The Quiznos of Tomorrow Has Arrived

QSR WEB EXCLUSIVES AUGUST 1, 2022 | BEN COLEY

Quiznos is familiar with being an industry disruptor, says Brent Phillip, vice president of marketing and digital experience for parent REGO Restaurant Group. After all, the 41-year-old company prides itself as being the home of the original toasted sub.

With that same pioneering strategy in mind, the sandwich chain is moving forward with a differentiated store prototype, the first of which popped up in Hobbs, New Mexico. Phillip describes the branding as clean, simple, and contemporary, with a local community flair. The color scheme includes a lot of black and gray, with some bright neon green and orange—honoring what Quiznos was in the past, but signaling to guests that it’s a new experience compared to previous versions they’ve visited.

“The new restaurant is really a redesigned and reimagined Quiznos, built truly to evolving consumer interest,” Phillip says. “So it is founded on extensive research that was done prior to the pandemic and through the pandemic for what should Quiznos look like and feel like in terms of consumers experience, to provide them what they’re seeking today, but also really truly ‘wow.’”

Operationally, the kitchen is completely restructured. Whereas back-of-house was previously focused on the toaster, the new design incorporates a flat top grill and deep fryer, allowing Quiznos to explore a bigger, globally inspired menu.

Some examples of sandwich innovation include the Asian Steak Dipper, the Steakhouse Philly, the Carne Supreme, and Steak and Eggs, an all-day breakfast item served with fried eggs, grilled steak, white American cheese, grilled onions and peppers, and cherry peppers. Other new options are the Steak and Frites and Cobb salads, an enhanced veggie guacamole, and Beyond Italian Sausage made with provolone, grilled peppers and onions, and marinara.

Greg Boudreaux, Quiznos brand leader and REGO’s vice president of operations, says new cooking equipment is geared toward speed of service and ensuring the brand can accommodate drive-thru, in-restaurant dining, takeout, and third-party delivery.

“That was really the first reason why we look to those pieces of equipment, and then once that opened up, it allowed us to really start to dive into what was possible that we could actually bring in from new menu items, new side items, and really drive those pieces of equipment to add value and help franchisees realize the return on investment,” Boudreaux says.

Including the latest Hobbs, New Mexico, location, Quiznos has four drive-thru restaurants in its system, but that number is set to increase under the fast casual’s renewed growth strategy. The company’s drive-thru units outperformed the entire system throughout COVID because of their ability to  keep operations going when municipalities implemented restrictions. At the Hobbs outlet, the off-premises channel mixes roughly 60 percent.

One of Quizno’s drive-thru restaurants, based at the end of a shopping center, retroactively installed its lane. Boudreaux and Phillip believe there may be similar opportunities elsewhere. There will also be chances for franchisees to relocate into spaces that better support drive-thru or re-build with the channel in mind.

“I think our take is it’s really store by store dependent. And that could even be zip code by zip code dependent, as well,” Phillip says. “There’s a lot of factors that it’s hard for us to say what percentage of the footprint is ready for or is possible to do that. I think there’s a great opportunity for a good amount, and it’ll just take time to be able to do all the diligence to really figure out for each store what can we transform to meet the consumer interest.”

In terms of branding and aesthetics, franchisees will have the option of simply updating logos and color schemes or going with the full-fledged approach of adding new equipment. The typical Quiznos restaurant is about 1,300 square feet, while the Hobbs store is about 2,000. The company anticipates future units will be substantially smaller.

“What I can share today is that we are very far along in a rather revolutionary approach to the restaurant model that will pick up on a lot of the components that are at the Hobbs restaurant that just opened, but will also contain some really cool options for considerably smaller site opportunities,” Phillip says. “Greg and I are both really excited about the opportunity for utilizing sites that others typically couldn’t because of the size of a footprint that is in development today.”

Quiznos had nearly 5,000 U.S. restaurants in the late 2000s before seeing its footprint shrink due to the Great Recession, growing competition from fast casuals, and issues with franchisee profitability. The company declared bankruptcy in 2014, and four years later, private equity firm High Bluff Capital purchased the sandwich chain. Quiznos was placed under the watch of REGO, which also oversees Taco Del Mar.

The brand had 306 U.S. outlets to start 2019, and that number has now dipped below 200. There are expectations that a handful of new locations will open this year with the new design, followed by dozens more in 2023. Phillip says Quiznos will see a “rather sharp curve” to growth in 2024 and beyond. He believes the brand can leverage its “massive” consumer awareness to enter new and existing markets across the country, no matter the geography. The idea is to sign big deals with multi-unit operators and build out areas.

Quiznos is almost entirely franchisee-owned, and Phillip says the concept will stick to that methodology as it battles for more market share and expansion opportunities in the coming years.

