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QUIZNOS: Franchise Karma Avenges Sub-Standard Promotions

August 1, 2011

Unhappy Franchisee contends that Quiznos current misfortune is the result of Franchise Karma exacting revenge for past, well-documented misdeeds.


Usually these misdeeds were the result of a Quiznos corporate attitude that its franchise population was like a mountainside ripe for stripmining.

UnhappyFranchisee.com and other blogs have been documenting these misdeeds for years.  We are revisiting these posts and discussions as part of our Franchise Karma is a B*tch series.

(Also read: QUIZNOS OVERVIEW & DISCUSSION, QUIZNOS Woes: Franchise Karma is a B*tch,  QUIZNOS Woes: Sean Kelly’s “How to Make $75 MILLION in 3 EZ Steps!”)

Today’s post is a rebroadcast of “Why Your Quiznos Won’t Give You a Free Sub.” published February 26, 2009 by Sean Kelly.

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Why Your Quiznos Won’t Give You a Free Sub

February 26, 2009 by Sean Kelly

Why oh why would Quiznos announce a million sub giveaway, and then issue free sub coupons that your local franchisee won’t honor?

Because Quiznos’ amazing talent for shooting itself in the foot is surpassed only by the speed with which it reloads.

To put it simply, Quiznos corporate decided to give away 1,000,000 subs that weren’t theirs to give away. Quiznos not only expected its franchisees to foot the bill for the millions in food giveaways, Quiznos corporate would actually make money selling them the ingredients.

Ex-Quiznos franchisee Rich Piotrowski explains:

The reason so many Franchisees are not honoring this coupon is that the company delayed this promo TWICE, as many of the Franchisees said they would not go along unless Quiznos Corporate (which makes about a hundred million a year selling food to its franchisees, and prohibits them from buying food from anyone else) paid for the food in this promotion.

Late last week, Quiznos decided to roll it out anyhow saying no, franchisees would have to pay the entire cost. Every other system (such as Denny’s Arby’s etc) the cost of the promo was shared by both parties. In addition, most of those system sell food at cost to Franchisees. Like those other systems, Quiznos makes money by collecting a 7% royalty and 4% from franchisees which they say is for advertising. Unlike those other systems however, on top of those fees, Quiznos makes that hundred million IN ADDITION by selling food to them.

And you wonder why Franchisees are not honoring the coupon?

In related news, the SBA has released a report showing that Quiznos franchisees have the highest loan default rate of any franchise chain.

And Quiznos CEO Dave Deno has resigned and infamous Quiznos founder Rick Schaden has once again taken the reins to ensure that franchisees continue to get toasted to a crispy brown.

Comments on the original post:

By Deanna:

I just went to Quiznos with my coupon in hand. I was greeted with all smiles until I mentioned the coupon. I was told they were not honoring it. I said it was OK and turned to leave. The cash register girl asked the guy making the sandwich(possibly the owner or mgr) if she could give it to me anyway since the sandwich was almost finished. The guy gave a frustrated look and just walked away, not finishing the sandwich preparation, just leaving it for the cash register girl to finish. It was supposed to be a honey bacon club with everything. I received a couple slices of ham with onion, that’s it! It looked pretty bad, and I didn’t trust eating it so I threw it out. I was made to feel like charity for this disgusting sandwich. That will be my last visit to Quiznos.

By Carol:

I just fired this off to Quiznos Corporate:

My husband and I took our little boy in to redeem our Free Sub from the coupon issued to me in your Million Sub promo. The man at the register said it had “already been used”, which is 100% false. They would not accept the coupon, and they kept the coupon since I refused to pay for what was supposed to be a free sub. He also said that they had many customers with the same problem who were very angry.

This promotion of yours is a DISASTER. One million outraged and disgruntled customers will tell another million people about what a scam you people at Quiznos pulled. If restitution is not made to our family, I can promise you that no one in our immediate and extended family will EVER set foot in another Quiznos as long as we live (or as long as there is a Quiznos, which, at this point, looks doubtful). I also will be visiting a great number of the consumer complaint websites, as well as registering a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and our NJ Office of Consumer Affairs.

I want you to call me directly. If I do not hear back from someone from Quiznos by the end of the work week March 6, my hand will be forced and I will be contacting the mentioned parties, as well as a friend at Business Week.

This entire experience was horrible. People in Quiznos were hearing everything I had to say about never ever returning to Quiznos, and frankly, the sandwich didn’t even look that appealing. The franchise in Wayne Hills Mall is not very welcoming anyway.

The way this Million Sub giveaway was handled is an bright shining example of how NOT to run a promotion. If it was meant to foster good will with your customers, you have failed miserably. Right now, Quiznos is Public Enemy Number 1.

By Villa:

That’s the problem in corporate America: Most think when getting a franchise everything is easier. Wrong. Putting a (real) entrepreneur into a franchise is like putting an creative artist in jail.

In my opinion only a few franchises are really worth it: Like McD, maybe Burger King and Wendys and maybe Subway (only because the brand is good).

Quiznos is the most stupid system. I remeber 2 years ago the TV shows “Own your own Quiznos” where corporate tried to sell a restaurant to almost everybody. If you are a good entrepreneur, save the money for the franchise and open your own individual store. You must be better than others!

By Carol Cross:

In the food wars and in the saturated “fast food” sector, the franchisors are fighting to compete and retain their market share with coupons and free stuff, etc.. Franchisees, as always, are calculated sacrifices to this competition.

The margins for the surviving Quiznos franchisees are very “thin” to begin with, but while it may not do anything for the franchisees, it does mean that increased traffic will increase the EBITDA for the franchisor who shares none of the overhead costs of producing free subs.

Quiznos, of course, is the poster franchisor for exploitation of franchisees. It is no wonder that many of their franchisees will revolt and not honor the coupons.

By Windel:

Sounds like there needs to be some restructuring of franchise and corporate law in this country…

It also sounds like that this country would be better off without any Quiznos anywhere…

C’mon – It’s a sub shop… Other sub shops have ovens now, and can toast your sandwich… The only thing that makes Quiznos different, is that they charge more for their food, and that the corporate office is willing to be a little more evil than average…

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH QUIZNOS?  WILL AMERICA “BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT QUIZNOS”?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Email us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.

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