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Orlando-Based Sobik’s Subs Kicks Off Major Franchise Expansion
When one thinks of a franchised sub sandwich chain, Subway immediately comes to mind. Sure, there’s your Quiznos here and there, a Jimmy John’s here, a Jersey Mike’s there, a Firehouse over there. But no sub shop comes close to the success of franchise behemoth Subway. You can’t argue with nearly 30,000 units.
Or can you? Jodi Kobrin, President of Sobik’s Subs, said a locally-owned and operated sub sandwich shop can compete and win against Subway and others through strong customer service, superior local-store marketing, and a diverse menu featuring unique subs you can’t get at the national chains.
Sobik’s Subs, founded in 1969, currently has 14 franchised units. But Kobrin said the Orlando-based chain has plans to increase its presence in Central Florida, and throughout the state, through the opening of multiple new units in the coming year.
I recently sat down with Kobrin at one of her Sobik’s locations to learn more about the history of Sobik’s Subs and plans for the future. May we have another future big-time franchise player based right here in Orlando?
Eating Orlando: How did you become involved with Sobik’s Subs?
Jodi Kobrin: A short time after I started working at Sobik’s Subs, I realized the hospitality industry was for me. I could see there were opportunities for advancement with this company. Within a few years I was an area manager for several locations. During that time I began training franchisees that owned and operated their Sobik’s Subs locations. I found this very rewarding and often thought about becoming a franchisee. It wasn’t long before I put that thought into action and purchased a location in Longwood, Florida. I continued to train new franchisees as Sobik’s Subs increased their units. After several years, I decided to sell my location and become Director of Training and Operations for Sobik’s Subs. At this time, I am currently president of Sobik’s Subs Franchising Inc.
EO: Sobik’s Subs has been a part of the Orlando and Central Florida Community for decades. What’s the history involved? Why Orlando?
JK: In 1969, the Sobik family opened the first Sobik’s Sub Shop in Altamonte Springs. After experiencing great success and many inquires about franchising, they decided to franchise Sobik’s Subs in the Orlando area as there were few sub shops in the market at that time.
EO: Well, today the Central Florida restaurant scene is a crowded one. What sets Sobik’s Subs apart from your competitors in the quick-service food industry? How does Sobik’s Subs continue to thrive?
JK: Sobik’s Subs is primarily known for its cheese steak subs and its many specialty hot subs. As we all know, the Hispanic population is booming in Florida, and we are the only sub franchise that offers a Cuban Sandwich. It’s this diversity of choices and freshness that truly sets our concept apart from the other sub guys out there. And our franchisees focus on knowing and understanding their customers, which is a rare find these days. We continue to thrive based on our founding principles:quality products, customer service, cleanness, and over 40+ years of franchising.
EO: What qualities are you looking for in a prospective franchisee?
JK: Sobik’s is looking for single and multi-unit operators with food service and/or restaurant experience, a passion for fresh food, and a commitment to exceptional customer service.
EO: Are you also looking for area developers?
JK: Yes, we feel that area developers and multi-unit operators are the key to franchise success for Sobik’s in the short and long term. We have some excellent opportunities for like-minded entrepreneurs.
EO: Based on your observations, what concrete steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their businesses?
JK: There are a few things that you’ll find at any established, growing restaurant franchise: a well-trained staff, excellent customer service, consistency in recipes, quality products, strong marketing and local advertising, a great web and social media presence and a sense of community. I am so proud that our Sobik’s franchisees share these beliefs. We’ve practiced what we preach since 1969 here in the Orlando community.
EO: What kind of ongoing support do you extend to your franchisees to help them become more successful?
JK: When you become a Sobik’s Subs Franchisee, and part of our system, you can expect extensive on-going training, a management team that will actually pick up the phone when you call, superior marketing support chain-wide and for your local-store marketing needs, corporate chef support, purchasing power, research and analysis of menu trends and food costs, and, above all, a sense of teamwork and family. We are all in this together, as partners.
EO: Is there anything else that you would like to share about Sobik’s Subs?
We have been Orlando’s favorite sub shop for more than 40 years now and we are now ready to expand throughout the state and up the East Coast. There’s never been a better time to join the Sobik’s Subs team, as we are offering amazing incentives to new franchisees to jump-start our renewed franchising efforts. There’s really no better time than the present to start your own business. As a Sobik’s Subs franchisee you are in business for yourself, not by yourself.
To learn more about Sobik’s Subs and their franchise opportunity: