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Interview with Subway Restaurant Owners
For my interview I decided to interview my Aunt Mary and my Uncle Ziggy who own subway restaurants together. Subway is a franchise so anyone can buy a Subway restaurant and run it. They own two restaurants in Chicago. I chose my aunt and uncle because I wanted to know more about what they do for a living.
1. How did you get into the subway business?
Ziggy stopped in at a Subway restaurant for lunch one day and was
impressed with the concept. The crewmembers at the store were
all teenagers and were not acting professionally (throwing straws, being
loud, etc.) Yet the store was busy. He thought that he would be interested
in owning his own business and looked into the franchise.
2. How do you pick which stores to buy?
The first location that we opened was suggested to us by the local
development agent. I was somewhat familiar with the area since
I had attended college near the area. In fact some of our employees
worked part time at the store while attending that college. After being
with the franchise for several years we were more aware of what made
a location a potentially good choice and now are in a very good spot.
3. What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy interacting with customers. In our current location we have many of the
same customers every day (sometimes twice a day - breakfast and lunch). I know
many of the customers by name and they are pleased to be acknowledged by name.
4. What do you like least about your job?
As much as I do enjoy the majority of our customers there are a few
that are make the day less than pleasant. Sometimes people have a
bad day and try to take it out on us. Some people think that because we
are working behind a counter we are not as important as they are and they
treat us without respect. Fortunately the pleasant and friendly customers
visit us much more frequently than the unpleasant people.
5. What is your average day like?
My days now are much easier compared to in the beginning. When we
opened our first store we were in a strip mall in a neighborhood and were
bound by our franchise agreement to be open from 11 am until midnight
Sunday through Thursday and open from 11 am until two a.m. on Friday and
Saturday. Ziggy worked a full time job and then came to the store in the
evening. We worked very long hours and did most of the work ourselves.
Now we are in an office building and are open very limited hours. We have
a well trained staff that does the majority of the prep work. They open and
close the store and are quite reliable. We arrive at the store after it is open
to monitor the lunch rush and make sure that our customers are happy. Ziggy
pays the bills and markets the store to continue to increase our sales. I place
food orders, balance the drawers and make sure that the staff has everything
necessary so that the day flows easily. Often we have deliveries outside of the
building that we do also. Life is much more relaxed than when we first started.
6. What do you like about being the boss?
I like being able for the most part to choose the amount of time I
spend at work.
7. What kind of work goes into a day?
As I stated before, the staff does most of the prep work at the
store. I place the food order with our vendor twice a week. I cashier
during the busy hours at lunch. We currently have two sandwich lines
open during the lunch rush so that our customers move quickly through
the line. People have a limited time for lunch and they appreciate being waited
on quickly and efficiently. There's a lot of prep work involved in serving
fresh food quickly. I also spend a lot of time answering the phone. We
have an excellent catering business and that requires a lot of time on
the phone setting up the orders.
8. What do you have to say for people thinking about having this career?
I am happy with the choice that we made to open our business but I am
not sure that it is for everyone. The location of the store is very important
to the success of the business. If you are not in a good location then success
will be more difficult to attain. Purchasing a franchise gets more people into
your location because they recognize the name and expect to have the same
experience at every store associated with that franchise. Because of this
you are bound to the rules and regulations of the franchiser. If someone doesn't
like to have someone else controlling aspects of their business than a franchise
isn't the right choice. When you own a business in many ways it owns you.
When the employees leave at the end of their shift they don't have to think
about the store again until they come back their next scheduled shift. When
you are the owner you always have concerns.