Subway’s Five Dollar Footlong Promise

 

Subway, Oops!

What is all the fuss about?   Subway’s famous footlong sub is actually an 11 inch long footlong sub! Did anyone really think that each and every bun that Subway bakes will end up at exactly 12 inches long?  Ever heard of shrinkage?

Ok, Subway got caught not over delivering on their promise. The pans they use to bake their footlong subs are twelve inches long and the buns can’t get any bigger than the pan, but the occasional one will not rise to the occasion and end up shorter. Not Good Subway! If you advertise a foot, your end product should be 12 inches. (My wife reading over my shoulder mumbled something about the head baker at Subway probably being a man….not sure what she was talking about.)

What I found interesting is the person that alerted the media to this potential end to civilization as we know it…an Australian! I grew up in Australia and wonder where an Australian got a ruler with inches on it? Australia has been metric since the mid 60’s, did he raid his grandfather’s tool kit, or is he just one of those people that spend their lives looking for their 15 minutes of fame?

What should the consumer be angry about? Being misled by an inch? Or the reported ( by a Subway franchisee ) 25% percent reduction in the amount of meat that Subway puts on their shorter than advertised buns. Now that is something to get angry about!

 

Restaurant Equipment, Used is Always a Good Option

I was in a pizza restaurant last week, no not the one that I have been raving about, another one and was having a chat to the owner. He had recently set up his pizzeria as part of a whitewater rafting, kayak and general water sports centre. The establishment was a bit off the beaten track and I was amazed at some of the equipment he had in his kitchen, including a Middleby Marshall conveyor oven that could handle ten times the volume that would ever be able to fit into this small pizzeria.

I suggested that maybe he had over capitalized just a little considering even a used Middle Marshall in reasonable condition could cost as much as $10,000 and this one looked almost new. Looking around I also noticed lots of good condition stainless steel workbenches, make tables, stoves, high end commercial microwaves etc.

OK, I asked, what’s the deal? You have a restaurant equipment package that could go into any quick service or fast casual restaurant that would cost a million to build and here you are with a little converted shed with the same equipment package!!

A huge smile broke out on his face and he told me that the entire package was for sale from a pizzeria that went bust less than a year after it opened. So what did he pay?

Now get this.  $4000 for everything.  A whole restaurant equipment package for $4000!!

  • Check out online for used restaurant equipment stores.
  • Check for Bankruptcy sales or going out of business sales and auctions.
  • ebay is full of great deals. Some of them from franchise systems like Wendy’s and Subway so you may even be able to satisfy your franchisor’s equipment specifications.
  • Ask your franchisor for stores that are closing or relocating. Most good franchisors will have a list of used equipment in storage that they will want to convert into cash.

You can often get fantastic deals for a fraction of the price and even though there probably is no longer a valid warranty you can get many years of dependable use from the majority of used equipment as long as you put in place a maintenance schedule that looks after not only the day to day cleaning and maintenance but also includes regular visits by the service technicians to ensure the internals and electrics are kept in good order. The technicians will also be able to let you know if any part needs replacing prior to a breakdown in a peak period.

The downturn in the economy can have devastating affects on many businesses and you may not want to reap the rewards of someone else s bad luck but look at it this way, at least they will be getting something back for their investment and that equipment needs to be used  so why not you!!

Coffee Drinks For Summer-Recipes!!

Its summer and the schools are all out for the holidays and it is time to start thinking about how you can capitalize on the season by adding summer beverages to your menu. They are easy to make, have a high profit factor and can bring a whole new customer base into your business. You can introduce one or two to start with or look at a whole range of new cold beverages.

Coffee can be made several ways as a base for cold beverages, the two best are using shots straight from an espresso machine or cold filtered with a long brew in cold water overnight.

If you already have a blender then the variety of beverages is almost endless. If you don’t have a blender and don’t want to spend the $1500 – $2000 for a top of the range commercial model then check out some of  used equipment websites on the net or if local health and safety laws allow it, head on down to your local Walmart or appliance store and buy a good domestic model. Don’t forget to order spare blades, o-rings and have at least two blenders on hand. One for milk based products and one for juice based products. Label one “Dairy” and the other “Non Dairy” You have to be careful not to mix them up for your lactose intolerant customers.

Coffee based cold beverages are always a favorite while the Italian sodas and fruit juice based smoothies are hot items on any beverage menu.

Check your local supplier for flavored syrups including Mocha, chocolate powder both sweet ground and white chocolate and cookies and a few of the tiny candy bars that can be blended with the milk based beverages to add that WOW factor.

Some of the flavored syrups that you should think about are:

Caramel

Vanilla

Strawberry and any other berry that you think will do well in your market

Lime

Orange

Hazelnut (make sure it does not contain any actual nuts)

Anything else that will appeal to your customers 

Be creative and try combinations that you believe will work. Test them on your team and family.

Here are a couple of easy recipes that are standard throughout the world to give you a start. You will have to play around with exact measurements dependant your glass size.

Italian Soda

A shot of flavored syrup over ice and top up with soda. Garnish with lemon slice, parsley or mint

Iced coffee

Shot of espresso or double amount of cold filter coffee over ice and top up with milk

Vanilla, Caramel or Coconut iced coffee

Add a shot of the appropriate flavored syrup

Iced Mocha

Make iced coffee as above with ice to almost the top of the glass and pour into blender add a tablespoon of sweet ground chocolate powder and blend till smoot and no ice chunks left. Pour into original glass and sprinkle with chocolate powder.

Oreo Smoothie

As above but add one or two Oreo cookies and blend till smooth

Fruit Smoothies

Use only high quality pure fruit concentrate made especially for the beverage market.

In a glass quarter fill with water another third of fruit puree and heap the rest with ice. Pour into a blender and blend till smooth and no ice chunks left. Pour into the original glass and garnish with fresh fruit if necessary. Mix and match to liven things up or add fresh fruit to make a healthy option.

A couple of tips:

  • For carryout use clear plastic cups with lids that allow whipped cream to be added above the cup line.
  • Have chocolate sprinkles and chocolate powder in shakers for the customers to add themselves
  • Make whipped cream an option, free of charge if possible or build it into the price and advertise “Free Whipped Cream”
  • Daily or weekly specials on a chalkboard is always a good way to advertise and gives it that “Fresh Daily” feel.
  • Most chocolate powders are pre sweetened as are the fruit smoothie puree’s but the iced coffees and real fruit smoothies are not so think about sugar packets or simple sugar syrup as a sweetener.

Good mixing and don’t forget to be creative.