Auburn’s Restaurant Choices Declined When Smith’s Venture with Quiznos Ended May 17
Sally Smith’s Quiznos store closed May 17, 2012. “An interesting note is that it opened May 17, 2007,” Smith said.
In 2006, Smith was restless after retiring from her 32 years spent teaching sixth grade at Auburn. “I was retired, single, and wanted something to do,” Smith explained.
She researched businesses she could start in, and Quiznos appeared the best idea. It seemed affordable and the food tasted good; however, her business only lasted five years.
She kept it open as long as she could, but after putting her own money into the business and still not turning a profit, she chose to close it.
Smith encountered several obstacles which prevented her from being profitable. She was required to buy food from the company itself at high prices, and she had to pay an 11% royalty fee per week to Quiznos. She also found that although she had a central business location, which should have been profitable, many customers said parking was difficult.
Smith’s expectations of the venture were also far from the reality. She envisioned not having to work often other than doing the books. It took her and another manager six hours to get Quiznos ready to open, and she decided to work as a manager to keep employment costs down. She was also surprised how difficult it was to get people to try new things. She didn’t expect the price of food, royalties, and taxes to be so high.
Auburn has not been the only place to lose a Quiznos recently. When Smith started her business, Quiznos had 6,000 restaurants. Now it has 2,700. In that same time, the number of Quiznos in Nebraska has dropped from 25 to 10. Five years ago, Omaha had five Quiznos, and Lincoln had six. Now each city has one.
Despite the closure of her business, Smith said, “I see it as failing forward.” Smith’s Quiznos scored high on reviews, and her experiences there were more positive than negative. She appreciates the support of Auburn, Nemaha County, and the surrounding counties. “The best part of owning Quiznos was the public,” she stated.