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Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine: New Branding and Leadership Fuels Lennys Grill & Subs' Growth
The brand's leaders have taken a hands-on approach to development.

Hands-on leadership is guiding the reboot for Lenny's Grill & Subs

Seeing a strong brand with a great product in need of new leadership to drive its growth, Johnson Ventures is getting Lenny's back on a growth track. President and CEO Rick Johnson and CFO Kevin Martin have taken hands-on leadership roles at Lenny's. 

New strategies include unveiling a new design prototype and rebranding the chain from Lenny's Sub Shop to Lenny's Grill & Subs. "Our menu hasn't changed significantly, but the new name better emphasizes our key point of difference, which is our Philly cheesesteaks and other subs that come hot off the grill," says Bob Ritter, vice president of franchise and market development for the 101-unit chain. "As part of our rebranding, we've also focused sharply on customer engagement and on enhancing the atmosphere within the stores."

As of mid-December, four locations, including the company's sole corporate unit, had been rebranded and 20 more remodels were underway. Two new stores were added in 2016, and 12 more will open this year. "We're really excited to be growing again," Ritter says. "The success we've seen with the remodels has been great, especially with brand-new units that have opened with the new look and feel."

Operating in 12 Southeastern and Midwest states, the brand has plans to build outward from existing markets.

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