Quizno's Classic Subs, a 30-unit upscale chain boasting natural ingredients and healthy sub sandwiches, likes its David vs. Goliath position and is poised to make a run at last year's fastest-growing restaurant chain any way it can. Started as a business-school project by Denver entrepreneur Richard Schaden, Quizno's is expected to double the number of units by the end of this year, and keep doubling for the next three to four years. The company's latest entrant is in the Midwest in larger markets around Chicago and Detroit.
'We have put a real emphasis on building up the Midwest,' Schaden said. 'And that's based on a lack of similar options here. Places like Chili's, which offer more of a sit-down atmosphere, are making a killing here.'
Armed with a modest advertising budget of less than $500,000, the chain shows encouraging signs. For one, it is carving out a quality niche in a price-dominated category. But more importantly, it claims its per-store sales are one-third higher than Subway's.
'What we've done is taken a concept that is popular and make a better product,' said Schaden. '(Subway) would have to move their quality up substantially if they want to take on our niche. Our value is 30% higher. We're careful not to get into the pricing battle (Subway) has now entered. We're about 20-30 cents more per ticket, and we'll stay there.'
Ads from Denver shop McClain Finlon Advertising take on other sandwich shops' food quality and hype Quizno's ingredients rather than price.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)