The SUBWAY® restaurant chain, long known for providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to open and operate their own small businesses, has reached the milestone of 600 locations in the Los Angeles area. The prior milestone of 500 locations occurred in June 2008 and in a little more than two years, the chain has added 100 restaurants and created jobs for over 1,500 people in a struggling economy.
The landmark restaurant, owned by multi-unit SUBWAY® franchisees, Parvis "Perry" Mohammadi, Mehrangiz "Mehry" Goodarzi, and Sharab "Sherry" Siegel, is a family run business located inside one of the city's iconic landmarks—Union Station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"We are thrilled to have the privilege of opening the 600th Subway restaurant in Los Angeles and appreciate all the support from our valued customers, as well as the staff of the local Subway development office. Without them, we would not be here today," says Mehry Mohammadi.
Los Angeles SUBWAY® number 600 is quite unique for a chain restaurant. It is a full store inside a kiosk. Keeping in theme with the rest of the Station, the restaurant sports a dark wood finish. Although only 250 square feet, the restaurant sold 362 subs on its first day of business.
"It's a historical building," says Hardy Grewal, Los Angeles based Development Agent for the SUBWAY® chain. "Permitting had to go through not only all of the usual departments, but also the Historical Board as well. Our office, contractor and franchisees all worked together to bring this to fruition."
Franchisees, Perry, a former engineer, and his wife, Mehry, a banker, first became members of the SUBWAY® family in 1996. Daughter, Sherry, later joined them, after working as an attorney. Their original goal was to ultimately own and operate thirteen SUBWAY® restaurants. Although the Union Station location is their 8th SUBWAY® restaurant, it is still their goal to reach that "lucky number thirteen." In addition to Union Station, the family also operates SUBWAY® restaurants in Sunland, Pasadena, and downtown Los Angeles.
"We had two choices, continue our education and remain in our respective fields or become self-employed entrepreneurs," said Mehry Mohammadi. "We decided to become entrepreneurs and chose Subway because of the healthy aspect of the food. Plus, Subway co-founder, Fred DeLuca's story of fulfilling his dream of going to college and funding his education by going into business at age 17 particularly resonated with us being immigrants with a dream."
As small business owners living their dream, Mehry is often found behind the scenes at one of their restaurants focused on customer service and operations, while Perry concentrates on systems and paperwork, Sherry looks towards increasing customer traffic through various marketing efforts.
"We congratulate Perry, Mehry and Sherry on their achievement and wish them continued success in the years to come. Six hundred locations is a terrific milestone for us. We look forward to increased development in 2011 and eventually crossing the 700 open locations line with extra focus on non-traditional opportunities. This year, we are expecting to open in locations such as UCLA, the City of Hope Hospital, an exclusive area in Santa Monica, and the Pier in Hermosa Beach, just to name a few," comments Grewal.
Headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, and with regional offices in Amsterdam, Beirut, Brisbane, Miami and Singapore, the SUBWAY® chain was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. Their partnership, which continues today, marked the beginning of a remarkable journey — one that has made it possible for thousands of individuals to build and succeed in their own business.
In the 2010 Zagat® Fast Food Survey, the SUBWAY® brand was ranked "number one" by consumers in the "Most Popular," "Top Service" and "Healthy Options" categories for food brands with 5,000 or more locations.