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The Quiznos Project
In September 2006, the Sterling College Business Department began a new research project for students to understand the mechanics of a franchise. Business faculty read through student applications to form a “franchise group.” Students were then split into two teams, each in charge of researching and presenting franchises that would be feasible in Sterling, Kansas. In January of 2007, each group presented their business to Wichita businessman Jack DeBoer, Sterling College President Dr. Bruce Douglas, Sterling College Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Mark Sarver, and Sterling College Business Chair Dr. Kevin Hill.
After outstanding presentations, the businessmen and administration decided to pursue a relationship with Quiznos. The students immediately went to work on starting a Quiznos franchise in Sterling, Kansas.
Between the spring of 2007 and the spring of 2008, several student groups wrote and revised the business plan while developing relationships with Quiznos Corporate and the DeBoer Family Foundation. The group moved methodically during this time while waiting for construction to begin on the shopping center that would house the Quiznos franchise.
In late spring of 2008, a student group pursued and secured funding for the franchise from the DeBoer Family Foundation after a successful presentation of the final business plan to Mr. DeBoer in Wichita. Subsequently, Warrior Enterprises LLC was formed to be the corporate owner of the Quiznos franchise, and Tim Thorpe was added to the Sterling College Business Faculty to oversee the project.
In August of 2008, Warrior Enterprises LLC officially purchased a Quiznos franchise license. Negotiations with Landmark Development Corporation and Cook Construction were finalized for the construction of our store. Actual construction began in mid-November.
During the Fall Semester of 2008 students revised and updated previous pro forma financial statements as new cost estimates became available. Students identified potential problems that the franchise would face operating in a small college town. They also analyzed the Quiznos corporate operations manuals and adapted additional policies and procedures to “best fit” the needs of Sterling College, the City of Sterling and the surrounding area. Marketing students developed various marketing campaign ideas for the Quiznos grand opening.
During the Spring Semester of 2009, students advertised and began accepting employment applications, then subsequently interviewed and hired staff. With a targeted grand opening day of March 30th, 2009, students continued to revise the final marketing campaign and began advertised the grand opening through flyers, banners, email and the newspaper.
Construction was completed on March 26th, 2009. With the assistance of corporate trainers and students, the store was prepped and ready by March 30th, for Grand Opening Day.
On Grand Opening Day, all students, faculty and staff of Sterling College were provided free lunch between 11:00 and 2:30. 333 people were fed in the course of 3 ½ hours. Additional staff from various Quiznos in Salina, Lawrence, and Denver, CO was brought in to assist with the grand opening crowds.
Also on grand opening day, a VIP banquet was hosted on the Sterling College campus and catered by Quiznos. The Regional Vice President of Quiznos, State Representative Bob Bethel, the mayor and other local dignitaries, as well as our benefactor Jack DeBoer of the DeBoer Family Foundation was in attendance. Several students gave presentations during the banquet.
Six college students worked as a body to manage the Quiznos franchise and approximately 20 staff members. The students were responsible for the daily operations and management decisions of the business. The group decided on policy and operational changes within the restaurant.
Assistant Professor Tim Thorpe managed oversight for the business.
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