After last year’s growth in North Carolina, Michigan and Ohio, Penn Station East Coast Subs is hitting the ground running for a blue ribbon first half of 2019.
Penn Station kicked off the year by opening a new restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana, adding to its more than 310 open locations across the country. The brand plans to open 12 units this year, in large part among existing franchisees.
While the industry has struggled with new candidates overall, longstanding franchisees are seeing long-term value in Penn Station, particularly across the Midwest where the brand has a strong presence. Penn Station will see around 80% of its growth this year among the system’s existing partners—such as Rob Chinsky, who opened his 18th store in 2019.
“They’ve supported me every step of the way,” said Chinsky, one of the brand’s very first franchisees, They helped me grow, and now they are helping me transition into a new kind of lifestyle. And I still love what I do. The restaurant industry is a singular breed, and it can be tough work, but Penn Station makes it easier.”
The Cincinnati-based sandwich franchise is geared up to open units this spring in Bridgeport, West Virginia, as well as Findlay, Toledo, Sandusky, Monroe, Ohio and St. Louis, MIssouri. In addition, Penn Station is targeting the Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Nashville, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina markets in 2019 and beyond.
“The Managing Owners must have previous restaurant franchise experience, and we are currently looking to attract multi-unit franchisees who will appreciate our solid unit-level economics,” said Greg Goddard, Director of Development and Franchising. “Our food and paper costs are very competitive in comparison with other brands in the industry, and we offer the potential for franchisees to achieve a strong return on their investment.”
In fact, Penn Station’s food costs continue to be some of the lowest the system has seen—and coupled with climbing sales, the franchise’s profit and loss numbers are some of the best in the industry. Considering the brand doesn’t currently offer discounts or delivery, franchisees are reaping the benefits.
“A lot of other brands in the industry can say their sales are up, but the majority of the time, that’s driven by delivery, which cuts into your bottom line,” said Goddard. “When Penn Station’s sales are up, that means take-home profits should be higher, and that’s something that really sets us apart.”
Penn Station continues to build on the momentum of its innovative online ordering application early this year as well. Since debuting the platform last year, restaurant wait times have been shortened, staff members have more bandwidth to focus on delivering great customer service and franchisees can focus on their day-to-day operations.
“We know that online ordering is where the fast-casual restaurant industry is headed, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of making the digital ordering process as easy and enjoyable as possible,” said Penn Station president Craig Dunaway. “The franchisees who have been with us for a long time can’t believe how much the new app has changed their businesses. We take a lot of pride in the support we give to our owners, so we’re excited to be able to do that for them.”
The startup costs for a Penn Station franchise range from $293,102 to $593,027, with a franchise fee of $25,000. For more information on franchising with Penn Station, visit http://www.penn-station.com/franchise/.