Warm toasted sub sandwiches may not seem revolutionary, but back in the early 90s the concept was considered innovative. Quiznos was an early adopter of toasted sandwiches that propelled the company to become a nationally recognized sandwich brand.
If you’re wondering if you can still open a Quiznos today, you certainly can. How much does it cost to open Quiznos? To start, Quiznos needs franchisees with a minimum liquid capital of $100,000 and a minimum net worth of $400,000. The estimated initial investment range is $216,100 to $500,000 and the franchise fee is $10,000.
Are you ready to know more about Quiznos and the future of this legacy sandwich chain could hold? I share revenue figures for the business and discuss some of the recent closures below. Click here to take our 7-minute franchise quiz and find out if this is the right opportunity for you.
- Financial Requirements and Fees
- Average Sales / Revenue per Year
- Quiznos Franchise Facts
- How Much Does Quiznos Make in Profit?
- Advantages of a Quiznos Franchise
- Challenges of a Quiznos Franchise
- Is the Quiznos Franchise Right For You?
Financial Requirements and Fees
Here’s an overview of the startup costs and fees associated with opening a Quiznos franchise:
|Fees / Expenses||Financial Amount|
|Total Investment||$216,100 to $500,000|
In addition to these expenses, Quiznos also requires an ongoing royalty fee of 5% of the gross sales and a marketing fee of 2% of the gross sales. There’s also a POS system fee of $43.64 – $46.20 per month. There’s another $20 – $40 monthly fee for music. If you plan to open a second franchise, you’ll only pay a $5,00o initial franchise fee.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
In 2019, Quiznos was reported $160 million in annual revenue. Other reports suggest Quiznos has gross revenues of about $129 million. Both of these numbers are unofficial, however. Refer to the companies updated FDD to see the most recent revenue data.
Quiznos Franchise Facts
|Total Units||170 (United States)|
|Industry||Food and Beverage|
Quiznos was founded by Jimmy Lambatos who was an executive chef working at the Colorado Mine Co. steakhouse. He left his job and started Quiznos in 1981.
The first Quiznos opened in Denver, Colorado. It was a hit since the sandwiches were toasted and at that time, oven-baked or toasted subs where not as common as it is today. Lambatos and his partner Todd Disner invested $ 30,000 on Quiznos which grew to 18 locations. They eventually sold the business in 1987 to Rick Schaden.
Today, Quiznos menu consists of toasted sub sandwiches, flatbread sandwiches, salads, soups, and baked goods such as cookies and brownies. Their sub sandwich hits are their Classic Italian, Chipotle Turkey, and Tuna Melt. They also have chicken subs which make use of grilled chicken to make their Honey Mustard Chicken, Baja Chicken, and Mesquite Chicken. Steak subs are also available at Quiznos such as their Black Angus Steakhouse, French Dip, and Chipotle Steak and Cheddar.
If it isn’t a sub sandwich you’re looking for, Quiznos has salads such as their Classic Italian Salad, Chef Salad, and Honey Mustard Chicken. They also have soups such as their Broccoli Cheese and Chicken Noodle Soup.
Quiznos offers catering services as well. If you need your office lunches or meetings catered, Quiznos has customizable sub sandwiches, boxed lunches, and salad bowls.
Quiznos rose through the years to 4,700 locations in 2007 and had over $ 1.9 billion in system wide sales. They were considered a major sandwich player alongside Subway. But bad business and marketing decisions along with the recession and other competitors rising in the sandwich scene has caused Quiznos to plummet to 170 locations at present with declining revenues.
But that doesn’t mean Quiznos doesn’t franchise any more. The company seems resilient as it continues to offer franchises even in international locations and they’re doing quite well than the United States branches. Quiznos can be found in 40 countries at present.
To franchise Quiznos, fill up their inquiry form here. Once received, Quiznos will mail you their downloadable franchise report that includes the following details:
- Costs & fees associated with ownership
- Financial performance
- Training & support
- Why Quiznos
- New restaurant design
After reading the report, you’ll have an introductory conversation with Quiznos’s team so you can ask questions and have your inquiries clarified.
Once you and Quiznos determine that both of you have the same goals when it comes to running the franchise, you’ll receive the recent copy of their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). You’ll find the breakdown of the fees and all other financial information inside that document. You’ll also be able to meet with other Quiznos franchisees to talk about what it’s like bringing Quiznos to a location near you.
You’ll have a Discovery Day afterward where you’ll head over to their headquarters in Denver, Colorado. You’ll meet Quiznos’s executive team and have a final round of discussion with them. By the end of the day, if all goes well, you’ll sign their franchise agreement which officially makes you a Quiznos franchisee.
At present, the Chief Executive Officer and president of Quiznos is Tim Casey and the brand is owned by Rego Restaurant Group.
How Much Does Quiznos Make in Profit?
