Friday, October 17, 2003

Peter and I went to the Quizno's Seminar. It was your basic dog-and-pony show. They showed us some promotional videos and that was pretty much it. However, these were what was very interesting about the Quizno's franchise:

1. Their training is 2 weeks in Chicago, and 1 week in Denver. Each location has to have a Quizno's certified manager at all times.

2. They have a "grand-opening-in-a-box" which basically gives you all the promotional materials you need for the grand opening. The video seemed to indicate that these included the signage, printed collateral, coupons for mailing, a inflatable balloon thing and other similar promotional material.

3. They seemed to have the franchising part nailed down with all the training materials all set up. I get the sense that you really got a lot of training to get started with the biz.

4. It sounds like they are very concerned about getting you up and running very quickly and that they have a team of real estate people that are going to help you find and negotiate a site as soon as you sign on the dotted line.

However, there were a couple of "odd" things that Peter and I also noticed:

1. The growth information they were touting related more to the growth of Quizno's as a whole, not same-store growth sales.

2. According to a recent franchisee at the seminar, he didn't negotiate the terms of the franchise. Apparently, he didn't even engage a lawyer. When Peter asked whether he negotiated, the guy indicated that there was no negotiation.

3. They indicated during the seminar that they were looking to open 100 stores this year. Since it is already October, I wondered if this meant that they had 100 more stores to open or that was the target for the year. I am particularly concerned if Quizno's is more interested in selling franchises than selling sandwiches--although they don't have to be mutually exclusive. I guess the concern is that similar to the complaints (I've heard) from McDonald's franchises, there are too many stores in a small area. I'd be afraid that after I open my store, that there will be another one down the street in a year.

4. The guy who was running the show was kinda smarmy.

I guess there seems to be a lot of good reasons why Quizno's has good potential--they have their act together. But Peter and I are worried about whether in the long term, the aggressiveness could be a problem. Just like Khalid said before when he bought his Subway franchise, he became upset when Subway expanded so quickly that his own store was affected.

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