Make SUBWAY your New Year's resolution

As SUBWAY®'s European store network passes the 1,000 mark, Rachel Spaul reports on an opportunity for dedicated, ambitious owner/operators with upwards of £38,000 to invest in a store in Spain

It's once again that time of year when we take a step back and re-evaluate our needs, desires and aspirations. Do you dream of being the owner of a leading fast food brand? Do you dream of moving to Spain? As a SUBWAY® franchisee you can take charge of your working day while enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle.

The SUBWAY chain is the world's largest submarine sandwich franchise with over 1,000 stores across Europe and over 24,000 worldwide. Ranked the 2005 'Number One Franchise' by US magazine Entrepreneur, SUBWAY has established itself as a leading fast food chain, surpassing McDonald's in Northern Ireland, Iceland and Canada.

'The SUBWAY chain has made great progress in our 2004-2005 growth plans in Europe,' comments Mike Charest, Marketing and Profitability Manager for the European region. 'We've recently crossed the 200 store mark in Germany and continue to attract top quality franchisees from all around Europe. The UK and Germany lead the way in European growth and development. Also on top of our agenda is aggressive growth in Spain and France, followed by further expansion into Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Italy.'

SUBWAY has built its international success on sound footings dating back four decades. Unlike traditional fast food outlets, there is no need for grills and fryers, with all sandwiches made in front of the customer to their exact requirements. 'This has proven to be a winning strategy in Europe,' reflects Mike. 'Our customers have really responded to the high level of service that Subway restaurants are famous for. We have also become popular with health-conscious consumers in Europe who are searching for higher quality fast food options.

'SUBWAY's low initial investment and ability to fit into unusual spaces are other reasons for our success. Without the need for heavy equipment or cooking, a SUBWAY restaurant is the perfect business for the small spaces and tight real estate of Europe. Our regional office makes the start-up process simple and easy. Europe is currently wide-open for development and as our brand awareness grows, more people are becoming aware of SUBWAY as a great-tasting lunch option.'

SUBWAY guides and supports franchisees in developing their business from the intensive two-week training programme through to securing premises, designing the restaurant interior, ordering equipment, launching the business and supporting them in the field.

Head of European Franchising Fabian Brachetta reveals: 'We've already received many applications for the coastal Spanish tourist areas. Cities such as Madrid are also viable markets as people are taking less time for lunch and opting for fast food. The holiday season accounts for 80 per cent of the year, making the Spanish coast in particular a secure investment for a Subway store.

'We're eager to hear from individuals from the UK looking to own a SUBWAY® in the sun. With four regional offices, including our newly opened European headquarters in Amsterdam, Subway is poised for further expansion.'

Talking to Franchisees...

Maninder Bains, Subway Palma de Mallorca

'Someone once told me that Subway has more outlets in the US than McDonald's, which got me thinking 'there must be a reason why they're so successful'.

'Spain is nice and Palma de Mallorca has a good population base, which is given a boost during the summer by tourism. It's easy to make friends in Spain, as there are many people who speak both English and Spanish.

'I've had ongoing support from staff at Subway head office in Madrid and the local Development Agent, who all speak very good English. The concept has been operating for some 30 years, so there's no doubt that my store will be successful. Once this one is up and running I'm aiming to open a second.'

Wayne Bloore, Area Developer, Spain

Wayne Bloore joined Subway as a franchisee in Hull, but became attracted to the opportunity offered by the Spanish market.

'When I opened my first Subway in Hull, the brand was virtually unknown in the area. Developing the store was quite a challenge and something I enjoyed. I wanted the same challenge in Spain.

'The Spanish sandwich market is competitive with a lot of bars and sit-down waiter service restaurants. The fast food market has also really taken off, which is why Subway's combination of the two is successful.'