Like any brand looking to establish itself, Subway’s launch in Australia was a slow process which began thanks to an entrepreneurial dream of one local franchisee who opened the first restaurant in Perth in 1988.
Although the brand faced early consumer scepticism of the calibre of the American sandwich, which was vastly different to traditional Aussie snacks, such as pies and sausage roles, the Subway® sandwich soon attracted a loyal base of supporters due to its ability to meet consumers’ needs for a healthier lifestyle. This shift in market perception led to healthy and fresh offerings entering the mainstream quick-service industry, with Subway® leading the way, and experiencing explosive growth during the early 2000s.
Australia was the first to hit 1,000 stores outside of North America and it was due to the keen business owners that shared the brand’s vision of success, that today, make up the solid network of franchisees that keeps Subway’s wheels turning.
Australia Country Director, Geoff Cockerill, says Subway’s franchisees and their investment in the brand’s mission to remain a healthy yet tasty constant in consumers’ lives, speak volumes for Subway’s success in Australia, today.
“Thanks to our very first franchisee’s vision, and the steadfast investment of all current and future franchisees, Subway is one of the most successful QSR brands in Australia,” says Mr Cockerill. “Becoming a Subway franchisee has become such a viable option for business owners, that multi-unit franchising has become almost the norm at Subway. Some of our franchisees count up to 20 stores in their portfolio and with our Next Generation restaurant upgrade rollout, 70 per cent of franchisees are reinvesting by remodelling or opening up a
“At Subway, the mantra continues to be ‘build stores, build sales, and build profits’, and any franchisee will concur with this,” adds Mr Cockerill.
Two such franchisees who can attest to this mantra are Nathan Castleman and Lyal Marshall who recently were awarded Franchisees of the Year at Subway’s Australia and New Zealand 2021 Virtual Convention. Both Mr Castleman and Mr Marshall followed the typical journey of a Subway® franchisee, beginning with one restaurant and growing their portfolio into three successful restaurants, which has reaped them not only individual rewards, but benefits for their community and local economies. “I previously worked in the corporate sector for supermarket brands such as Aldi. After 8 years within the industry, it was clear I couldn’t go any further up the chain without a university degree, so doors were shut to me furthering my skills and becoming an entrepreneur myself. I knew I wanted to be a business owner, and Subway was the perfect fit,” explains Mr Castleman.
“Lyal and I have been friends since childhood, so it was a great opportunity for us to both navigate the entrepreneurial landscape together. We opened our first location in Maryborough in 2015 and within 18 months we had opened two further restaurants in Ballarat and Wendouree. “It’s been a fabulous whirlwind for both of
us, but the best decision of our lives entering into business with Subway, as the return on investment has been unparallel compared to other avenues we explored,” says Mr Castleman.
Mr Marshall agrees with his business partner that Subway’s mission was the leading reason that made the brand an undeniable business option. “We made the choice to align with the Subway brand as we both have young families and we wanted to promote the healthy lifestyle and give our loved ones options. It’s an ethos that Subway has built its foundation on and it’s a message that not only has brought us success, but one that we’re proud to push out into our community,” adds Mr Marshall.
Mr Cockerill says that for any franchisee looking for a beginner’s investment option, Subway provides full turnkey operations. “Subway has a successful management structure and entrepreneurial model, providing prospective franchisees with simple entry and a flexible system with extensive training support.
“Our franchisees are also encouraged to do 40 hours of practical experience at another store to arm them with tools and knowledge in their own environment prior to any purchase. “Supported by national marketing and public relations endeavours, Subway® will always be a leading brand to partner with in the business franchising industry,” concludes Mr Cockerill.
Anyone interested in learning more about a Subway® franchise can find out more at: subway-franchise.com.