Dun & Bradstreet Logo

Michael McLellan

Quiznos revamps menu hoping to regain market share

by Michael McLellan | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

May 11, 2012 | 2 Comments »

BIZMOLOGY — Denver-based Quiznos hopes to make a comeback as the toast of the sandwich world. As part of a massive rebranding effort, the #2 sub sandwich chain (behind Subway), rolled out a new menu to its 2,700 North American locations this week. The company also revamped restaurant interiors and updated employee uniforms to include chef jackets. The rebranding seeks to regain market share and differentiate Quiznos eateries from other sandwich chains by highlighting high-quality ingredients and unique menu items unavailable elsewhere.

Quiznos locations will now use all-natural chicken, Angus beef, and higher-quality turkey for all of its sandwiches. Many of the 25 new menu items are fewer than 500 calories. The sandwich shops now offer garlic focaccia as a bread choice, but Quiznos no longer serves Sammie, Bullet, or Torpedo sandwiches. The revamped menu will offer more wraps, salads, and several grilled panini flatbread sandwiches instead.

The ambitious menu overhaul plans come on the heels of a January 2012 out-of-court restructuring that saved the company from a humbling bankruptcy. The deal eliminated about $300 million of the company’s roughly $870 million outstanding debt and led to an infusion of $150 million in capital from new majority owners Avenue Capital Group. The new ownership group supported the rebranding effort with nearly $40 million for advertising and to assist franchisees with remodeling and uniform expenses.

Like other quick-service franchisors, Quiznos controls the brands and other intellectual property associated with its chain and allows its local operators to use those properties in return for royalties and fees. The company also regulates how its franchisees operate their local units to ensure they meet certain standards for food quality and customer service. Through franchising, Quiznos has been able to expand its sandwich chain internationally without the operating expenses of owning all those restaurants. Quiznos hopes to have franchise locations up and running in 40 countries by the end of 2012. The company intends to expand in Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

Photo by Jason Lam used under Creative Commons License.

A little too late. They tried to wage a price war against a rival that is 10 times larger, and that has much lower food and operating costs. The result? An unmitigated disaster! Over 2,000 stores closed in the past couple of years.

The new menu looks good, but will it be enough to overcome the “We’re cheap” message that was communicated to the marketplace during this time? Since I closed both my stores, I don’t know if Q management has finally come to the realization that franchisees also need to make money in order for the brand to survive; I guess time will tell…

Michael McLellan

Yes it will be interesting to see what they try if this menu/branding revamp doesn’t get the desired results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *