The Subway® brand has undergone significant growth in Northern Ireland, with the first store opening some 19 years ago in Botanic Avenue in Belfast, and has created more than 1,500 new jobs. Through its franchise model, the brand has also helped a significant number of local people to fulfil their dreams of becoming their own boss.
The team responsible for its growth in Northern Ireland are Development Agents, Neil Black, Paul Heyes and Adam Heyes. Neil comments: “The Subway® brand has been supported by the people of Northern Ireland, who have been loyal customers of ours for nearly 20 years. We’ve been lucky enough to work with an excellent group of franchisees.
“We’re thrilled to be opening a milestone 100th store in the region. The future for the Subway® brand is certainly very exciting and we’re all looking forward to working with our franchisees to help them realise their potential and to continue to grow the brand across Northern Ireland.”
The new Subway® store is located in south Belfast, on a busy road that serves as a major arterial route between Belfast and Lisburn, and is surrounded by other shops, local businesses and homes. The brand new store offers seating for more than 20 customers.
(Left to Right) Adam Heyes, Paul Heyes, Akhlaq Akhtar, Andrew Knox Surveyor at Lisney, Muhammad Aamir and Neil Black
This is a third Subway® store for franchisees, Muhammad Aamir and Akhlaq Akhtar, who also own Subway® stores on Woodstock Road, Belfast and in the Kings Square Shopping Centre. The duo have been Subway® franchisees since October 2007.
Franchisee, Muhammad Aamir, said: “We saw a lot of potential in this location, plus I live nearby and there is a great community feel here.
“Akhlaq and I looked at many different franchise possibilities and spoke to franchisees and a Subway® franchise made sound business sense to us. We are also passionate about the product and love the fact that there are low fat options available.”
Muhammad’s business partner, Akhlaq, added: “It is great to see the Subway® brand expanding like this in Northern Ireland and to be a part of that momentum. We are so excited to open our third Subway® store and knowing it’s the 100th store in Northern Ireland is just the icing on the cake!”
The Belfast office of Lisney, commercial property consultants and chartered surveyors, acted as agents. Andrew Knox, Surveyor at Lisney commented: “Lisney has its finger on the pulse of the Northern Ireland commercial property market and a track record of working with leading global organisations, such as the Subway® brand.
“The opening of the brand’s 100th store in Northern Ireland is to be warmly welcomed and provides a further boost for a local retail sector which has enjoyed significant growth in recent years. We were pleased to secure this deal for our client and wish the Subway® brand every success with this store.”
As the largest Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) brand worldwide – there are more than 44,000 Subway® stores in over 110 countries – the expansion of the brand continues at a fast pace, with the Subway® franchise recently announcing plans to increase the number of stores across the UK and Ireland to 3,000 by 2020, creating around 5,000 new jobs.
One of the key reasons behind the success of the brand is the support network and robust processes available to franchisees, including Regional Development Agents who mentor franchisees with site selection, leasing, design, construction, purchasing, operations, local store marketing and more. Over 70% of all new Subway® franchises sold worldwide are to existing owners, a great testament to the strength of the brand and solid support provided to franchisees.