Is Quiznos still in business in 2023? Quiznos was formerly one of the top three sandwich chains in the nation. Later, it lost customers steadily for more than ten years. During that time, the origin of toasted subs has moved several times. Also, the pandemic has resulted in a greater decline in sales and unit count. To avoid extinction, the company is now moving into “ghost kitchens.”
Quiznos decreased from 4,700 U.S. locations in 2007 to fewer than 400 in 2017. There is no other chain we are aware of that has reached that size and then been reduced to that extent. This happened in such a short period. How did they lose so much money—roughly 90% of their stores?
A San Diego-based investment firm purchased Quiznos. Let’s look closely at one of the largest restaurant chain failures in business history.
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Is Quiznos making a comeback?
As of December 8, 2022, there are 164 Quiznos locations across the U.S. That is an expansive view from the company’s 800 outlets in 2019. It is an even greater distance from the 5,000 locations it had during its peak in 2007. In fact, over the last 15 years, 94% fewer Quiznos locations in the U.S.
To put that in context financially, Quiznos’ system-wide sales peaked at $1.9 billion in 2007. Today, the chain earns less than $100 million in annual sales across all its outlets. This was after a challenging pandemic year that saw its declining sales drop by another 22.5%.
Angering franchisees, an odd business strategy, and a record number of lawsuits are all part of this collapse. Its competitors didn’t just beat Quiznos. They made some terrible commercial choices. It was a significant factor in their tragic demise, making it one of the nation’s oddest tales of restaurant failure. There are certainly lessons to be learned from this, but only time will tell if they were realized early enough to save their company.
Between 2007 and 2017, Quiznos had a continuous decline. News broke that they were going bankrupt in 2014. While there was a significant restructuring, stores were meant to remain open. There were about 2,100 of them at the time. Only seven of them were owned by businesses. The business declared that it would examine its operational practices in great detail.
Quiznos has remained in the face of disputes, lawsuits, and negative coverage. Former CMO Susan Lintonsmith was appointed the new CEO of the business in 2016. She took important steps to relieve pressure on the franchisees who had gone. The payments they have to send to corporations are being reduced. It was also decided to launch a new loyalty program. However, it is already too late.
In June 2018, a private investment company purchased Quiznos. They weren’t suffering nearly as much as they had in the past. However, in 2017, they closed 100 of their stores. That might not seem like much in the big picture. Remember that just 25% of their stores were open by this time.
The restaurant industry is to blame for several elements contributing to Quiznos’ failures. They are competition, a poor business strategy, poor choices, a national recession, buyouts, bankruptcy, and negative press. Any chain would have a lot to overcome. However, Quiznos’ future is still highly uncertain, especially since other sub-chains are only growing.
Only 170 Quiznos outlets remained as of June 2022, a very long way from the chain’s peak. However, the once-adored sandwich restaurant is undergoing a significant redesign to gain back its clients. A recent news release shows that Quiznos is back with a revised strategic plan and a fresh menu.
Store closures by Quiznos
The closing of the stores created a terminal decline that was unstoppable. The system became weaker as fewer outlets meant less franchisee revenue coming to their marketing budget.
It was too much for the current store owners to handle, given their already extremely low profits. As a result, the closures persisted. Quiznos couldn’t be saved despite Avenel Capital Group purchasing the majority of the company in 2012. It’s because they eventually declared bankruptcy in 2014 and reported owing $875 million!
This is a good example of the drawbacks of franchising. The franchise model can be fantastic when it works, but it also tends to work against business. Quiznos lost interest in assisting franchisees as partners. Instead, it evolved into a costly food distributor that treated them like clients.
High Bluff Capital Partners, a private equity firm, bought Quiznos in 2018. Compared to today, the business had less than 200 open stores at that time. Their franchise website indicates that their royalties are reasonably priced. If the goods are ultimately priced fairly, however, only the franchisees still in business today can say.
Is Quiznos still in business in canada?
People could remember when Toronto’s biggest submarine sandwich shop was “Quiznos” for a brief time! The American chain never achieved the same brand strength as companies like Subway and Mr. Sub. But the brand’s toasted sandwiches were popular in the early 2000s. It gave rise to a rush of franchises, which have since vanished around the city.
At the northeast corner of King and Dufferin, one of the last Toronto outlets of the historic sub-business is now in pieces. To make space for another condo building, it was destroyed.
There is at least one more location where Quiznos subs are available in Toronto. It is part of a Ghost Kitchen on Brown’s Line, on the city’s western outskirts. Toronto no longer has Quiznos.
Among the ruins is the demolished building with its still-visible Quiznos logo. This reflects the franchise’s demise. As a result of other businesses introducing toasted subs in response to the brand’s rising popularity, the chain lost its unique market.
There was major growth from the late 1990s until the middle of the 2000s. During this time, several businesses in and near Toronto opened. The weak economy in the late 2000s had a negative impact on Quiznos. Later, in 2014, the business filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the United States.
The chain made some attempts to reduce debt, with inevitable results. Additionally, they created new business plans. But Quiznos has never regained its former status as a premier restaurant. The chain store’s locations have kept closing. It occurred even after a California private equity group acquired the business in 2018.
Today, it is impossible to find a Quiznos shop in Toronto using the store locator on the company website. In the Greater Toronto Area, the 905 contains all of the last surviving locations. The remaining Ghost Kitchen alternative doesn’t appear to be recognized by the Quiznos website.
There are, therefore, no more walk-in locations in Toronto. Instead, the customers are told to go to places in Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga, and Oshawa. But a resident of 416 would have a long distance to travel.
As of November 25, 2022, there are 106 Quiznos locations in Canada. British Columbia is the region that has the most Quiznos restaurants in the country. With 32 locations, it accounts for nearly 30% of all Quiznos restaurants in Canada.
The various elements that contributed to Quiznos’ failure are typically observed. It’s common to use leverage in buyouts. Systems frequently charge users for services like rent or meals. Small franchises with low unit volumes are common among franchisees. There are downturns every few years, and the industry is always challenging.
The simultaneous occurrence of each event at the same business made Quiznos unusual. It’s doubtful that a similar circumstance will arise again.
However, there are still things the restaurant industry may take away from this. The most important one is to make sure our franchisees can profit. The company should figure out how to continue to generate money.