a local store getting a better understanding of the business, Gurdeep attended a two-week training course at the Subway® brand’s UK and Ireland headquarters in Cambridge. Through a combination of classroom and store-based sessions, the training provided all the knowledge Gurdeep needed to set up and manage her own store.
Gurdeep says: “The training was brilliant; it really gave me more drive to succeed and open my store. Once I’d completed my training, I then spent more time in a local Subway® store getting hands-on experience, so I felt much more confident when I opened my store.
“The support I receive from the Subway® brand is second to none. The Development Office is always really helpful and local Field Consultants provide advice and guidance on the ground. There is also an incredible support network amongst fellow franchisees.
“I absolutely love being my own boss and working for myself. It has provided me with much greater control over my work-life balance. It has been hard work, particularly in the first few months to get my store up and running successfully, and I’d never spent so much time on my feet before, but it is very rewarding. It helps that I really am passionate about the Subway® brand.
“My advice to anyone considering taking on their own Subway® franchise is to do your research and if the numbers stack up, then just go for it. I also recommend spending lots of time in a local Subway® store with another franchisee, getting some hands-on experience on everything from payroll and accounting to cleaning, serving customers and ordering. It was all completely new to me, but the knowledge I gained was invaluable in the early stages.”
Like many Subway® franchisees – over 70% of new stores established are by existing franchisees - Gurdeep has plans to open additional stores in the future. She adds: “I’ve got a great team in my store and I hope to be able to reward them in the future as I grow my business, with opportunities for career progression.”
The Subway® brand has ambitious plans to grow its store count to 3,000 by 2020 so is keen to hear from hard-working, entrepreneurial individuals, like Gurdeep, who have the ambition and drive to build their own business and would like to join one of the largest and most popular franchise brands.
Kareemaa Musa is a proud franchise owner of one Subway store in Barnsley, which opened in February 2019. Located on a busy retail park, the store was a culmination of years of hard work and determination.
Kareemaa has a background in retail and business ownership, having owned a successful convenience store business with her husband, Hamid. The pair had always wanted to explore franchising, and in 2014 decided the time was right for them to sell their convenience store and focus their efforts on becoming franchise owners.
Kareemaa said: “After attending various franchise shows and researching other brands, we decided a Subway franchise was the one for us. We loved the product offering and the strong franchise opportunity available – it just felt right.”
They applied and received their franchise number in 2016 and started their search for the perfect location for their Subway store.
The couple investigated locations in Barnsley and Derby, but they weren’t to be and while waiting for a new store location to become available, Hamid passed away very suddenly due to a heart condition. After taking some time to reflect, Kareemaa made the bold decision to continue with the Subway franchise in tribute to her late husband, but also as a positive example to her two daughters, aged 13 and nine, who encouraged her to continue with the franchise opportunity.
Kareemaa commented: “I think it was probably the hardest decision of my life. My Business Development Agent, Rachana was fantastic. She didn’t pressure me into making a decision – in fact, she said I could walk away from it if I wanted to.
“It was my girls who gave me the courage and self-belief that I could do it on my own. I explained it would be a very busy time, but they backed me all the way. I decided I wanted to do it for them, to show them that whatever happens in life, you can still be a success.”
In early 2018, a new site became available at The Peel Centre in Barnsley – a location Hamid had said would make a great location for a Subway store. Kareemaa jumped at it and started the process of leasing the available unit from the landlord.
As with all new franchise owners, Kareemaa completed two-weeks of training at the Subway Training Centre in Cambridge. She said: “The training was fantastic. It made me feel so much more confident that I really could do this on my own, as I realised, I would never really be on my own – I would always have the support of the Business Development team, which is the beauty of being part of a franchise network.”
All Subway franchise owners have the support of a local Business Development team, who provide support throughout the opening of a new store, and beyond. Made up of a team of Subway experts, franchise owners can look to them for support and advice, seven days a week.
Kareemaa continued: “The training taught me so much about the importance of customer service – this is something that really stayed with me and was a crucial factor in who I recruited to work in my store.
“I also completed 40 hours of in-store training, working in one of my Business Development Agent’s Subway stores, where I was able to get hands-on with what is required to run a Subway store from serving the customers, making sure the store was clean, through to managing other members of staff.”
In 2017, Subway introduced a new ‘Fresh Forward’ décor, offering guests an enhanced and modern Subway experience, with clean lines and customer focused touches such as digital menu boards, free to use charging ports and special displays for cookies, bread baked in store daily and freshly cut vegetables.
