A day in the life

Rachel Shaw opened her first Subway franchise in 2007. She now owns and operates two stores in West Wickham and Thornton Heath. In her first Elite Franchise column, she describes how an average day tends to look for a multi-unit franchisee

A day in the life

The first thing I’d say is that no two days are exactly the same, but there are several key processes which I need to go through daily to make sure my stores are running smoothly.

Most days, I start by analysing sales trends, customer count, and the productivity data from the previous day. Subway offers some great tools to franchisees that allow us to monitor this information hour-by-hour from anywhere in the world. In this business, priorities are always changing, so being able to easily view this information enables me to identify any areas that I need to cover with my in-store teams.

I normally then head over to my first store and catch up with the store manager on the daily targets, as well as spending some time going over the previous day’s data. Being one of the first stores in the London area to launch a Subway delivery service, I ensure that all of the large order deliveries due to go out each morning have been prepared, checked and ready for dispatch – and then go through the same thing again with the supervisor from my second store.

Once back in the office I will log-on to my business banking to review my cashflow – it’s important for me to stay on top of this at all times, especially since the launch of the Subway platters as we do quite a bit of our business online. Being in the office also gives me the chance to check my emails and ensure that all of the operational updates are communicated to both my teams.

At least once every two weeks I have a one-on-one meeting with prospective new franchisees that wish to look at the business model and I do a 20-minute question and answer session. To round off a busy morning I might then have a meeting with my accountant, reviewing my last year’s accounts, year-on-year sales and profit growth.

Lunchtimes are our busiest period and I like to spend this time on the shop floor of one of my stores. Around 70% of my customers are regulars so it’s always good to catch up with them. My Thornton Heath store has recently been refurbished with additional seating, and the West Wickham branch opened on December 18 with a fully functional delivery service from day one, so there’s an incredible amount to catch up about and the feedback is very positive.

My afternoon might be spent reviewing the current marketing material that we have in place and ensuring that it is in line with my company’s mission. I am working more and more on growing the large order side of our business, so I might spend time on the design of some new leaflets and banners for our next event. I am also hoping to extend the opening hours of one of my stores so I may spend time reviewing the licence and completing the application. All of this means I also now need to have a recruitment plan in place for the additional operative hours of trade. Luckily, Subway’s recruitment site is on hand to help. It’s a great recruitment tool that allows us to review applications and hire locally, but the admin of the site is centrally maintained, which means that’s one less job for me and my team to oversee.

I find that an increasing amount of my time lately is spent within the community, and as such the later part of the afternoon might see me attending a town centre business meeting. I work with a board of around 15 other businesses on local initiatives, along with up-and-coming events like our annual summer festival.

It can be hard work, but my business is going from strength to strength. I have won the best local store marketing award for three years consecutively in London, and franchisee of the year for the last two years – a testament to some very hard work, but also confirming that my decision to invest in this franchise was the right one for me.”

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