Subway CEO - Who Is He?

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subway ceo

Originally posted on 23/11/2018. Updated on 04/06/2019.

You don’t have to walk far down a British high street or be wandering round one of the many shopping centres without being greeted by the smell of herby, doughy goodness. Let’s take a look at the history of the brand, its internal hierarchy and its franchise information.

The History of Subway

The Subway story began over 50 years ago when a nuclear physicist called Dr Peter Buck uttered a few simple words “Let’s open a submarine sandwich shop” to his college friend, Fred Deluca. Buck came up with the initial investment of $1,000, and with this created a business relationship that would shape the future of the fast food industry and the cravings of millions.

The first store materialised in Bridgeport, Connecticut in summer of 1965 and they set the goal of opening 32 stores in ten years. Deluca was quick to learn the basics of running a business and the fundamentality of providing a fresh, high-quality food offering, as well as exceptional customer service. He also appreciated the importance of finding the best location and keeping operating costs as low as possible. Even these preliminary thoughts remain at the forefront of the brand’s business model.

Skip to 1974, the pair owned and operated 16 submarine sandwich shops across Connecticut and, understanding that it would be difficult to achieve their goal of 32 stores in the time frame, they started to think about the franchising route. This kickstarted the Subway brand into an impressive growth period and allowed it to achieve the global reach that it now boasts.

The brand is now the largest submarine sandwich chain in the world. This is most likely because it is the leading choice in the industry for hungry customers who want a quick, healthy meal and enough choice to keep the whole family happy.

In recent years, there have been a number of changes at the top of the Subway hierarchy. Here, we take a look at who’s currently in charge and what that means for franchise going forward.

Who is the CEO of Subway?

The current Subway CEO is Trevor Haynes, though this is intended to be an interim appointment while Subway makes decisions about its future direction. Trevor Haynes is an Australian businessman who joined Subway in 2006. He now resides in the United States and has considerable experience when it comes to managing franchisees.

Subway is one of the largest fast food restaurants in the world and one of the most recognisable brands in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector. With over 42,000 locations spread across 112 countries, the CEO position is a prestigious and demanding role that requires great talent and a wealth of experience to succeed in. Trevor Haynes was only appointed to the position in July last year.

The First Non-Family CEO in Subway History

Trevor Haynes’ appointment marks a remarkable departure for the fast food chain, as it has previously always been headed and managed by a member of the DeLuca family. Established in 1965 by Fred DeLuca, the business went from strength to strength under his stewardship. Presiding over a period of astounding growth, Fred DeLuca took Subway from a single restaurant in Connecticut to the global superpower that’s found on high streets and in shopping centres all over the world.

Tragically, Fred DeLuca’s life was cut short by leukaemia in 2015. When this occurred, his sister, Suzanne Greco was thrust into the limelight and took over as Subway’s CEO. Greco had been involved with the business since she was seven years old and started out as a “sandwich artist,” making subs alongside the rest of the company’s frontline staff.

Ms Greco faced many challenges when she assumed the role, most notably declining foot traffic and an increasingly strained relationship with the company’s franchisees. Her experience as a Subway Operation Specialist resulted in her being promoted to the position of Vice President of Operations, as well as research and development. She worked alongside her brother and her mother, who held an informal role at the company, ensuring that the business remained a family affair. While she may have stepped down from the position of CEO, there are suggestions that the family still maintains a great deal of control over the business and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

A Step Forward

The family’s continued influence on the company management may be why they’ve failed to attract a ‘big-name’ CEO to step into the void left by Ms Greco. The business has previously hinted that they would like to bring in a well-known and respected figure to help bring the company through its current troubles. However, this is easier said than done. Marquee CEO signings are wary about which positions they assume, as their reputation is their business. With Subway, DeLuca’s control over operations may be putting off potential candidates.

With this in mind, Trevor Haynes may have been a compromise candidate that acts as a steppingstone between an era of strong family ownership and a new start for the organisation.

The Trevor Haynes Story

However, it would be wrong to suggest that Trevor Haynes is neither capable of performing the role nor sufficiently qualified to become full-time CEO of the business. Time and time again, within the Subway organisation and outside, he has proven himself a genuinely competent businessman. His appointment also suggests that those at the top of the company have some idea of the challenges that face Subway.

Previously responsible for franchisee and field engagement, Trevor Haynes represents a step away from the management style of previous CEOs. While Suzanne Greco was a talented businesswoman, she was not universally beloved by franchisees, and many considered her an inept CEO. The promotion of Trevor Haynes to the position of interim CEO perhaps represents a recognition that the brand needs to do more for its franchisees, particularly in the face of challenging economic conditions and poor performance figures.

Subway CEO Salary

As the role has remained within the DeLuca family for a considerable amount of time, there is relatively little information regarding the size of the CEO salary. The DeLuca family are notoriously private and try to ensure that little information concerning the family and their business reaches the public eye. However, it is known that Fred DeLuca was amongst the USA’s 250 wealthiest Americans and boasted a net worth of approximately $1.5 billion. From this, we can deduce that anyone stepping into the role of CEO will be thoroughly financially rewarded.

What does the future hold for Subway?

Whoever is in charge of Subway has some serious challenges to overcome. With the proliferation of smaller chain restaurants that can provide high-quality products at almost as affordable rates, Subway is facing a period of increased competition. Independent chains are also eating into Subway’s profits and consumer trends are moving away from large-scale fast food chains towards more idiosyncratic and unique establishments.

At the same time, customers are becoming more health conscious and value fresh and natural ingredients to a greater extent. Fortunately, Subway has recognised these factors and is beginning to make changes to appeal to a younger audience. This includes opening new “fresh produce” stores, revamping the appearance of many stores and emphasising the high standard of their ingredients.

Similarly, Subway is also attempting to integrate new technology into their stores, allowing customers to interact with the company in an increasingly digital manner. These attempts to re-orientate the business towards a younger audience demonstrate that the business’ leadership has things under control. This means that investment in a Subway franchise is still likely to be a profitable move.

The Subway Franchise Model

What training can I expect?

In order to get franchisees ready to be in charge of their very own Subway franchise, the brand provides a two-week training course that is carried out in one of its many training centres across the globe. Even after business gets off the ground, Subway continues to provide support in the form of e-courses and communicating through newsletters. There is help with finding the perfect location, but bear in mind that setting up store could take anything from two months to a year. Don’t fret though - Subway will be there for you every step of the way.

Who is the ideal franchisee?

Subway is looking for savvy entrepreneurs with a passion for the brand. They should have expertise in the market and display good time management and communication skills. They also need to abide by its procedures and follow the training and site selection processes.

What is the investment?

In order to invest, interested entrepreneurs will need to make a minimum investment of £100,000. However, you can get help with funding from one of Subway’s financial partners, so as long as you have good credit standing, you could get bank loans that cover up to 70 percent of the cost.

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