Aaron Sinykin was one very conflicted Subway franchisee.
He wanted meals delivered to his family that are the kind of healthy food he markets at his sub shops, but he knew of few options beyond pizza.
So he set up his own delivery service at one of his Tempe Subways, launching what is believed to be the first of its kind in the state. His employees began delivering last week and even without marketing the service yet, Sinykin said orders are growing. It’s still in the testing phase, but he should know more when 12,000 mailers go out next week to homes near the shop at McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue.
“I really wanted to push the delivery service because when I’m at home with my wife and kids and we’re tired, it’s either greasy pizza or Chinese food,” he said.
Sinykin started with caution. He used an outside vendor for delivery to minimize risks that include bringing on new employees for something that might not work. Customer demand was strong enough at a few test stores, so Sinykin decided to advance the experiment by using his own employees.
Sinykin turned to advice from some employees who had formerly delivered pizza as he worked on the business model, knowing sandwiches would change the equation somewhat.
He’s up to 20 to 40 delivery orders per day, with most orders involving two to four sandwiches, chips and beverages for a total of about $15. His goal is to reach 150 deliveries per day.
“I feel like this is the best area to test it. You’ve got ASU students, lots of businesses and the neighborhoods around here,” Sinykin said. “If it works out, it may be a model for others to follow.”
The restaurant requires ordering at least a 12-inch sub, and delivery costs $1.99. To avoid cannibalizing neighboring franchisees, he limits delivery to an area bordered by Loop 101, Priest Drive, Broadway Road and U.S. 60.
Sinykin figured dinner would be the most popular time, but students and late-shift workers place the most calls between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The Tempe store is one of several 24-hour restaurants Sinykin operates.
The experiment is the latest way Sinykin has tinkered with Subway’s tried-and-true model of operating mostly small stores in strip shopping centers. He takes online and text orders at 12 stores he operates under phoenixsubs.com. He recently opened a stand-alone shop with a drive-through in Chandler and is considering an indoor play area at a Phoenix locale, which would be a first for the sandwich chain.
Sinykin and his wife Debbie hold five Arizona store-of-the-month awards from Subway, and were the 2009 franchisees of the year award in the state. They got into the business in 2005, quitting corporate jobs to buy two shops owned by friends. Along with one store owned by Sinykin’s brother, 12 shops are managed under their company.
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