Having been a part of the Penn Station family for 17 years, Bernie Marconi is no stranger to what it takes to grow a business. Prior to owning locations with the East Coast sub restaurant chain, Bernie also spent 27 years working for KFC and Yum! Brands, where he had the responsibility of overseeing 100 stores on the franchise side.
Being the first Penn Station franchisee in the state of Michigan, Bernie and his team have spent the last 17 years building a thriving business in their market. When first starting out, Marconi saw 15 to 20% growth for as many as eight consecutive years at his first two locations. Now, he has recently opened a third.
“The support that we’ve received from the Penn Station team over the last 17 years has been incredible,” said Marconi. “The President of the company, Craig Dunaway, truly walks in the steps of the franchisees and knows what we go through as owners. The corporate team is with you every step of the way, from construction, to training and beyond.”
After establishing the Penn Station brand in Rochester and Clinton Charter Township, Michigan, Marconi decided it was time to bring his son, Sean, into the business with this year's expansion.
“Sean has been around Penn Station most of his life,” said Marconi. “He knows the brand extremely well and studied marketing at Oakland University, which I believe will set him up for success as it pertains to the promotion and marketing of the restaurant.”
Marconi is confident that his son will continue to be successful, and ultimately, take over each of the Penn Station locations that the family owns.
“Sean’s location is currently the second-highest volume store in Michigan next to mine,” said Marconi. “He has a General Manager on his team, as well, and things have been going very well so far.”
After recently opening the third location, Marconi has no plans to stop there. “There are plenty of opportunities for additional locations in Michigan,” he said. “We always take those opportunities seriously and look at them closely. I would love to open another three to four locations within the next 18 to 24 months.”
Marconi attributes a lot of the success he has seen to the overall product. “When you have a great product like ours, it’s easy to see why Penn Station does so well,” said Marconi. “From fresh-cut fries and fresh-squeezed lemonade to our wide variety of sandwiches, we provide customers options they won’t find at other restaurants in our space.”
With over 315 units up and running throughout 15 states, Penn Station continues to see steady franchise growth and Marconi is looking forward to what lies ahead for him and his family as well as the brand.
“I’m excited to continue building a presence in our areas,” said Marconi. “It’s one thing to start a business, but when you also get to see your child do the same, that’s something special.”
The startup costs for a Penn Station franchise range from $290,984 to $594,478, with a franchise fee of $25,000. For more information on franchising with Penn Station, visit http://www.penn-station.com/franchise/.