Subway... friend or foe?

I have a Subway Sandwich shop opening about a hundred feet from me and I’m not entire sure how it’s going to affect my business; particularly my lunch biz. I’ve enjoyed being the only restaurant within a quarter mile on a fairly busy road. But now, I’m going to have to share the lunch business with another restaurant, even though their food is entirely different than mine.

I’m fairly sure the Subway’s not going to affect our dinner business since most of my evening orders are delivery. But, I really want to preserve my lunch sales. Does anyone have a Subway next door to them and how do you compete with them? Or maybe the Subway will bring more traffic in for the two of us. I’d be ok with that.

BTW, the building owner made it a stipulation to the Subway franchisee that he is not to sell those little pizza “thingys” that they have in other stores. Man, if I can’t make a better pizza than those, I’ve got bigger issues :shock:

I have Subways right next door to both my locations. They kick our backsides when it comes to foot traffic at lunchtime - the one next to our campus store sometimes has a line out the door.

We try and siphon some of the people who don’t want to wait in line away with hot-and-ready lunch slices. Over the years we’ve built up a pretty loyal clientele of slice fans… they are going to be pretty upset when I finally get around to raising the price of our slices.

I would think that another restaurant opening up would steal away some of your business. It’s only natural for people to want to have some variety to their meals - especially when it’s “five… five dollar… five dollar (any) footlong.”

So it appears folks want Subway sandwiches so come up with your own sandwiches…What about your own sandwiches with your oven roasted chicken, beef and turkey…They would have to be better than “processed” slices subway uses…Of course you can not do this if there are lease restrictions on what you can sell…

Subway should help bring more traffic to your area. Make sure you have visible posters up in your windows letting people know what you are about. Put up your own temporary banner after they open as well.

I can’t see any advantage you would have in regards to sandwich price points but you may entice with more authentic Italian, meatball and sausage sandwiches.

As Brad said, I would think slices would definitely be a good thing to push as the quick sale and price of them would be attractive to Subway customers.

We are in the same strip as a Subway but they’ve been there longer than me (2 years). They do a good lunch business, especially with the army base next door but we fill up for lunch too. We just don’t have as much seating or the advertising budget they do. We don’t do slices though. We sell personal, medium, large and family pizzas made to order. Personals have about a 5 minute bake time. As soon as I come up with a bread I’m happy with–I’m going to go after the sandwich market. Let’s face it–their food isn’t hard to beat. I agree with Pirate … siphon off some of their customers and wow 'em. It may increase your sales.

Subway WILL attract YOU more potential lunch customers. Use this as a positive and gear up NOW to be ready for it. We’re having huge success with our lunch menu of subs, salads, and quick 8" pizzas. Use your windows and whatever sidewalk signage you can muster to your advantage and start now to get folks thinking of YOUR shop for lunch. We do a meatball sub, Italian Beef, Ham & Cheese, and a Turkey-Bacon Club. Simple, they use ingredients that are crossed used in our restaurant so there is very little waste. As you know, the key to Subway and the majority of the lunch trade is speed marked with excellent products. You’ll do fine!

PizzaFanatic . . . . “The Cure for the $5 Sandwich Blues”

I’m just sayin’

OH! And a Chicken Caprese Sandwich using grilled/roasted chicken, fresh mozz, spinach and a basil/garlic mayonnaisse. Put that on a good roll, and they’ll possibly sell themselves with a bag of chips and a drink. If you can find a way to make it close to $5, then youcan have some healthy competition.

If anyone starts using this sandwich because I mentioned it, please shoot me a line . . . I am curious to hear how it sells elsewhere.

When Subway opened near my pizzeria my sub sales went down 40%! I have yet to sell that amount since. I added salads to recover most of our lost sales. We were not open for lunch when they moved in.

Friend or foe, or the effect they have on your sales doesn’t really matter much at this point. Instead of dwelling on that, it might be better to think proactively, and look for ways of profiting from them.

Some of the big ones mentioned already are:

  1. Increased foot traffic.
  2. Increased visibility (potential customers see your sign on Wed when they buy subs for lunch and order Friday night)
  3. Easy way (or inspiration) to add new menu items.

Go study Little Caesar’s ‘Hot and Ready’ system. Their pizza isn’t the best, but the concept is right on, and you can put it to use.

And remember, if you think of them as a foe (even if they are not), you are going to get pissed off every day coming to and from your shop when you drive by that big Subway sign. I know from personal experience it is a huge waste of energy.

I kinda have the theory of if a “Subway” type place is near you… it can be a good thing because of the food traffic. More people will get out of the car and stop in your little shopping area, because its a known brand. Now as soon as they get out… I would assume if you have the right deals or signs promoting something to catch their eye instantly - they will try you. If your food is a better quality and in their same money ballpark within a $1.

I think if you had a kick ass sub for lets say $6 that traffic i’d think would come your way, well enough to say your better.