Sterling College Quiznos Franchise Continues to Provide Education for Business Students
Sterling College student Ashlen Stamm has always dreamed of owning a business. "I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Even when I was a little girl I wanted to own a restaurant of my own." This desire led her to major in business at Sterling and to work with the business department's Quiznos franchise project. "The Quiznos project allows me to tell potential employers that I haven't just studied certain business concepts, I've applied them," she said. "It has huge impact on my preparation for the business world."
In her quest to get as much real-world experience as possible out of the Quiznos project, Stamm attended a corporate meeting with about 50 Quiznos franchise owners two weeks ago. "This wasn't a meeting that affected our store too much," said business professor Tim Thorpe, coordinator of the Quiznos project. "Primarily this meeting was a big launch to adjust the image of Quiznos, to breathe new energy into the franchise."
Quiznos is taking a more aggressive approach to marketing due to the economy. This is already reflected in the lower-priced options that were added to the menu this past summer. As of this week, the menu now includes larger flatbread sandwiches, new ingredients, seasonal soup and a Choose Two menu which allows customers to choose two items for $5.
The corporation also announced some changes that relate to worldwide needs. Soon stores will be using recyclable food containers as part of the company's goal to become more environmentally conscious. Quiznos is partnering with Helping Hands on its world hunger initiative as well. "We'll be getting new uniforms that reflect that partnership," said Thorpe. "Helping Hands wants to end world hunger by 2025, and Quiznos wants to team up with that goal."
The Sterling Quiznos store is also looking into some changes that are unrelated to the corporate meeting. Thorpe and the student managers are adjusting internal operations with the goal of speeding up service. More visible possibilities include making a flat screen television and wireless internet available during non-peak hours, from 2-5 p.m. They are exploring options for outdoor seating as well.
"I'm also working with the students on marketing initiatives," said Thorpe. "The town of Sterling is pretty well saturated with knowledge about Quiznos, but we are targeting visiting teams, hoping to get them to stay in Sterling to eat after the game rather than leaving and eating on the road. We're exploring ways to advertise at games, with banners, free-throw contests, t-shirt giveaways, etc."
"The biggest success of this project is the educational experience it is providing," said Thorpe. "Business students are doing all the hiring, inventory control, and scheduling for the store. Then they also get opportunities to go to corporate meetings. These allow business students to see firsthand the market research that goes into the corporate-level's decision making and to see how franchise owners and corporate-level managers interact."
"I started working with Quiznos just as the second phase of the plan was being developed," Stamm said. "Then I was part of the team that presented the plan to donor Jack DeBoer. Now I'm able to see how the real business world works-the world where I'll be pretty soon."