SUBWAY ® franchisee case study - Mos Somji
When Mos Somji and his wife Mumtaz became the new franchisees of the SUBWAY®
store in Woking, Surrey, they used their respective accountancy and retail backgrounds
to turn the store into the success story it is today.
Mos initially saw the SUBWAY® franchise opportunity as a vehicle for his wife to return to
work after having children – offering her the flexibility and strict control systems she
needed with the demands of a young family to care for.
Mos reflects: “It quickly became clear that in order to make the store as successful as we
envisaged and to be part of the rapid growth that the SUBWAY® chain was about to
experience, I would also need to work on the project in a full time capacity. I gave up my
city career and committed myself fully to our SUBWAY® store. Neither of us has looked
The SUBWAY® chain’s expansion plans are progressing at a phenomenal rate, with the
chain aiming to open another 1,500 stores in the UK and Ireland by 2010 - creating a
further 15,000 jobs with an investment of over £150 million. An average of 15 stores
opened in the UK and Ireland every month throughout 2004, reflecting the huge growth
potential of the SUBWAY® brand.
Worldwide, the SUBWAY® chain has directly created over an estimated 230,000 full and
part-time jobs and has a turnover in excess of £4 billion.
Fred DeLuca, president and co-founder of the SUBWAY® chain, comments: "Our
international development is really starting to take off. Europe is going through a big
upward cycle - particularly in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. “We're just
really starting to grow internationally, but there's evidence that we will be able to
surpass McDonald's wherever we're able to get a really strong foothold."
Mos comments: “I felt that the SUBWAY® chain offered the quality product we were
looking for with the right brand identity. The costs involved were low, and it was
reassuring to know that you have the full support of an organisation that is worth
billions of pounds.”
The SUBWAY® chain was also recently awarded the coveted Number 1 spot in
Entrepreneur magazine’s 26th annual “Franchise 500” rankings - the most
comprehensive system of franchise rankings in the world. This year’s result represents
the 13th time in the past 17 years that this prestigious honour has been awarded to the
The chain now has over 450 stores open in the UK and Ireland and more than 23,000
sandwich outlets in over 80 countries worldwide. The chain also has an increasing
presence in the non-traditional sector, with over 2,600 outlets in convenience stores
and almost 400 forecourts - a proven track-record in this market.
Before signing the franchise agreement, Mos and Mumtaz carefully checked it to make
sure they were happy with it. There are certain safeguards in the agreement that
ensures the correct systems are operated and that certain criteria are adhered to.
Customers need to know they will be given the same consistent and excellent service in
every SUBWAY® store that they go into - whether it’s in the UK, US or anywhere in the
It is the owner involvement and family-run image which has been the key to the Somji’s
stores’ success. Mos has even managed to charm the children of the parents eating in
the store, dissuading them from the tempting, less healthy, choices also available on the
Mos and Mumtaz have put together an effective team at their store who work together
to achieve the high profitability they now enjoy (25% to 30% year on year growth). Mos
explains: “Every member of staff, from the new joiner to the longest serving member of
staff, enjoy the benefits of our bonus schemes – each person contributes in this store
from the day they join and is rewarded accordingly.”
With the support of Development Agent for Kent and Surrey, Hemina Patel, Mos and his
wife have introduced impressive marketing initiatives, which have made a huge
impression on the local customers who frequent the busy Chertsey Road area of the
Mos comments: “We thoroughly researched our target market during the course of
putting our business plan together. We are located next door to a McDonald’s outlet and
one of the things we did was work with the SUBWAY® chain’s marketing department to
create the first ‘7 under 6’ A-frame poster.
“We positioned this so it was eye-catching to every customer walking past other stores
on Chertsey Road – you wouldn’t believe the amount of increased footfall this simple
“Another initiative we have introduced is breakfast at a low price, which works
particularly well with those customers for whom price is paramount and it also educates
customers about our breakfast offering.”
Mos continues: “We are innovative when it comes to offering food promotions to drive
new customers in and, more importantly, raise the brand and product awareness and
loyalty for repeat business.
“We also offer a daily special – a different sub sandwich each day, priced at £1.99, which
tempts those die-hard customers who always order the same sub, to try something
different. It is after all, as much about choice, as the quality and freshness of the
product that will keep customers coming back for more.”
Hemina Patel comments: “Mos, his wife Mumtaz and their team at the store in Woking,
have demonstrated a real determination to succeed by focusing on what their customers
really want. Mos will shortly become a multi-unit owner, and he truly embraces the
vision of being part of building the SUBWAY® chain’s market. With their sound
organisation skills and methodical planning, the future is looking exciting for the Somji
Mos’s multi-unit ownership status will start with the three further SUBWAY® stores he
currently has under negotiation. Looking ahead this year, Mos’s target is to have seven
outlets open by the end of the year – no doubt this is a franchisee that we will hear more
Q. Can you eat fast food and still eat healthily?
A. Yes, with the SUBWAY® chain. The chain’s unique approach to fast food does
not compromise a healthy approach to meals. The chain has a well-earned
reputation for offering a healthier alternative to traditional greasy and fatty
fast food and offer fresh, nutritious, made-to-order sandwiches, prepared
just the way customers like it, right before their eyes.
The ‘7 Under 6’ menu features seven delicious choices that contain six grams
of fat or less. For health-conscious consumers, the SUBWAY® chain has
become a popular choice in the quick-serve category. With today’s busy
lifestyles, a meal on the go is a regular occurrence, yet many people are
demanding more that just convenience – they want healthier choices. The ‘7
Under 6’ menu gives them exactly that - a low calorie, low fat option and
great taste too. This is where the SUBWAY® chain fills the gap in the fast food
market for great tasting, healthy food.