Reflecting on 2020’s Recipe for Success
As 2021 begins, Subway® Australia Country Director Geoff Cockerill looks back at the way the brand faced challenges in 2020 and the tools they embraced to ensure franchisees were able to achieve success where others struggled.
With same-store-sales results returning to 2019 levels last year, and some restaurants even increasing their sales by up to 20 per cent year-on-year, Subway® is proud to share our recipe for success in 2020, that we’re confident will underpin further success for all franchisees again in 2021.
Adaptability and bravery were key themes across the business in 2020, and underpinned the decisions made around the three major areas the brand focused on to combat the ever-changing landscape that last year continued to bring.
Coaching, Support for franchisees and Brand were focussed on in 2020 to ensure Subway® remained profitable for its franchise owners and relevant in a competitive QSR market.
Subway® recognised that during periods where restaurants weren’t experiencing normal volumes of in-store customers, it was an ideal time to refresh skills, in order to fine-tune operations and the guest experience.
During Covid-19, in order to maximise franchise owners’ ability to service consumers, Subway® developed a new suite of restaurant excellence training modules to help owners increase delivery sales, reduce food wastage, prepare better products and deliver a better customer experience for guests. This knowledge, together with the support from Subway® field teams, empowered owners to optimise their revenue from every sale.
Support for Franchisees
As a brand we were fortunate to have made significant changes to our communication channels with franchisees as part of a larger brand transformation project the business undertook in 2017. As such we were able to refine and adapt existing systems to communicate all covid-19 changes effectively, in a way that ensured franchisees were able to successfully execute immediate and lasting changes in restaurant.
Subway® quickly re-designed its support systems with business coaching, regular check-ins and communication from both the corporate team and the business development teams that allowed restaurants to succeed where other cafes and restaurants may have struggled.
An often-underestimated benefit of a franchised business is the processes and support that the franchisee can tap into. Subway® believes the importance of this support is amplified during economic uncertainty, when many small businesses struggle. Successful brand systems like Subway® have long-established, proven business operations processes designed to help franchise owners build their own successful businesses regardless of any prior experience.
Alongside the business operations support that Subway® provided to franchisees the brand also waived or deferred ongoing franchising fees for the most severe periods of the first lockdown – and provided practical support to reduce other costs across the business, including stepping in around government and landlord conversations.
For many companies the instinctive response to tough economies is to withdraw from advertising but Subway® believed remaining visible and relevant to consumers throughout 2020 was more important than ever.
For Subway®, with consumers’ existing knowledge of the brand, immediate impacts from our world-class brand campaign during Covid-19 were seen, and we believe this is part of what enabled us to help shield franchise owners from as much of the retail impacts as possible.
Consumers look to familiar brands to deliver reliable products and experiences and Subway® reminded consumers they could continue to eat safely with us – and they could choose to have this any way they wanted, whether that was contactless delivery, contactless pick-up or visiting our restaurants.
The brave way Subway® adapted to the challenges faced by the business in 2020 was effective in ensuring success for franchisees and is a strong platform for continued success across the business in 2021.