Saturday, August 24, 2013



August 8, 2013

Jerrod Cravotto had a franchise
agreement in hand to open a second
Lenny's Sub Shop in Oklahoma when the
existing Tulsa store fell in his lap.
"I was in sales for 15 years and was a
regular customer here and used Lenny's
to cater sales meetings, so I was familiar
with the product," Cravotto said.
"When I got the OK for a franchise, I
came here to talk to the owner, Chris
(Brown), and he said he was involved in
doing some other things and would sell
me his, too.
"So I still have an extra franchise that I
plan to put somewhere in the Tulsa area."
The Lenny's in Fontana Shopping Center
was the first in Oklahoma when Brown
and his mother, Ginny, opened it almost
10 years ago, and it still is the only
Lenny's in the state.
Lenny's Sub Shop was founded by Len
Moore in Memphis, Tenn., in 1979. It
emphasized fresh ingredients and a
Philly cheesesteak sandwich Moore
brought from his native New Jersey.
The Philly cheesesteak ($6.55) was
among the three items we had on a
recent visit to the cozy, sun-drenched
dining room on the east side of the
shopping center. We also had a cold
Italian sub ($6.55) and a cold roast beefand
provolone-cheese sub ($6.45).
The Philly is the star of the hot
sandwiches - the restaurant's overall
best-seller, for that matter - and it was
loaded with sliced beef, grilled onions
and an American/Swiss cheese blend on
a soft, warm sub roll. The sandwich had
a saltiness that I found came from the
cheese when I checked the nutrition
"The Philly is popular, but lately we can't
seem to make enough meatballs for the
hot meatball subs, too," Cravotto said.
Diners have the choice of about a dozen
items to add to their cold subs. We
added lettuce, olive oil, tomatoes,
pepper, mayo and pickles to the roast
beef that was stacked high with thin slices of beef, and it was a
winning combination.
The Italian included four meats - ham, prosciutto, capicola and
Genoa salami - along with provolone cheese. This one came
loaded with onions, lettuce, olive oil, tomatoes, salt, pepper,
oregano, pickles and hot pepper relish. The pickles and the hot
pepper relish, which was more flavorful than hot, helped give this
sandwich a pleasing, complex flavor.
The regular sub-roll sandwiches are 7 1/2 inches and have a halfpound
of meat and cheeses. The 15-inch large sandwiches have a
pound. The cold sandwiches also are available on a Kaiser roll,
with one-third pound of meats and cheeses, and cost a couple of
dollars less than the regular subs.
Among other items available are chicken salad, tuna salad, chef
salad, hot dog and fresh-baked cookies.
Specials include a regular sub (hot or cold) or salad, chips and
regular fountain drink for $8.80, and a Kaiser sandwich with chips
and regular drink for $6.60.
A menu for ages 10 and under has a turkey-and-cheese 
sub, ham-and-cheese sub, meatball sub or hot dog with 
chips and drink for $3.95.
Cravotto said Lenny's still handles catering jobs of all sizes.
"We deliver all over, as far away as reasonable," he said. "We
recently delivered a job to Fort Gibson and another at an oil rig
near Beggs.
"I was able to keep almost all of the employees when I took over,
and that has been a life-saver."



July 19, 2013

Edith Kelly-Green ranks as the largest multiple unit franchise owner for Lenny’s Sub Shop