“I think that varies by brand for sure, but some of our reasoning is that Quiznos franchisees have always been an integral part of the brand, and they’ve especially been an integral part of the brand as it’s evolved in recent years,” Phillip says. “And we’ve just really seen the value in a responsible and cooperative support center feedback relation with franchisees.”

“So we really do see franchisees as important partners in this and needing their feedback, their learnings, their knowledge to represent a variety of markets to help drive the brand forward,” he adds. “So when you think about two things, one is brand development, and we see franchisees as a critical part of that, but we also see the restaurant economics as also reliant on entrepreneurial, inspired franchises.”

New Hickory Smoked Burnt Ends

Quiznos is introducing the Hickory Smoked Burnt Ends sandwich to its menu today, combining the favorite seasonal flavor of BBQ with premium burnt end cuts – a classic barbecue craving in the U.S. that continues to grow in popularity internationally.

The Hickory Smoked Burnt Ends sandwich is made with carefully selected prime rib cuts smoked with hickory wood chips that offer a tender, juicy and flavorful bite with crispy bark. The burnt ends are complemented by pickles, red onions, melted cheddar cheese, and topped with Blue Ribbon BBQ sauce. Guests can order the sandwich on their choice of bread, including Italian White, Whole Wheat, Jalapeno Cheddar, and Rosemary Parmesan.

“At Quiznos, we are always looking to create flavorful and unique items for our guests that they may not expect to find in our restaurants, and we are excited for them to try out this sandwich,” said Mike Gieseman, Vice President of Culinary Innovation. “We really wanted to create something reminiscent of long summer days spent outside enjoying time with friends and family, and we believe this new sandwich conveys that feeling.”

This latest limited time offer from Quiznos showcases the brilliant innovation seen in this year’s previous offers like the fan-favorite Lobster and Seafood sub and the Philly Cheesesteak, which sold out sooner than expected across the country. The Hickory Smoked Burnt Ends sandwich is now available in participating U.S. Quiznos locations starting at $8.50 while supplies last.

Quiznos Franchise Review: Meet Mark Lohmann

Quiznos’ President opens up about why the sub franchise is a true disruptor in the category

Quiznos’ President

For years, Quiznos was known in the sub/sandwich category as a disruptor and innovator. With refreshed energy and a commitment to the future, Quiznos is getting back to its roots.

“One of the great things about Quiznos is the historical legacy,” said Quiznos’ president Mark Lohmann. “Innovation is the heart of this brand, it’s the key to the historical success of Quiznos. And fundamentally, we believe it’s the key to success going forward.”

An incredible effort is afoot at Quiznos to take a brand that is known and loved and propel it into the future with fresh ideas, innovative and new equipment, all the while sticking true to what has made the sub/sandwich shop one of the most successful in the industry.

In this wide ranging interview, Lohmann talks about the future of Quiznos, how the brand supports franchises, and why now is one of the most important times in the brand’s storied history.

What’s the main focus of Quiznos going into the future?

Everything we focus on at Quiznos is all about the economic benefits to our franchisees. We want our franchisees to have the best economic model possible. The only way we make a lot of money is if our franchisees make a lot of money. We believe we can make sandwiches better than anyone else out there, but with this new design, we can make them faster than anywhere else too. Everything is designed to ensure our franchisees can be more profitable.

How do you stick true to what people love about Quiznos, while also being innovative?

That’s twofold. We know consumers want adventure and more flavor than in the past. But at the same time, there is a critical component in that people fall in love with our sandwiches, and we can’t get rid of that. Our most popular is the classic Italian; we’re not going to change it. But the classic Italian off our new equipment is better than before; it will blow your mind.

How do you support franchisees?

At Quiznos, we are passionate about entrepreneurs and ensuring they can be successful with our brand. We’ll provide the level of support you need to ensure you are successful. One of the great things about Quiznos is you have direct access to the executive team, 24/7, 365 days a year, because we’ve been in your shoes. We know how tough it is to manage a restaurant, and we’re here to support you.

Who is the ideal candidate for a franchise?

For us, the ideal franchisee is someone that’s passionate about delivering a great product in a great environment to consumers that love the product we offer. But at the same time, it has to be someone who is focused on the bottom line and being successful, because we know with the new design with Quiznos, the potential is out of the world.

What sets Quiznos apart from other brands?

One of the best things about Quiznos is the legacy. Our brand awareness is higher than nearly any other brand out there. We’re confident that loyalty will help us get traction in multi-unit franchise space. We know the economic model changes when you add multiple units, that’s what gets us excited. The sky’s the limit in terms of success.

Why is now the time to invest?

This is one of the most exciting points in the history of Quiznos. We’ve built this brand to be more relevant with a better economic model. I’m confident when we look back several years from now, we’ll see this moment in time as the rebirth of a great brand. Getting in now is an exciting time to be part of one of the best stories in the franchise industry.

