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Melbourne, Australia

Subway franchisee of the year

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: Kane Richards
Location: Sydney
Franchise: Subway

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose Subway franchise?
I’ve always been very interested in having my own business and a franchise was appealing – having an established brand, with proven systems – so the Subway model stood out as a great fit for me. It provides better choices for customers, it is a marker leader with a well-established business model and the brand consistently ranks in the top ten Franchises annually. It’s great to be a part of and to be able to grow with the brand.

I started up my first store in Sydney’s Northern suburbs in 2006. Now, I’ve been with Subway for 8 years.

What did you do before taking up your Subway franchise?
I was destined to become a fourth generation oyster farmer, which was thoroughly rewarding work. Unfortunately, the business was wiped out due to a disease that affected the oysters. This was obviously devastating for the family but allowed me to explore a new family business.

How did you raise the finance?
Throughout the course of researching business opportunities, I worked three jobs to save up for the initial set up cost. The bank financed the remaining portion. The most recent store that I opened is financed through FinanceNet, an initiative of the IPCA* and Subway. FinanceNet has given me access to a team of professionals who understand the Subway business and this has streamlined the process for me.

*Independent Purchasing Company (Australasia) Ltd (IPCA) is an independent SUBWAY® Franchisee owned and operated purchasing company.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Subway provides initial training, which is fantastic in terms of preparation for owning and operating a Subway Franchise. Further to this, the Multi Unit Owner Training and ongoing roadshows have a large emphasis on store operations.

Many Subway franchisees feel like we are all part of one large family. There is a huge network of franchisees who have incredible passion and the willingness to assist each other.

What is a typical day for you as a Subway franchisee?
I generally travel between stores throughout the day. I could be working as part of the team during the lunch period, training new staff, undertaking repairs and maintenance or working on marketing for the businesses. Evenings are spent catching up on the admin and following up on operations.

What challenges have you faced?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced is maintaining and building business profitability in an ever changing economy. As the company grows and I manage more stores, time management can be challenging.

Has becoming a Subway franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Subway, has provided a career that I’ve been able to grow and develop within. It’s also been fantastic for my personal development. I’ve had some amazing experiences and have met some incredibly influential people within the system.

I’ve been fortunate to serve for the last six years on the Independent Purchasing Company of Australasia (IPCA) Board with a fabulous group of Franchisees and the IPCA team. This is an independent Subway Franchisee owned and operated purchasing company. Being a Board member, has given me the opportunity to be involved with strategic buying, managing the supply chain and delivering business solutions to assist other Subway franchisees.

What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
Beyond Subway’s national marketing, my stores are actively involved in the local community supporting local clubs and organisations—especially on campus at The University of Sydney and University of New South Wales. We support major events in the local areas and support environmental initiatives. My wife and I also get a great deal of satisfaction out of raising money for charities.

What differentiates Subway franchise from the competition?
The Subway Brand has always differentiated itself from the competition by being a nutritional leader in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry, offering better choices for our customers. No other QSR lets their customers choose from a large variety of salad ingredients and have their sandwich made right in front of them. Yes, we offer more indulgent items as well, but our core brand promise is to offer a wide range of great tasting and nutritious options for our customers. That’s the difference. When combined with the passion we put into our customer experience every day, we have a successful business.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Passion and hard work. You have to believe in your brand, its promise and your people. It is important to capitalise on what is offered to you, maximise all opportunities and, like any business, you have to work hard to make it work.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
It’s imperative that you do research to gather as much information as you can, to help you make the best decision. Taking the time to speak with current franchisees in the system, from diverse locations is important.

What are your plans for the future?
My current goals, (which I’m continually re-evaluating), are to reinvest in the business and open more stores, continue to strengthen the store operations and culture of the company, and to focus on the team achieving their goals. I’d also like to continue to develop stores, refine store operations and to add value where I can to the brand.

Would you do it again?
Absolutely! I have never looked back since owning my first Subway franchise and I’m always looking for new locations.

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