Kareemaa said: “I’m so happy my store features the new décor. It is so bright and inviting, providing my guests with the best in-store experience. My store is also fairly large, so I’m fortunate to be able to offer lots of in-store seating, encouraging guests to stay longer and enjoy the Subway experience.”
Becoming a Subway franchise owner has been a personal triumph for Kareemaa. She said: “It has been a long journey to get where I am today, but I’m so proud to have now opened my Subway store. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my daughters and Business Development team.”
Kareemaa’s franchising journey was showcased on BBC One’s The One Show in XX 2019. The four-part series detailed her story of becoming a franchise owner through to the eventual opening of her store. Kareemaa commented: “It was a privilege to share my journey of becoming a Subway franchise owner with The One Show. It was a very emotional journey, and I hope the series inspired viewers at home who may have thought about venturing into franchising to take that step.
“It takes a lot of hard work and determination to become a franchise owner, but that shouldn’t put anyone off exploring their dream of becoming their own boss; there is so much reward that comes with it as well. I’ve built a really strong team around me, and that, along with the support from the brand, Rachana, my family and friends, I am really proud to say that I am now a Subway store owner.”
Will Bray is the latest in a growing number of millennials to join Subway. At just 24 years old, Will is the proud franchise owner of two Subway stores in Bath.
Will studied Agriculture and Business Studies at Newcastle University and within just months of graduating, he became the franchisee of a Subway store in Bath. Will explains: “During my school years, I was a regular visitor to my local Subway store; in fact, the Sandwich Artists™ began to recognise me and would start making my Sub to my exact specifications long before I had even had to ask for it!”
“I loved the brand and its future potential. My family is in farming, but I didn’t feel this was the right career path for me. With the business studies knowledge I had gained at university and my passion for the brand, a Subway franchise felt like the perfect career.”
Will met with his local Development team, who were able to provide all the advice and guidance he needed. With a little financial support from his dad, Will became the franchise owner of an existing Subway store in Bath in August 2016. A second store in the city followed in May 2018.
Like all new franchise owners, Will attended a two-week training course at the Subway brand’s UK and Ireland headquarters in Cambridge. This provided all the necessary classroom and in-store experience Will needed to run his Subway franchise. Will says: “The training was really good fun. I had a great group, many of whom were from different countries in Europe and we have stayed in touch. It’s great to hear from them and learn about their experiences in their home countries. I’ve even had the chance to visit one of my fellow trainees in Amsterdam.
“The support Subway provides for franchise owners is ongoing and consistent. My Field Consultant is always at the end of the phone to help with anything from deliveries, to financials and advertising.
“The best part of being a Subway franchise owner is the flexibility it offers. I really enjoy being my own boss, in charge of my work-life balance and longer term future.”
A typical day sees Will spreading his time across his two Subway stores in Bath. He regularly works on the front-line, serving customers alongside his 15 members of staff. He adds: “I really enjoy building up a rapport with my customers and getting to know them and the local community. It’s important my customers realise that behind the big Subway brand is a small business owner, who wants to be a valuable member of the local community.
“Working alongside my staff members also means I have built up good relationships with them. I’m very hands-on and they really just see me as one of the team.”
Will says he plans to keep growing and developing his Subway franchise business, and will open new stores in the right locations, as and when they become available. “Subway is growing rapidly in the UK and Ireland and I’m really keen to be a part of that growth.”
Asked what he would say to prospective franchisees, Will comments: “Do your research and ask lots of questions. Speak to your local Development team, as well as other franchisees. I’m always willing to talk to someone who is considering becoming a franchisee. It’s also worth visiting other stores.”
Will has recently opened a new store in Subway’s Fresh Forward decor. He says: “The new store looks amazing, very futuristic. It’s so colourful and fresh and that’s what our customers keep saying to us. Feedback has been really positive and our staff members love working in the new store. I think the new Fresh Forward decor has really put the Subway® brand on the map.”
Asked if he would do it all again, Will replies: “Yes, definitely. Being a Subway franchise owner is great fun. The franchise sector in the UK is really booming, but with my love of the brand, I think it was always going to be a Subway franchise for me. It’s been a massive learning curve, but who doesn’t want to be their own boss?”
Subway has ambitious plans to grow its store count to 3,000 by 2020 so is keen to hear from hard-working, entrepreneurial individuals, like Will, who have the ambition and drive to build their own business and would like to join one of the largest and most popular franchise brands.
