A dining option to support the campus experience
Between classes, students at Jackson College, a community college located in southern Michigan, tend to gravitate to the Jets Hangar. The recently renovated student center serves as a gathering, studying and entertainment spot for the institution’s more than 7,000 residential and commuter students. The team at the college quickly realized a desirable dining option was necessary for the space.
In April 2015, the college turned to a local SUBWAY® franchisee, Bob Richardson, to inquire about opening a Subway restaurant at the Hangar.
“The president of the college knew that I had a successful restaurant operation and was very involved with the local community through my other Subway restaurants. And he knew I would be very involved in the college,” says Richardson.
Using small spaces to the fullest
The installation process moved very quickly. SUBWAY® Corporate sent a design team and development agent to measure the dimensions of the space where the restaurant would be. An architect with the brand then put together a design based on the specific dimensions. In September 2015, the Subway restaurant at the Hangar began serving students nutritious submarine sandwiches and salads, made just the way everyone likes. Though the restaurant only takes up just under 400 square feet, it still operates as a full-service dining venue.
“We bake all of our bread onsite and serve the full Subway menu,” says Richardson. “We don’t have a full lobby, and our fridge and freezer are outside the store to maximize our space. But as we prove time and time again, we are able to operate in some spaces that others can’t.”
A team effort
When Richardson has a question or problem to solve at his restaurant, he has a network of other franchisees who operate Subway restaurants on other college campuses.
“Subway truly has a great support program,” he says. “I like that I can reach out to others who can give me insight on how to handle a situation. The support system I have access to as a Subway franchisee—from the awareness raised by advertising to the access to the folks in the regional office and at headquarters—can’t be beat.”
The Jackson College Subway sees its most foot traffic during lunch.
“Subway is an option on the college’s meal plan, which is a great convenience for the students as well as their parents,” says Matt Bernstein, franchise office manager. “About 90 percent of our sales come from students using their meal card.”
Faculty and staff will often visit at lunch, but from 4 p.m. until closing at 11 p.m., there is a busy, student-driven dinner business, Bernstein notes. “There is always a line,” he says. Facilitating community
That line is due to the social experience that the Hangar and Subway promote, says Richardson.
“Students enjoy interacting with other students and the staff,” he says. “The whole environment is set up for students to relax, enjoy their food and enjoy one another.”
For students not wishing to purchase a full meal, Subway is a more flexible option than the traditional cafeteria.
“The cafeteria is open only select hours, but the Subway restaurant is open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.,” says Bernstein. “If students want to just grab a coffee, or some cookies, they can do that at Subway at any time.”
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This piece was produced for Subway by University Business. For more information on how you could have a SUBWAY® restaurant on your campus, contact Liz Smethurst, Global Account Manager at Smethurst_L@subway.com or 203 877 4281 x 1398