The 2013/09/05 at 15:46
30% progress in worldwide exposure over a two-year period: this is the impressive accomplishment achieved by Subway in 2012, according to TNS Sofres figures. The Subway network is plainly the global leader in fast food in terms of the number of restaurants. Present in France for the last decade or so, the brand has no cause to blush regarding what some might call its late emergence compared with its rivals: some 1,500 sites are planned to accompany the 450 restaurants already set up in France.
According to Emmanuel Aublet, who enthuses over these glorious prospects, “Subway rhymes with a desire to be enterprising, to take risks to succeed. But it is also a family because here, all the restaurants are franchised, and it’s together that we make progress.”
Between 2010 and 2012, the turnover has progressed by 10 % every year “despite a morose economic climate. For our concept is simple: we can set up practically anywhere. We don’t have the same restrictions as our competitors, for apart from bread, our products do not require cooking. So we can be present in train stations, underground as in the Marseille metro station La Castellane, in hospitals, on university campuses as in Angers, at highway stops… while our rivals are restricted to shopping centres for example.”
All Subway restaurants are franchised – and this is one of the strengths of the brand. Great trust is placed in the franchisees, as is shown in particular in the case of Virginie Bouteloup, franchisee-owner of three Subway restaurants in the Paris region. “After my studies in management and human resources and seven years working for a company in the IT and new technologies sector, I decided to make the plunge and become self-employed, along with my sister,” explains Virginie Bouteloup. “At first, even if your desire to head a business is strong, you need support. The group helped me to put together my application to present to banks. I then followed training in restaurant management according to Subway standards. Seeing how my business operated soundly, we opened a second franchise, then a third. Although a lot of upstream work was required, it has all paid off.”
Some might hesitate about becoming a franchisee of a group. Between entrance fees, debt and the slowness in administrative procedures, it is not rare to meet those who have undergone difficulties in such a situation. Yet for Virginie Bouteloup, the Subway group does not at all conform to this image, having implemented a policy that smoothens out procedures. “I was taken care of straight away and guided towards partners who were accustomed to working with Subway. Between the presentation of the business plan and the restaurant’s opening, we’re talking about a few months, so it’s really quick. But the engine for all this is a desire to do things well. In this respect, we share the same philosophy.”
The brand’s success and the loyalty of its clients can also be explained by its policy of offering ultra-fresh products, as Emmanuel Aublet explains: “For us, it’s very simple: between French standards and SUBWAY® hygiene standards, we choose whatever is strictest. We have a duty of responsibility towards our clients, and they know this. The trust they place in us is one of the engines of our success, beyond our immense satisfaction.”
Subway has managed to combine quality products with a high-performance yield compared to costs, all this with extreme efficiency. In the face of the current economic doldrums, this is a business model that promises to inspire many others.
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