Myles Bull is one of the Subway’s newest franchisees and at just 26 years old, he joins a growing number of millennials who are recognising the benefits of franchising. For Myles, a career in franchising was always the plan and he began researching franchise opportunities whilst at Sheffield Hallam University where he undertook a degree in Business and Enterprise Management.
Myles explains: “I have always wanted to run my own business; franchising seemed like the perfect way to achieve this. In the first couple of years, many new start-ups fail and it’s very difficult to make a profit. With franchising you can hit the ground running, using a tried and tested business model. What’s more, with a franchise like the Subway® brand, there is an established customer base and excellent brand awareness. There is also a strong support network in place. It’s the ideal model for entrepreneurial individuals who want to start their own businesses, but with the added reassurance that they are joining a proven system.”
After graduating, Myles worked in B2B sales as an IT reseller in London, gaining valuable people management skills and experience before embarking on his new career as a Subway franchise owner. Myles says: “Subway offered a good financial fit, it’s very competitively priced for a brand of its size and stature.”
Myles was keen to open his first store in Maidstone, an area he was very familiar with and was planning to move to, having found a house on a new community development at Langley Park. After talking to the Subway Development Team for Kent and Surrey, it transpired that a retail unit was also available at Langley Park and Myles snapped up the opportunity.
The store at Langley Park opened in March 2018 and is one of the first in the UK to feature the new Fresh Forward décor - a modern format featuring clean lines and customer-focused touches, such as digital menu boards, free-to-use charging ports and special displays for the brand’s cookies, bread and vegetables.
Myles says: “The new décor has been extremely well received by both staff and customers. It is light and airy and feedback from customers has been very positive, with many saying they have chosen to visit our store because of the ‘fresh’ new look.
“Opening a brand new store on a brand new housing and retail development, it felt right that we should be using the new Fresh Forward décor. It looks great and I’m really pleased to own one of the first stores to feature the new look.”
Like all franchisees who are new to Subway, Myles attended a two-week training course at Subway’s UK and Ireland headquarters in Cambridge, which included both theoretical content in the classroom as well as time in a store. Myles continues: “The training was really helpful and it was fantastic to be able to put this into practice once the store opened. But the support does not stop there. The on-going advice and guidance provided by the Subway Business Development Team is invaluable. They are always there at the end of the phone or email, whatever time of the day or night, to respond to questions and provide assistance.
“The Business Development Agent and Business Consultants are very experienced and are more than happy to share their knowledge to help each and every franchisee get the most out of their businesses. They regularly visit the store and even helped with training my staff.”
Subway franchise owners work hard, particularly in the early stages to get their stores up and running. Myles says: “It’s only early days, but I am certainly working hard at the moment; I have much more responsibility than I did as an employee, but I definitely have more freedom and flexibility too. I am really investing the time and hard work now and planning for my future, so hopefully I have more time and financial security when I’m older and have a family of my own.”
Over 70% of new stores are opened by existing franchisees and Myles certainly has ambitious plans to become a multi-unit owner. He adds: “I went along to a Subway convention last year where I met a number of multi-unit owners and that’s definitely where I see myself in the future. I plan to expand a store at a time and am already looking to purchase a second store this year. As I grow my business, I will grow my team, providing opportunities for those who already work for me, as well as creating new employment opportunities for local people.”
Myles has the following advice for anyone thinking of joining the Subway® franchise: “Make sure you undertake due diligence. Once you’re sure it’s the right franchise business for you, you need to find the right location for your store. Consider the property, its location, i.e. high street, retail park or convenience store and the likely footfall. You also need to think about where your staff will be coming from.
“I certainly have no regrets about becoming a Subway® franchisee and I am optimistic and excited for the future.”
Subway has ambitious plans to grow its store count so is keen to hear from hard-working, customer-focused individuals, like Myles, who have the ambition and drive to build their own business and would like to join one of the largest and most popular franchise brands.
Born and brought up in New Zealand, Damian moved to the UK in 1980. He has a background in the catering and hospitality sector, after working for Compass Group for five years as a Hospitality Manager at Stormont - Northern Irelands Parliament, and 10 years with P&O as its Hotel Services Manager, Irish Sea.
Today he owns and operates six Subway stores in Northern Ireland, including Northern Ireland’s first Subway Drive-Thru, which he opened in November 2018.
