Quiznos looks to Asia for growth

Quiznos looks to Asia for growth

Sandwich brand signs first agreement in Indonesia, expands plans in other countries

Quiznos is making a big push into Asia with its first agreement in Indonesia and expanded plans in South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines.

The company has signed an agreement with master franchisee Tan Po Lian, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee there, who plans to open 100 Quiznos over the next decade.

Asia joins the Middle East and Russia as regions where the sandwich brand sees significant runway in its ongoing quest to reach 1,000 international locations by 2020, said Kenneth Cutshaw, president of international for Denver-based Quiznos. Currently, the Quiznos chain includes 650 international restaurants.

The first Quiznos in Indonesia is scheduled to open in the second quarter next year with a flagship location, Cutshaw said.

Other franchise operators in Asia are also adding units.

In Singapore, where there are eight locations currently operated by master franchisee the Far East Group, HMSHost opened a new location at Changi Airport called Q Café in October. The concept offers an abbreviated Quiznos menu with grab-and-go sandwiches, as well as premium coffee and desserts. “We see it as a brand extension,” said Cutshaw.

In other countries, such as Canada, Korea and Costa Rica, premium coffee has been a prominent menu option, and international locations can be tailored to meet local demand. A franchise operator in Costa Rica, for example, has experimented with a similar concept called Q’s Corner, offering a coffee component either connected to a sandwich-focused Quiznos or as a separate concept. A coffee program is also available in South Korea as a menu extension, Cutshaw said.

USUMB Co., LTD, Quiznos’ master franchisee that’s celebrating seven years in South Korea, has seen a 12-percent lift in systemwide same-store sales across the country this year. The franchisee attributed the increase to a marketing campaign featuring actor Lee Sang Yoon. The sandwich chain has 31 locations there and will add another five to 10 next year, according to Cutshaw.

In the Philippines [7], franchise operator ACA Group, also a Johnny Rockets franchisee there, has 10 Quiznos units and is planning to open another three there this year. The group has committed to opening 35 Quiznos units by 2021.

Cutshaw said most Quiznos units in the Philippines are in Manila, which was not as badly impacted by the recent typhoon that has devastated that country. There was no damage or loss of life reported among that franchise operators’ employees.

Quiznos is also growing in the Middle East, where the brand is already in several countries. Most recently, the brand has signed deals with franchise operators in the United Arab Emirates and another yet-to-be-announced country.

In Russia, a franchise operator has two units open with a third soon to come. About 250 units are scheduled to open there. Another 150 are planned for Mexico [8].

China remains an untapped opportunity for the brand, said Cutshaw. “That’s always an aspiration for every brand, but it’s not a short-term focus at this point,” said Cutshaw.

This year alone, however, the chain has seen a net gain of 100 international locations around the world, so the 1,000-unit target is a sure bet, he said. It’s a lofty goal, but we think we’ll meet it,” said Cutshaw.

The Quiznos chain included about 1,930 domestic locations as of the end of 2012.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected] [9].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout [10]