Three Lessons from SUBWAY on Growing Your Practice…

I was at a Subway restaurant the other day, and had to wait 15 minutes in line to get my turkey flatbread sandwich. The place was buzzing. With over 37,781 locations in 99 countries, it’s one of the fastest growing franchises in the world.l

All this from humble beginnings in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. It started with a $1,000 loan from a doctor, Dr. Peter Buck to Subway founder Fred DeLuca, (who wanted to become a medical doctor).  According to the history of Subway on their official website, Fred soon learned the basics of running a business, as well as the importance of serving a well-made, high quality product, providing excellent customer service, keeping operating costs low and finding great locations. These early lessons continue to serve as the foundation for other locations around the world.

The Subway business strategy has evolved with the times, and is indicative of a company listening, responding, implementing and improving their business model in a new economy.

I’ve looked behind the curtains and discovered THREE things they do to transform the way consumers think about them. This has allowed them to emerge as one of the most successful franchise systems in the world, and there’s a thing or two to be learned here. This is one of the things I will be discussing at the Referral Ignition training workshop in Dallas on November 17.

They are a ‘restaurant’ not just a ‘sandwich’ shop

Every marketing message positions them as a ‘restaurant’ which is a different category than a ‘fast food place’ or a ‘sandwich shop’. In fact, they’ve taken this message one step further with messages like ‘training restaurant of athletes’ and added a ‘health component’ to their sandwiches. Here’s an image I grabbed from my phone yesterday while I was at Subway.

Consumers get to customize their meals with a range of ever-growing options

The introduction of flat bread sandwiches for low carb consumers, avocado spread for health conscious consumers and seasonal specials gives the consumers the one thing they don’t have with traditional fast food – choice and customization. Choose the exact spread you want, add extra lettuce and skip the olives? Sure.

Re-branding as a ‘weight loss’ food

This campaign helped put Subway on the map very quickly.

Who says a sandwich won’t help you lose weight? Jared Fogle, aka Jared the Subway Guy, an Indianapolis native is now a well known public figure, having transformed his body with subway sandwiches. It’s interesting that Subway didn’t pick a celebrity for this transformation (Weight Watchers does this all the time), but chose a regular guy who is looking for a quick, healthy option to lose weight.

The introduction of ‘heart healthy meals’ certified by the American Health Association helped add consumer credibility and boosted their image as a quick, healthy eating option.

Lessons for your practice?

I’ll help you achieve this in a small, private workshop in Dallas. You’ll achieve the mastery of these three critical lessons to drive your practice forward in the next 12 months. Just join us in Dallas in a small, intimate group to master these three skills.

There are THREE big lessons from the Subway success story and learning these lessons is vital to the growth of your practice.

  • Can your clinic be positioned as a health center / wellness spa / mulch-disciplinary facility / body retreat / rejuvenation destination instead of a every other clinic?
  • Can you provide patients with a range of options, so they can ‘customize’ their physical therapy experience? What more can you provide them with before, during and after treatment for them to say “I want more from your clinic”
  • Can you identify one big patient success story who is indicative of all the good work you’ve done in your clinic? (I call this the ‘human billboard’)
Small, Private Workshop in Dallas, Texas on November 17

I’ll be conducting a small, private workshop limited to 10 attendees in Dallas on November 17th. If you are interested, click here to register, and I will see you in Dallas, Texas on November 17th.

Thank you for the amazing feedback at the 2012 Private Practice Summit. The positive feedback from Vegas, including the content and the environment in which we learned from each other ignited a renewed enthusiasm in every attendee. It inspired the conviction that the future of a practice can be transformed with the right content and the right people. If you want to grow your practice over the next 12 months, come join me in Dallas.

 

2 Comments

  • Thomas says:

    Wow, this is another one of your 'out of the box' ideas, Nitin!

    I for one, as a physical therapist, is focused on the traditional concepts of a physical therapy clinic providing only the traditional services and treatment programs we learn about in school.

    Transforming a traditional PT clinic into all of the things you have mentioned above is really revolutionary!

    I can't wait to hear more about it at Las Vegas!

    Thanks!
    Thomas

  • David says:

    This is one really nice piece. The idea of expanding or offering solutions other than the usual physical therapy treatment is getting popular today.

    The tricky part is on the implementation. How can a physical therapy clinic offer all those other services? Will we need some sort of certification? How about on the legal side of the business?

    I would love to know more about this. This can really help my business keep up with the fast changing dynamics of the physical therapy industry.

    Keep on sharing your brilliant ideas!

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