Damian employs 48 staff across the six stores, but remains very hands-on and involved as much as possible at all his stores, ensuring that excellent customer service is the top priority of all his staff.
When Damian was looking for a new challenge in his career, he turned to Subway, and began working as a Business Consultant for the Business Development Office based in Belfast. Soon after, he purchased his first store in Antrim Town and hasn’t looked back since.
Damian said: “I was very aware of how popular Subway was, even before I began working for the Business Development Team. It’s a great concept which is well known across the world and has popular global support.
“When the opportunity came about for me to buy my own store, I felt it was a dream come true! I’ve always been a big fan of Subway and I love its products, so to be able to become a part of that brand was very exciting.”
“I liked the structure and support of working in a franchise, the tried-and-tested business opportunity, but with the chance to make your own mark, have your own stores and make your own connections. There’s nothing that can’t be achieved with Subway’s business model, it’s so versatile – proven by the fact I’ve just opened Northern Irelands first Drive-thru store.”
In 2017, Subway introduced a new Fresh Forward store design, offering guests an enhanced modern Subway experience, with clean lines and customer focused touches. Damian’s Drive-Thru store is his first Fresh Forward store, and both guests and staff have been impressed with the new design.
“The comfort and space in the Fresh Forward store is great, some people will even use the Drive-Thru, and then come into the store. The feedback verbally and on social media has been overwhelmingly positive and the support from subway to get the Drive-Thru up and running was first class.
Before opening his Fresh forward Drive-thru store, Damian closed a Subway store on the same development. There was about 12 months between one store closing, and the other opening, but thankfully the desire for a Sub never faded.
Damian explained: “What has been really reassuring is that guests from the old store near the Drive-Thru site have come straight back to us. We have been missing from the area for over a year after the store closed, but our guests are so loyal, and there has also been a lot of people keen to use the Drive-Thru.”
Damian is very involved in community activities around his local stores, and with the wider Subway brand. He sits on the regional Franchise Advertising Fund (FAF) board in Northern Ireland, which makes decisions about regional marketing activity, as well as region-specific promotions, offers and other activity.
He says: “There’s lots of opportunities for franchise owners to get involved in the brand, on a local, regional and national level, and I think it’s important that we do – after all, each Subway franchise is individually owned and operated, so it’s our businesses, and our communities that are directly benefiting.”
Damian has fostered a close relationship with local ice hockey team, Belfast Giants, on behalf of the regional FAF board. For him the marketing opportunities are strengthened further, once one well-known brand is associated with another. As a sponsor of the Giants, Subway often takes part in promotional activities at home games, including the legendary Sub Cannon – which fires footlong Subs into the crowd at half-time, something that Damian says really gets the crowd going!
“Sponsorship of the Giants has opened up a new customer base for Subway across Northern Ireland,” says Damian. “You get lots of families going to the Giants’ games, many of them perhaps weren’t familiar with the brand beforehand, but now they know and have had the opportunity to try Subs for themselves, they might even be fans of the brand for life!”
Damian firmly believes that the franchise model is perfect for those who are considering starting their own business, because there is as much guidance and support as you need, which provides extra security when starting out on your own. The Business Development Office is always there to help out, whether it’s on the ground support at the opening of a new store, or on the phone for advice and guidance.
“My advice to anyone who is thinking of opening their own franchise is to make sure you have the passion for the product, whatever that may be, if you believe in it and enjoy it, it will make it much easier for your staff and guests to enjoy too.
“The same approach goes for recruiting and training the right staff, when your staff engage and are well trained, you’ll have a better team and well trained staff are good for business. Staff engaging with customers is key, this is the vital link – and what makes guests keep coming back. My staff get to know the regular guests, they talk to them, they find out about their day – and of course will know their favourite Sub! It’s this kind of approach and attention to detail which can often make the difference between the guest having a good experience in store, and an excellent one.”
However, underpinning everything for Damian is Subway and its products, they remain his passion and drive. “I believe that there is a real need for healthier choices for people, whether they’re in a shopping centre, visiting hospitals, looking for a lunchtime bite to eat close to the office or out with the family. The great thing about the range of Subway products is that there’s something for everyone, if you want a healthier option, there’s the Low Fat range, if you’d like something a little more indulgent that’s fine, if you’re looking for a value for money lunch, there’s the £3 Real Deal – and of course, there’s the ‘Kids Pak™’ – it really is a brand for all the family, and one that will always have a special place in my heart.”