Quiznos Franchise “Deal”?

Has anyone seen the deal that Quiznos is doing to sell units to new or existing franchisees? Lets have a look at it with the knowledge that this is the company that was recently selling underperforming stores for as little as $14,000.

Quiznos is offering an “Operating Partner” program that has an entry cost of $5000!

You get full ownership over time.

You use the profits of the business to pay for the store. 80%

You are paid from the profits of the store. 20%

You are paid a salary as well

You receive full corporate benefits, health insurance etc.

Quiznos covers losses for 12 months.

They set up the LLC and hold the head lease.

They set up all utility contracts.

They set up and do P&L’s for you.

You get paid to attend training. (McDonald’s’ is probably having a good laugh over that one).

All sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? I would love to see the franchise agreement on this. All I can say is caveat emptor. Buyer beware! Yikes…..


Quick Service for Your QSR – Watch Your Customer!

I spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks with a group that concentrates on airports and railway stations and although they have dabbled in food with their own QSR brands, for the first time they have decided to open a market leading concept in a major railway station in a downtown location.

Watching the rush of people disembarking from the trains and rushing to work in the morning both the franchisee and the representative of the franchisor (me) were delighted to see customers turning into the new store and standing in line to place their order.

The first thing I noticed was the clock watching. Normally it takes thirty seconds to a minute for customers to start checking their watches but this was immediate. Place the order, look at the watch. They were all on their way to work and had no time to waste. This was not starting as I had expected and worse was to come.

Although the customer numbers were well above expectations the average check was not, sundry sales were almost non existent and I had to take a close look at how we were marketing the add ons. This particular QSR concept is beverage based and sundries are mainly pastries along with sandwiches, salads, some hot savouries, single serve yogurt etc. Average service times of less than two minutes still did not translate in the customers mind to not being late for work.

The answer. Grab and go. A quick trip to the supermarket for a few wicker baskets, take out a selection of ambient temperature products, wrap them and put them right in front of the cash registers in the wicker baskets and BAM they were gone in minutes.

Adjust your products and placement to your customers needs, be creative in what you do and change things around on a regular basis. If you bring some of your normal products to the front your customers will see them for the first time no matter how long you have had them on the menu. This actually worked and average check rose dramatically. Have a look at your concept and see if you are doing all you can to match your products and the way you display them to the needs of your customers.

Are You Serving Good Coffee?

On a recent short break I had the pleasure of spending a weekend in a very exclusive mountain lodge in Western North Carolina. Magnificent views, fantastic service, private hot tubs in the rooms, first class restaurant, and a bar with a multitude of fine single malt scotch….. you get the idea.

The first night we had a superb meal followed by drinks and a chat with our fellow guests and a bit of a late night. The next morning feeling a bit fuzzy we wandered down to breakfast looking forward to some great bacon and eggs and a couple of gallons of good coffee. Hey we all know that bacon, eggs and coffee are the only cure for feeling a bit fuzzy!

After ordering breakfast and waiting somewhat impatiently we nearly fell over backwards when on the first sip (even before that because you could smell it) we found that we had been given truck stop coffee! Weak, institutional, probably Robusta beans drained through a recycled paper filter and left to cook for a couple of hours on the hot plate, (my wife calls it schoolhouse coffee and I wonder what type of school she went to!).

The point is that good coffee machines can be bought or leased on a monthly basis or on a per cup basis so easily so why would a high end resort still be serving truck stop coffee? Does the average American or visiting European not complain?

Let’s not stop there. Look at all the great diners that have been around since Buddha was a boy, most of them are the same. Does the general coffee drinking population still think that truck stop coffee is ok? Do that not expect any better from a high end establishment? Am I totally wrong in thinking that most people would prefer a good Arabica blend cappuccino or latte. Maybe it’s the time I spent in Europe where a great coffee costs round about a Euro and it is hard to get a bad cup of coffee.

It is worth the expense to serve a good product not just the food. Your customers will appreciate the change in quality and you don’t have to charge Starbucks prices.

Think I am going to put some more thought into this subject and in future talk about how you might add good coffee to your small restaurant.