The successful sandwich franchise looks to grow foothold in the Derby City
Handcrafted sandwiches are something Lennys Grill & Subs knows better than its competitors--and loyal fans across the country have taken note. Which is why, today, the brand has made it a top priority to grow in new areas and continue expanding its presence in established markets. Backed by a booming economy to support additional locations and an existing brand awareness, Lennys is focused on Louisville for continued growth.
“We are strategically focusing our efforts on markets that we feel have the most potential, and Louisville is on the top of that list. We know we’ll be able to bring a great product to consumers, more than 100 jobs to the area and opportunities to help local communities with our cause marketing platforms,” said Jennifer Benjamin, Vice President of Franchise and Market development for Lennys Grill & Subs. “We’re looking to add ten locations to the Louisville market over the next five years.”
The brand has one location in the area that has been serving thousands of Lennys’ famous Philly Cheesesteaks since 2010. And hungry customers aren’t the only ones demanding locations-- mindful entrepreneurs are hopping on investment opportunities with the brand.
Lennys is looking to recruit business-minded individuals like other strong operators who are already part of the Lennys family. With locations in Broken Arrow and Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jerrod Cravatto exemplifies what the brand is looking for in a franchisee. He initially approached the Lennys corporate team in Memphis to inquire about franchise opportunities after catering with the brand for many months. He tried a few subs and instantly thought the brand had huge potential in his home market.
“I had no restaurant experience prior to joining Lennys. My experience was in sales. After catering for clients, getting their feedback, and tasting the product, I knew franchising with the brand was something I had to explore further,” said Cravatto. “I started kicking around the idea of opening a location in Broken Arrow but when the Tulsa shop became available, I opted to invest in something that was already up and running.”
He signed an agreement, and after a couple of years of adjusting to the ins and outs of the operation, Cravatto opted to open a second location. This time, one he had built from the ground up.
“Picking the right location is key. I was extremely thorough with my research, and I would recommend that anyone who is new to opening their own business do the same,” said Cravatto. “Once we were settled in and had our lease signed, we started the process of working with the corporate team on build out, design and marketing.”
Cravatto commended the Lennys team for guidance through the start-up process. Even at times when new ownership seems overwhelming, there are corporate team members available to discuss questions and issues.
As the brand grows in targeted areas like Louisville, this support structure is essential. The Lennys corporate team wants to build upon its existing success with valuable partners. Today, it’s clear that tactic has paid off in a big way—the brand boasts almost 100 locations throughout the country. And in the next 5 years, Lennys is aiming to double the size of the brand by having over 200 locations by 2022.
“We’ve seen a great response from our first location in Louisville,” Benjamin added. “The location’s success proves that we bring something unique to the market, which is why we have put such a focused effort to expand our footprint to more Louisville neighborhoods.”
To learn more about franchising opportunities with Lennys Grill & Subs, click here.