St. Charles Herald-Guide

Young entrepreneurs visit Subway in LaPlace: field trip highlighted franchising as a business opportunity

From staff and wire reports - April 27, 2013

The 2013 class of the River Region YEA! program recently visited the Belle Terre Blvd. Subway location in LaPlace owned by former Chamber Board member Raj Pannu.

The field trip, the second of six in the program, focused on demonstrating to the future business owners how a franchise can be an option when thinking about starting a business.

The Subway owners were on hand to lead the tour of their facility, describe their business journey and answer any questions the future business owners had. Pannu described how their facility on Belle Terre Blvd is a 100% green building with recycled materials being used in most of the building and other conservation efforts. Thefranchisees also described the process of rotating food supplies, ensuring a clean environment and the training process for employees. The store owners explained how they secured their first franchise, suffered tremendous losses from Hurricane Katrina and now own more Subways than before the storm. Raj, a regional leader for Subway, described how franchise fees and royalty payments are sent to Subway headquarters to be used on marketing and research.

"From how Ms. Pannu chooses her locations to the way in which her employees rotate the food, the class got to hear each and every part of the franchising process. This trip showed them that you donít have to invent your own wheel to be a business owner; instead you can buy a franchise and capitalize on the proven success of the companyís model," John L Ory Master Teacher Monica Brown said.

The students were allowed to ask questions of both owners and were given a sandwich, a fresh Subway cookie and a drink to take back to class. The next field trip in the program will take the students to a personal style business to learn how to "dress for success."

"Subway does a great job at assisting its franchisees by marketing us as a healthy alternative to traditional fast food. I hope the students learned about operating a food business and the possibilities of franchising. They all were eager to learn more about our processes and had great questions," Pannu said.

Young entrepreneurs visit Subway in LaPlace: field trip highlighted franchising as a business opportunity