R.I.P. Quiznos

qznsIt is most unfortunate that one of my favorite restaurants is slowly passing away.  Quiznos sub shops are slowly going out of business due to bad corporate management and lack of advertising not to mention a reputation problem.

I eat at Subway at least once a week.  There are four of them to choose from within a few miles of my house and my work.  They have great tasting sandwiches for a fair price.  You can’t beat picking up a 6 inch sub on the way home for around $3.00.

Subway is great but it gets old after a while and I like to go to Quiznos when it is convenient.  Unfortunately, even when they were all open, finding one meant a long drive.  If I was in that particular area I would stop in and get one of the new sandwiches.

For a long time I avoided Quiznos because their prices were just too high.   It was like that for a long time and acquired a reputation for being more expensive than Subway with fewer choices.  Sure the food was a little better but price rules.  After their first financial breakdown they revamped their lineup adding the Torpedo and the Bullet.  Great priced sandwiches that brought me back. I totally enjoyed the torpedoes.

Eventually they dropped the Torpedo and Bullet for a new lineup of breads.  I was disappointed but quickly became a fan of the focaccia bread which soon disappeared leaving me unhappy again.  Still one of the other breads sufficed for the occasional visit.  I liked being able to add my own jalapenos and banana peppers from the bar.   It was still a good sandwich and the new prices were fair.  You could even design your own just like Subway.

Slowly the stores around me started going out of business.  Surprising me with locked doors when I was in the mood for one of their subs.  It turns out part of the corporate business model was to charge too much for the supplies so the franchises couldn’t compete.  They had no choice but to give it up.  It was possibly the last desperate gasp from a dying corporate entity to try to raise their income at the cost of destroying their source.

According to Google Maps, there are eight Quiznos shops left in San Antonio assuming that they are not already closed.  All the stores on my side of town are gone and I will not be driving 14 miles for a sandwich with the possibility of finding locked doors.

What could they have done?  From a consumer’s point of view, they should have kept prices low, quality high and advertize, advertize, advertize.  Ads must be on TV and radio.  Nobody reads newspapers any more. That’s so last century. A good internet campaign could have been very effective to reach today’s Attention Deficit Eater.

Success is something that takes time.  Making a change and immediately seeing results is not realistic in the restaurant business.  Word of mouth is extremely important and takes a long time to disseminate through the population.  It can take many years to change your image.  Look at McDonald’s.  Nothing they can ever do will change their image from being crappy fast food for screaming children.  Their only choice would be to open a whole new franchise with a different name and menu.

I will miss Quiznos and will possibly stop in if I happen to be somewhere unusual around lunchtime and see a rogue store with its lights still on.  If you are a fan, now would be a good time to go get a sandwich and spread the word before it is too late.