In 2003, after some 25 years of service with FedEx,
Edith Kelly-Green entered into retirement. At the
time, the 50-year-old cancer survivor relished the
thought of having nothing to do.
“Which is what I did for about a year,” says the
former and first African American female vice
president and chief sourcing officer for Memphisbased
FedEx Express. It was while sitting in a
Starbucks and reading the paper that she learned a
local Lenny’s Sub Shop was for sale.
Kelly-Green’s daughter, Jayna, a college student at
the time and frequent patron of Lenny’s Sub Shop,
raved about the food and the concept.
Headquartered in Memphis, the franchise features
sliced to order submarine sandwiches and authentic Philadelphia-style cheesesteak sandwhiches. Kelly-Green
was looking for a way to create a legacy and ongoing wealth for her family. She made a phone call to inquire
about investing in the brand but ended up becoming a franchisee. Since she was financially secure, Kelly-Green
wasn’t seeking supplemental income when she acquired her first store in 2005 in Oxford, Mississippi, her
Today, she is the largest multi-unit franchise owner of Lenny’s Sub Shop. Over a period of six years, Kelly-
Green purchased 10 Lenny’s Sub Shops in Memphis and in Oxford. Her shops average annual sales revenues
between $350,000 and $1.2 million. She currently runs her stores—two of which consistently rank in the top 5%
of all Lenny’s Sub Shop locations across the country—with her two sons, James Kelly and Ryan Green. In
addition, she served as one of five franchisees with a seat on Lenny’s advisory board until 2012. And Green was
the first ever recipient of the Black Enterprise Small Business Award for Franchise Owner of the Year when the
new category was added to the mix for 2013 to reflect growing opportunities for minorities in franchising.
Kelly-Green is in a unique position as a multiple unit franchise owner. African Americans are 30% less likely to
be multi-unit operators. Of all African America franchisees, 78% are single-unit owners and 22% are multi-unit
owners versus 70% single-unit and 30% multi-unit owners for all franchisees. A single-unit franchisee is a person
who owns one store and is responsible for the day-to-day operations whereas a multi-unit franchisee is an
owner of multiple stores that are typically sold at a reduced rate per unit.
Right from the start, Kelly-Green knew she didn’t want to be a single location owner.
“I wanted to own at least 10 stores. That was my objective,” she recalls. Her training as a CPA has been
invaluable; she knows how to account for every penny of the business as well as handle payroll and sales taxes.
Her background working with FedEx’s supply chain also proved useful in handling vendors, understanding
purchasing, and reducing costs.
Kelly-Green’s recipe for success and ability to scale has been partnering. She partnered with Marlin Harris in
eight Lenny’s locations until his death in 2009. When the two first met, Harris owned six stores, with different
partners. Not only was he one of the original employees hired by Lenny’s founder Len Moore, but he also was
Moore’s partner in the first three stores during Lenny’s startup phase. In 2005, Kelly-Green and Harris first
bought a Lenny’s Sub Shop at Memphis International Airport. Then in 2006, Kelly-Green bought out Harris’
other partners to acquire ownership in six additional stores.
“He had experience running the store,” she explains. “It made sense to combine his operational skills with my
skills in human resources and finance.”
The following year the partners opened their first store from scratch.
“It was a great location; probably one of the best-looking stores in the neighborhood, near the university
[University of Memphis],” she says. “But when the economy went down [during the Great Recession] we felt it.
People were eating at home and going to cheaper places.”
She adds the store has its ups and downs but is profitable. The franchisee also runs concessions for Memphis’
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and Fairgrounds.
“Each store has its own personality; profitability is a function of your location, market, and employees,” notes
that 60-year-old franchisee.
Kelly-Green notes that much of her training at FedEx focused on customer service. Transferrable skills and
philosophy: hire the right employees, provide them with the right training, and ensure employees are
customer-oriented. Happy customers are repeat customers.
“That generates sales and incremental revenues. That is how you get a return as an owner.”
She adds that the decision to open more Lenny’s Sub Shop stores is dependent upon three things: personality,
profile, and profitability of a particular shop’s location. “As a family we are evaluating opportunities in our
current franchise and other brands,” she adds. So, “we may diversify our portfolio.”

Dining on a Dime: Lenny's Sub Shop Kaiser roll sandwiches less expensive option


July 16, 2013

JACKSON, MI – Every other week Rene Wheaton visits a Jackson-area
restaurant in search of good deals for those looking to dine out without
breaking their budget:

Restaurant: Lenny’s Sub Shop

Address: 133 W. Michigan Ave., Suite B, located behind Swan Creek
Candle Company

Phone: 517-782-2444

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Saturday;
10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.