Quiznos has not released any official financial statements publicly for the year 2021 but according to reports, Quiznos was only able to make $15,000 in 2021. This low profit margin does not exactly instill confidence in prospective franchise operators.
Advantages of a Quiznos Franchise
Quiznos has been around for so long which makes them one of the oldest and well-known sub sandwich places in the United States. Here are some of the advantages you can look forward to when you franchise them:
Toasted sub sandwiches may not be the new thing in this day and age but they’re still a thing and where else can you get one of the best toasted subs than from one of the pioneers in the toasted sub business?
Quiznos has maintained their quality in making delicious sub sandwiches for over 40 years. Their Classic Italian sub is their best seller up to this day. As a possible future franchisee, you won’t be ashamed to market the subs knowing that Quiznos makes a great tasting and high quality sub sandwich.
Quiznos is located not just in the United States but all over the world. They’re in 40 countries and are reportedly doing quite better than their United States branches. If you are willing to operate a Quiznos location outside America, you might just find that it’ll probably yield more success than in the United States.
As mentioned above, Quiznos doesn’t exactly have a great reputation in the franchise industry. Their history of closing several units and their sales plummeting scares off franchisees. But despite what happened Quiznos is braving through it all. Even to this day, Quiznos stores are still open and ready to cater to anyone. They may not be as big as they were before but they’re still here, selling their signature toasted subs.
Challenges of a Quiznos Franchise
Here are some of the challenges associated with running a Quiznos location as I see it.
Before, Quiznos was known in the scene as one of the best sub sandwich chains in America. With over billions of revenue and thousands of locations, Quiznos was really making it in the food industry. Sadly, that’s not their reputation now. Quiznos no longer has a billion sales and only has hundreds of locations left. What happened?
A mix of bad business decisions and the recession has hit the chain hard that until now, they can’t seem to recover from it. There have also been reports by several franchisees back then that Quiznos was not helping them make any money. Rather, they were making franchisees spend more such as giving out free coupons that doesn’t help with their sales.
There has been a change in management now and things seem better than before. But if you decide to franchise a Quiznos now, you’ll still have to be very careful and to really make sure you have the best location and support from the company. Otherwise, you’ll risk all your investments on a failed business and obviously, no one wants that.
As mentioned above, Quiznos has yielded low profits through the years. And low profits can be warning signs not to franchise with the business. It may not be the same case on other locations. So if you want to pursue Quiznos, make sure that your area and location can help boost your store’s sales.
Today, Quiznos isn’t the only one that selling sub sandwiches. There are a lot of players in the field such as Subway, Potbelly, Arby’s, Jimmy Johns, Firehouse Subs, and Jersey Mike’s Subs. Granted not all of these competitors toast their subs but the concept is the same. In a ranking by Statista of the leading sandwich restaurant chains in the United States in 2020 by system wide sales, Quiznos cannot be found on the list. This just goes to show how tight the competition is and how way below Quiznos is among the many sandwich chains in the country.
Why have so many Quiznos locations closed down?
There’s been a gradual decline in the number of Quiznos locations over the past decade. In fact, at the companies peak they had more than 4,500 locations globally. This number has dwindled down to only 170 locations in the United States… a staggering decline of more than 95%.
The likely culprit to stores closing down is lack of sales and profitability among franchisees. The reasons for closures are complex. But many experts cite increased competition in the sandwich space and low-profit margin of Quiznos sandwiches.
Is the Quiznos Franchise Right For You?
Sub sandwiches are a hot item in the food scene but the competition is fierce. So it’s best to choose the right business to franchise so you can get your money’s worth.
Unfortunately, Quiznos has been on the downswing for more than a decade. Without a major shift in strategy, it’s hard to think of a way this restaurant chain could turn things around the next 24 months. Opening a location outside of America may give you favorable results and is an option. But in my opinion, you owe it to yourself to investigate alternative sandwich chains before making an investment.
I only hope Quiznos is able to rise up once more and fight through the tough competition so it can hold its place in the sub sandwich industry again. I’ve always enjoyed dining at this restaurant in the past.
What is an alternative Quiznos franchise?
One sub sandwich chain you can franchise is Potbelly. The chain has been around since 1977 and is currently expanding all across the United States. Their sub sandwiches are also known to be toasted making them a suitable alternative to Quiznos.
To franchise Potbelly, expect the investment to be around $534,950 to $874,000 with the franchise fee to be $40,000. To know more about this toasted sub sandwich chain, you can check out our full guide on how to franchise Potbelly here.
Quiznos may seem like an interesting chain to franchise. But with how things look unpredictable, it seems like waiting a little bit more or investing in other franchises seems like a good idea. But again, franchising internationally seems to be better so if you truly want a Quiznos, study their Franchise Disclosure Document for international locations.
I hope this guide was able to help you determine whether or not this toasted sub franchise is worth the investment.