Now is the time to own a Quiznos franchise

To learn more about the Quiznos franchise opportunity, fill out an inquiry form and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!

Quiznos’ CEO is Driving a New Era for the Iconic Sub Franchise

Tim Casey discusses why Quiznos is stronger than ever

time casey Quiznos’ CEO

Something special is happening at Quiznos.

For the past few years, a talented team of veteran franchise experts with Rego Restaurant Group has sought to take great brands like Quiznos with unreal brand recognition, and breathe new life into the business model.

Tim Casey, Quiznos’ CEO, said in all his years of experience in the restaurant and franchise industry, no better brand was ready for this rebirth than Quiznos.

“I believe Quiznos is the best candidate as a brand to reinvigorate,” Casey said. “Quiznos has tremendous customer affinity and an amazing legacy. Now we’re ready to make it relevant for the future.”

In this wide-ranging interview, Casey talks about what makes Quiznos so special, the brand’s legacy of disrupting the market, plans for the future, and what franchisees can expect when investing in the company.

What makes Quiznos so special as a brand?

When you think about when Quiznos first started, it was a disruptor in the sub/sandwich space, doing things no one else was doing. And we’re committed to getting back to that. We’re bringing in new, innovative equipment, which will take the menu in a unique and special direction to further differentiate the brand, and create a strong economic model for the franchisee.

What are some of the benefits of franchising with Quiznos?

For one, you get tremendous brand awareness with the consumer. It doesn’t matter what state, the consumer is aware of Quiznos, and that’s tremendous for a franchisee. You don’t have to build brand awareness – it exists, and they’re capitalizing on it. Also, the business model is highly relevant to the consumer and therefore lucrative to the franchisee. And the support system is best in class, and our No. 1 priority is to support the franchisee. We deliver on that.

What’s Quiznos doing that competitors are not?

When we first started, no one else was toasting, and we brought toasting into the sandwich platform. Now, today, we’re doing unique LTO like bison, and unique proteins, not only differentiating our brand, but the messaging shows we’re back as a unique brand. We’re going to take what was great about the brand in the past, and we’re going to capitalize on it well into the future.

What is Quiznos looking for in a franchisee?

The franchisee we want is a great operator, meaning they are connected in their community, and they operate great restaurants and take care of the guests. The franchisee of the future is the one who wants 5-plus restaurants in their communities, because when they can control an amount of real estate, they can capitalize to the benefit of their guests in that community and their success as a business.

It seems like a lot is happening at Quiznos. What is the culture these days?

People create culture, and we’ve brought together a team that believes in the franchise and what we’re doing. We wake up every day wanting to support our franchisees and the business model. That drives a level of collaboration within the organization that benefits the franchisee. I’ve never seen such passion in a group of people.

How does the team benefit the franchisee?

As a franchisee, what you’re really buying into is a level of talent that supports the complexity in the market. Franchisees have to be confident a supply chain team is making sure there’s continuous flow of product, at an affordable cost, which sounds easy but is very difficult. Or, you need a digital team that can capitalize on trends, like online ordering and digital apps. Franchisees have to make money, and they join organizations because they want the team and support, infrastructure and systems. And in our case, the brand, and that’s what we offer a franchisee.

Now is the time to own a Quiznos franchise

To learn more about the Quiznos franchise opportunity, fill out an inquiry form and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!

Quiznos Launches Classic Philly Cheesesteak in Canada Locations

Stay warm through the last stretch of Winter with this beloved sandwich – now done four ways

Quiznos’ fans in Canada can try something new today with the launch of its Philly Cheesesteak sandwich seasonal offer. The wildly popular Philly Cheesesteak classic recipe now allows guest customization four different ways.
Customers can choose between a steak or chicken Philly dressed in sautéed peppers and onions, melted mozzarella cheese, and finished with banana peppers. For more daring guests, the spicy version of the steak or chicken Philly sandwich includes four-pepper chili sauce and jalapeños to give it an extra kick of flavor.

“We are so excited to introduce Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches to our menu this year,” said Mike Gieseman, Vice President of Culinary Innovation. “We know guests will enjoy the classic Philly Cheesesteak or find a new favorite in one of the innovative twists we’ve made to the recipe.”
Guests can enjoy these exciting new sandwiches with a special, limited-time offer that grants them any nine-inch Philly sub for $6 between February 14 and February 20. Loyal patrons can utilize their Quiznos Toasty Points later this Spring and receive any nine-inch Philly sub, chips, and a regular fountain soda for only $10.

The classic Philly Cheesesteak sandwich is available for a limited time at participating locations in Canada, beginning February 8.

Download the Franchise Report

In 2022, Quiznos is completely reinvigorated. By returning to our roots as the most innovative sub franchise in history, Quiznos is in the midst of a national resurgence that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Now is the time to own a Quiznos franchise

To learn more about the Quiznos franchise opportunity, fill out an inquiry form and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!

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