What I had: While I love Lenny’s Chicken Philly sub, I often feel like
it’s more than I should be eating. That’s why I was glad to have one of
their new offerings on a Kaiser bun. I got a roast beef sandwich and an
iced tea. It was still a large sandwich and plenty filling.

Cost: The sandwich was $4.75 and the drink $1.75.

Other deals: Lenny’s offers 12 sandwiches served on a Kaiser bun,
including the classic and the veggie sandwich for $3.95.

Tasty Tidbits: Lenny’s often offers deals through social media. If you
are a fan of their food, liking its Facebook page could save you some

Origins: The first Lenny’s Sub Shop opened in 1998 in Memphis, Tenn.
The Jackson location is just one of three in Michigan, with the others
located in Lansing and Warren. The chain is much more common in the
south and has yet to spread to the northeast or far west regions of the
United States.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lenny’s Sub Shop Highlights ‘All-American Classic’

Memphis, TN – To help celebrate our nation’s independence day, Lenny’s Sub Shop, a national sub sandwich franchise, is kicking off a two month long promotion featuring its All-American Classic sub in all of its sub shops nationwide.

With a value price point of $4.95 for this half pound sub, Lenny’s highlights the deliciousness that sets their subs far above their competition.  The All-American Classic is Lenny’s personal spin on the traditional ham and cheese sub sandwich by adding Capicola – one of their signature Italian meats.  

“I had our All-American Classic sub for lunch the other day and it’s really awesome,” said Brent Alvord, President of Lenny’s Sub Shop. “This promotion is bringing focus to our brand’s roots with the All-American theme.  Since inception 15 years ago in the heart of the mid-south with red, white, and blue colors, we have always taken pride in identifying with hard working Americans and providing hearty subs at an affordable price. ”

The promotion will also be supported on their website, their 90,000+ fanned Facebook page, and in-shop with red, white, and blue visual displays featuring “All-American Classic ½ Pound of Delicious for $4.95” content.   

“We really are making more targeted marketing decisions this year.  Look for continued exciting initiatives to come from our brand,” Alvord said.  “The quality of our big, fresh, and fast subs will always be the cornerstone of Lenny’s.”


Lenny’s Sub Shop features AWESOME half pound subs with premium meats sliced to order and Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks served hot off the grill.  Lenny's commitment to quality and fast, friendly service has helped Lenny's to become one of the most admired sub sandwich chains.  Lenny's Sub Shop continues expanding with great franchise opportunities still available.  Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks & The Deli Fresh Experience™ are reasons why our loyal guests say they prefer a Lenny’s sub hands down to our competition.  Lenny’s subs are big, fresh, and fast!  For more information, visit

Friday, June 14, 2013

Franchisee Spotlight: Joe Caravella

Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born and raised in Tampa.  I went to Plant High School – Class of 1979.

Q: What was your career before franchising?
A: I worked for the local police department for 25 years.  My sister and brother-in-law are also police officers. 

Q: How did you learn about the brand?
A: My son was a Lenny’s employee, and the location became for sale.  It was in our neighborhood, and my wife and I were already looking to open a restaurant.  When we learned more about the corporate side of Lenny’s, we really liked the opportunity structure and corporate philosophy.  When my wife and I had the chance to meet and talk with the CEO, George, Alvord, we were sold. 

Q: Why did you decide to open your own business?
A: My wife and I wanted to restructure some of our capital assets.  She was a schoolteacher at Lewis Elementary in Temple Terrace, FL (a suburb of Tampa) for many years in our community, and I wanted to put my pension to work and have our family involved in a business.  We have nine family members working in the store, including my wife, her mother, three nieces and my son.  We look at the store as more than a financial opportunity; it’s a social skills opportunity for our family. In addition, it helps the young ones learn and maintain business skills.  Specifically, my wife and I are helping them understand bookkeeping, management skills and customer service skills to them so they can survive later in life.  We have a good work ethic and we want to show them that success involves family work and service to people, which aligns with my work as police officer and my wife’s work as a school teacher. 

