MILFORD, Conn., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The SUBWAY® chain, which has more than 20,000 outstanding franchisees worldwide committed to providing a great product and exceptional service, recently recognized six franchisees as recipients of its 2014 Franchisee of the Year awards.
"These six franchisees exemplify everything that makes Subway such a great brand," said company Co-founder and President Fred DeLuca, who, at 17-years-old, opened the first SUBWAY® restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1965. "They each have also found new and creative ways to work with their employees to make them the absolute best in the industry and to reach out to customers in meaningful ways. Overall, they are always looking for ways to improve their operations as well as the brand and it is an honor for us to recognize these terrific franchisees."
Competing among 48 finalists from 22 regions around the globe, SUBWAY® Franchisee of the Year awards are presented to the overall winners of the chain's multi-unit and single unit owner categories from the brand's North American, and international emerging markets and international developed markets.
The six winners are:
Multi-Unit Owner Dakshesh Patel, of Suwanee, Georgia, USA, started a program with local elementary schools called Sprite Night where students and their parents can come into his Subway restaurant for dinner one evening a month and 15 percent of their sale will go back to their school. He also supports high school and middle school athletic teams.
Dakshesh, who owns 9 restaurants and has been with the brand for 11 years, has a computer science degree and worked as a system's analyst for more than a decade before joining the SUBWAY® team.
Multi-Unit Owner Ricardo de Oliveira Alves, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has a goal in his 11 restaurants to offer a great product and excellent customer experience every time to every customer. To achieve that goal, he puts a strong focus on training, which touches on friendly service and product knowledge as well as business best practices. As a result, Sandwich Artists™ attend to customers with confidence and enthusiasm and his stores see many repeat customers.
Ricardo, who joined the SUBWAY® family five years ago after a career in hotel management, enjoys working in the restaurants with his staff.
Multi-Unit Owner Supot Gulati, of Bangkok, Thailand, was a 17-year veteran in the banking industry before deciding to change careers and join the SUBWAY® team as a franchisee in 2003 because he saw an opportunity to work for a brand that served nutritious choices to health conscious customers. Supot, who owns 12 stores now but plans to have 20 stores opened and operating by the year 2020, said the key to success is to have a well-trained staff that makes customer service a top priority.
Single-Unit Owner Julian Shelton, of Ashland, Virginia, USA, has been a SUBWAY® franchisee for 10 years. A former Mechanical Engineer and a Sales Executive, Julian said creating a positive experience for everyone who walks into his restaurant is a key to success.
In fact, some customers have become part of the SUBWAY® family at Julian's restaurant, especially the couple that regularly brings in their 6-year-old grandson who now greets fellow-customers with an enthusiastic "Welcome to Subway" as they enter.
"I always wanted to own my own business and it had to involve working with people," Julian said. "We provide a great product and we are always trying to improve ourselves as well as the customer experience. "
Single-Unit Owners Iris Liang and Xiuyun Mo, of Guangzhou Champion Beverage & Food Management Co, Ltd. in Guangzhou China, joined the SUBWAY® brand about four years ago.
A human resource manager with a construction company prior to becoming a SUBWAY® franchisee, Iris said, "I feel subway is like a big family; it's composed of many different people with the same goal: to do everything we can to always make Subway better."
The staff at their restaurant learns their customer's names as well as their order.
"Customers feel comfortable in my restaurant," Iris said. "It is just like they are home; the food is ready and we are their friends."
Single-Unit Owner Dianora Falcon, of Alimentos Emmdifal CA of Venezuela, has been a franchisee for seven years and said the key to success is to make sure that all customers who leave the restaurant she owns with Augustin Delgado are happy when they leave.
All of this is achieved with an excellent team who we train and encourage and always recognize their hard work. Additionally, Dianora said her team always creates a welcoming atmosphere for customers and their families can go to relax and get a great meal.
About SUBWAY® restaurants
Since 1965, SUBWAY® owners have been devoted to offering customers customized made to order sandwiches with a wide range of better-for-you options. Providing easy access to vegetables, detailed nutrition, dietary, and healthy lifestyle information has been a priority for the SUBWAY® chain for many years, earning the brand the American Heart Association Heart Check Meal Certification in 2012. As the world's largest restaurant chain, thousands of dedicated entrepreneurs have the opportunity to run their own business, while playing an important role in their communities. To learn more information about us, visit http://www.subway.com, like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/subway and follow us on https://twitter.com/subway. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor's Associates Inc.
SOURCE SUBWAY Restaurants