I launched my in-store Subway counter on July 15 and sales have hugely exceeded my expectations.

I had already agreed with Vertex about the fixtures that our Subway kitchen would include and the space that it would occupy so the first task was to bring in the shop fitters. The electric and water were already available as the Subway unit is in the same place that we had been using for our food to go offer.

As I am sure that anyone who has undertaken a refit in their store knows, there are always issues that need sorting out. I certainly had a few things that needed resolving with this project.

It took two weeks for the shop fitters to install the counter, kitchen and canopy. This was all done without too much interruption for my customers.

I wanted our Subway to standout so I found a graphic designer who developed a logo to compliment the other logos I use in the business.

Next came the search for a team of people to operate the counter. I have found Facebook to be a great way of advertising vacancies. My Family Shopper Facebook page has over 2,000 followers and I know that many of these are our customers. I was looking for a team of seven new employees, as I did not want to disrupt my store team who are doing a great job on that side of my business.

Mo at his Subway kitchen counterI had plenty of applications and had no trouble in finding staff. Training was undertaken at two other Subways in near-by Hamilton. Learning the Subway system is a big challenge. My team and I gained great insight into the way that the guidelines provided by the company are used to provide consistent quality of food. It’s a big learn and when my new team returned to my store they were ready for action.

The big gain that the Subway system offers me is that they have worked through all the issues that a store owner needs to know; from product range and build, through to delivering a consistent level of quality to every customer.

My key concerns in the first few weeks of operation have been full availability and quality, but with many regular customers I know we are on to a winner.

With the seven members of my Subway team all working well, sales are hugely above my initial expectation. This has allowed me to recruit a manager for this part of my business and let me focus on bringing in the next new service, a Post Office counter.

If you are thinking of dipping your toes in the food to go market I suggest that you talk to a big partner like Subway to discover just how valuable the category could be to your business.