Q: When choosing a franchise, what were the criteria you used to make your decision?
A: We had already been looking to start our own restaurant and had a business broker. It was going to be a big restaurant in Temple Terrace with a 1920’s theme that served fresh sandwiches.  However, I was quickly convinced to become a Lenny’s franchisee after talking to Lenny’s CEO.  He had good family values and was interested in my wife and me.  Plus, Lenny’s food is not pre-made; it is very fresh, which aligned to the type of restaurant we already wanted to run.

Q: With regard to your previous experience, what skills do you feel helped you in your business?
A: At its core, police work involves serving others beyond oneself, as does teaching.  We bring this outlook to our business in serving our customers.

Q: How does your business connect with the community?
A: We are both on the board of directors of our local Italian Club, and my wife is on the Krewe of Italia.  We sponsor local community organizations and believe in giving back.

Q: What are some of your achievements (professionally or personally) that you think will help you along the way in your business?

A: I have always felt that anybody from any walk of life deserves our attention and care. No matter who you are, when you walk into our store, you are our number one priority and guest.  We love to entertain at home, and that’s what we are doing at work as well!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lenny's Featured in The Memphis Flyer

Lenny's was recently featured in The Memphis Flyer in an article titled, "At Lenny's: The "Under 500" Menu and the Black Bean Kaiser".

The article features an interview with Brent Alvord, president of Lenny's Franchise Systems, LLC. Alvord speaks about the growth and development of Lenny's Sub Shop in menu enhancements. The new "Under 500" menu featured 9 sandwiches under 500 calories, starting at $3.50. Alvord also touches upon the decision by Lenny's to roll out all nutritional information voluntarily. 

Click HERE for the full article or begin reading below:

At Lenny's: The "Under 500" Menu and the Black Bean Kaiser

By: Susan Ellis
The first Lenny's Sub Shop was opened in Bartlett in 1998 by Len Moore, who sold the business to a group of investors in 2004. There are now roughly 150 Lenny's in 20 states.
"We're constantly in research development, looking at ways to enhance our menu," says Brent Alvord, president of Lenny's Franchise System, LLC.
One recent enhancement, the "Under 500" menu board — lime green and placed center, to catch the eye — highlights 9 sandwiches under 500 calories, starting at $3.50.
All of the "Under 500" sandwiches are regular menu items, only without the cheese or olive oil. Among the sandwiches are the roast beef sub, Mile High turkey sub, and the tuna salad kaiser.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Franchisee Spotlight: Chris White & Derrick Crandall

Chris White was born and raised in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. At the age of 16, he started working as a dishwasher for IHOP and worked his way up to become the general manager. He has worked with IHOP for 16 years.

Derrick Crandall started working for his brother, Chris White, at an IHOP and quickly moved his way up to an assistant manager position. He also worked for Cracker Barrel in Tennessee before returning to IHOP in Florida to work as a general manager.

Together, Chris and Derrick have a total of 28 years of experience in the food industry.

How did you learn about the brand?
For the past five years my brother and I had been looking for a business we could open together. We did a lot of research, and after my brother had tried Lenny’s in Fort Walton, he was instantly hooked. He told me about the restaurant and we knew this was an opportunity we’d be interested in.

What was appealing to you about choosing an opportunity with Lenny’s?
The support and backing of Lenny’s corporate is very helpful and unmatched in the industry. Since we both come from the restaurantbusiness, we know how important having leverage on contracts can be, and being a part of a franchise system definitely gives us that leverage. Lenny’s has been like a family to us and we couldn’t be happier working with them.

What makes your business different?
The Lenny’s product and the customer service we provide are unrivaled in the area. Also, with the experience my brother and I share, we have what it takes to be very successful with the concept.

What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
Acquiring the business has been a lot harder than we thought it would be. It took us about a year and a half to get bank approval with the way the economy is. We have also had a lot of construction issues as well. It’s just important to stay positive and we’re excited to open and serve the community.

What are your expansion or development plans?
We plan on opening five stores in the next five years. We would like to purchase more locations in Georgia and would love to be able to eventually open up to 15-20 locations total.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?

We both love to be outdoors and play sports – we love golf!
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