“We started talking to Subway – and the local company they work through – in late 2013.”

Bhavesh Parekh
Bhavesh Parekh owns and runs a Family Shopper store in Bolton, Lancashire

“We had been at risk of a Tesco Metro and Tesco Express moving in not too far away and I knew we needed something new to keep footfall up. Being able to offer a major brand like Subway, which is trusted and known for its quality, is a huge benefit. We’d tried other companies before with a more traditional food to go offer and they hadn’t worked.”

“Once you’ve proved yourself with one Subway franchise there is the option to become a multi-unit operator and take on other sites. This means I could open stand-alone Subway franchises or include them within another store.”

Lessons from Bhavesh

Want to emulate his success? Here are four lessons every retailer should know.

1. Get your business up to speed

When first negotiating with the Subway team, Bhavesh needed to show that his business was stable and profitable. Companies like these need to know that they’re working with serious retailers.

2. Embrace training

When Bhavesh signed up to Subway he had to go on a compulsory two week training course. He says that a major challenge is maintaining consistency, not just within his store but in every Subway nationally. Training is key to achieving it.

3. Invest in staff numbers

Bhavesh’s earlier attempts at offering food to go were made more difficult by the additional jobs existing staff had to take on. For his Subway, dedicated staff are employed to run it.

4. Offer coffee and cookies too

A group of local pensioners, who don’t want a meatball-filled sub sandwich, now use the seating area in Bhavesh’s store to meet regularly. Subway’s range of coffees and cookies have helped him to become their preferred destination.

My next steps

Once you’ve proved yourself with one Subway franchise there is the option to become a multi-unit operator and take on other sites. “This means I could open stand-alone Subway franchises or include them within another store,” says Bhavesh.

Read the full food service special feature in this week’s Retail Newsagent magazine. Subscribe today!