Franchise Locations: 6 Lenny's Locations
- 11401 Financial Centre Pkwy, Little Rock, Ark. 72211
- 1699 Stadium Blvd., Jonesboro, Ark. 72401
- 153 Main St., Memphis, Tenn. 38103
- 5643 Shelby Dr., Memphis, Tenn. 38141
- 1664 Sycamore View Rd., Memphis, Tenn. 37134
- 8265 U.S. Highway 51, Memphis, Tenn. 38053
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am originally from Memphis, Tenn. I grew up there and attended college at The University of Memphis.
Q: What was your career before franchising?
A: Before becoming involved with Lenny’s Sub Shop, I worked at FedEx for 10 years. My business partner and best friend since sixth grade, Lawson Fisher, worked with a communications firm for the same length of time before we decided to go into business together.
Q: How did you learn about the brand?
A: Lawson and I knew of the product because we were customers, but we also had a relationship with the owners of Lenny’s corporate. When we decided to get into the business, we acquired five stores right off the bat. It was something we really jumped into, and we have continued with that level of enthusiasm ever since. My wife, Cris, is also an owner and operator of the locations, and we all have taken on a store that we manage ourselves.
Q: What was appealing to you about joining a franchise system?
A: It’s great because we’re able to run our own business, but we have the backing of a big company. With Lenny’s headquartered in Memphis, and our personal relationship with its owner, the franchise has this great family atmosphere. It makes it that much more fun working with Lenny’s, having that feeling that you’re working with family.
Q: What skills from your previous jobs have helped you in your business?
A: Lawson and I were both in the customer service industry, so we each knew how to handle the customer relationship. But, it wasn’t the food industry, which we discovered is a lot different. As far as our customer relationships, our backgrounds gave us a good start and while I was at FedEx I couldn’t help but learn about business and how things are run at a strong company.
Q: How has the economy affected your business?
A: Although some aspects have made it harder, overall the economic situation has benefited our business. In one respect, it’s really competitive to secure a loan from a bank right now, but on the other hand a lot of people are opting for less expensive dining options. We got into the business before the recession hit, and even though things have been hard we have been able to grow each of our restaurants through that time.
Q: What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today with your business?
A: The biggest obstacle we’ve overcome so far has been the shock of doing business in the food industry. This industry is one where there can be a lot of employee turnover, so we had to learn how to manage that and how to find good people and hold on to them. Once we were able to do that, we have seen great success.
Q: What makes your business different?
A: Although there are a lot of sub shops out there, I really don’t feel like we have many competitors. We provide a product that you don’t get at any other sub shop. Every person who walks through the door is getting a fresh sub — we slice it right there for them, or we grill it right there. They’re getting a half-pound of meat and cheese on their sandwich, and we take care of the guest in every way possible. All around, it’s just a very different experience than you’ll get anywhere else.
Q: How does your business connect with the community?
A: In all of our locations, we try to do some sort of giving back. In Memphis, we have provided boxed lunches for various golf tournaments and fundraisers. In our newest location in Jonesboro, Ark., we’re just five minutes down the road from Arkansas State University, so we’re making it a priority to reach out to the university. We are looking forward to doing something for the students there.
Q: What are your expansion or development plans?
A: We really think that Jonesboro, population wise, could hold another two to three stores. However, we’ll have to see how this first location goes.
ABOUT LENNY’S SUB SHOPS:
Since the beginning, Lenny's commitment to quality and attention to detail has gone into every restaurant and sub sandwich. This dedication has helped Lenny's to become one of the fastest growing sub sandwich chains in the country. Today, Lenny's Sub Shop continues to expand throughout the United States by offering franchise opportunities. Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks & The Deli Fresh Experience™ are reasons why our loyal guests say they prefer a Lenny’s sub hands down to our national competition. Why? Lenny's puts back what has been missing in the sub sandwich business - More Food, More Taste, More Personality!® For more information, visit www.lennys.com.