Sunday, April 26, 2020

[TOASTED] Quiznos Quits Chamblee

Quiznos has closed one of its last locations in metro Atlanta.  In the past few days, the Quiznos in Chamblee Plaza closed "for ever" according to a sign on the business's front door.  The roughly 2,500 square foot franchised location was reportedly "priced out" after owner Trinity Development invested millions in upgrades to the center and increased rents as a result.  Following the closure there will be just three Quiznos left in metro Atlanta: two downtown and one in midtown.  The Quiznos website indicates there is a fourth Georgia location at a Marriott hotel in Augusta and a fifth in Kingsland in southeast Georgia.

Founded in Denver, Colorado in 1981, Quiznos had by 2007 grown to nearly 5,000 locations.  Today, however, the chain operates about 500 locations following years of mass closures including seven hundred locations in 2009 and another eight hundred in 2010.  In metro Georgia, the chain has over the years opened and closed more than two dozen locations.

Our research shows that over the years Quiznos franchisees have closed units in:

Peachtree Center, Buckhead, Northlake, Tucker, Akers Mill, Georgia Tech, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Snellville, Sandy Springs, East Cobb, Augusta, Rome, Lithonia, Duluth, Albany (2), Douglasville, Hinesville, Conyers, Athens, Lawrenceville, Fitzgerald, Macon, Canton, Ellijay, Cartersville, and Jasper, among others.

One might ask why so many units has closed and the answer is pretty simple: they didn't make much money...ever.  According to published reports, at its height, Quiznos stores were bringing in an average of $400,000 in revenue per store.  By comparison, Jimmy John's, another sandwich shop, generates more than $1.2 million per store, according to industry estimates.

Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business wrote an extensive piece in 2018 - A BRIEF HISTORY OF QUIZNOS’ COLLAPSE - where he explains all that went wrong for the once high-flying chain.

Among the things Maze touches on are the low sales, highly competitive landscape and ownership changes at the brand.  The year after his article, San Diego-based High Bluff Capital Partners, a private equity firm, purchased Quiznos for an undisclosed amount.

In Chamblee, Quiznos is the second sandwich shop to close in just the past few months.  Across from Chamblee Plaza, a Jimmy John's franchise closed earlier this year about the same time as the one at Toco Hills did.  Both had been open only a few years.  Amazingly, a dated Subway continues to operate on the same side of the road as the former Jimmy John's in a far less appealing building.

Quiznos fall from grace is not terribly different from what happened to one its more established rivals, Blimpie.  Referred to by many as the "oldest sandwich chain in America," the first Blimpie opened in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1964, one year before the first Subway, then known as "Pete's Super Submarines," opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  In 1987, Blimpie celebrated the opening of its 50th Atlanta area location by giving away 25,000 free sandwiches.  The chain eventually grew to a reported 100 locations in the greater metro Atlanta area and about 2,000 chain wide.  Today there are only a handful of locations left in metro Atlanta, and according to their website, "200+ franchise units" overall.   

What would you like to see open in place of Quiznos [or Jimmy John's] in Chamblee?  What is your favorite sandwich chain?  Are you pleased by the recent improvements at Chamblee Plaza?

Please share your thoughts below.


Anonymous said...

Can I just say, I would love for a Firehouse subs to take this location or the spot where Jimmy John's was. I realize there is one on the other side of Northside/400 but would love to have one closer!

Anonymous said...

The Quiznos and Blimpies in the Northlake area were always good. When they were there though Subway was at their best. I've never understood the popularity of Jimmie Johns. My favorite sandwich place is Jersey Mike's. They do cost more but offer a great product... especially for someone from the Northeast. Love the changes at Chamblee Plaza. Can't wait to shop there again.

Cody Cargle said...

Honestly never got try Quiznos in my lifetime ever, the one in Paulding County Georgia which is Hiram, Georgia was in a poor location unlike Firehouse Subs, and sadly Jersey Mike’s wasn’t built out there until after I moved to Panama City Beach Florida, and Jimmy Johns is nothing more but a cold cut and glorified Subway and Blimpies terrible honestly, and extremely overrated too, anyways the decline of Quiznos is the same reasons as Blimpies but the difference was, atleast Quiznos would have tasted better than Blimpies and Subway but price is outrageous when Firehouse offers the same product for less, and Jersey Mike’s offers the same quality for less, and Which Wich on the other hand is more unique than Quiznos and all three have better locations including the awful Jimmy Johns, where Subway is still everywhere but not the same, and Blimpies on the other hand horrible and still just as bad of locations like Quiznos, Anyways I think this Quiznos would be benefited from either a Jersey Mike’s or another Firehouse since Jimmy Johns couldn’t make it haha no surprise when Subway still offers better food than Jimmy Johns as well. 🤣

Brad Sappenfield said...

I always liked Quizno's - there was one in East Cobb near my house when I lived in Georgia. In Memphis, we have Lenny's - which I like even more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing...again.

kestrel said...

I founded a Quiznos in 1981 at 1275 Grant Street in Denver. My strategy was to create the finest product regardless of the cost. I would negotiate intensely with my purveyors to get the best value for my franchisees. I never made my franchisees buy products from me, but show them better prices and high-quality if we all purchase together. Same with the equipment. I could never be accused of a conflict of interest with my franchisees. I wanted us to work as a team to find the best deals and then share with everybody. I wanted to encourage the franchisees entrepreneurial spirits for the good of the whole chain. No one had a higher quality product then the toasted sub from Quiznos Classic Subs. Best of luck to my Quiznos. Todd Disner. P.S. Look for my up coming book..

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