Subway Franchisees have a Powerful and Positive Voice!
The New England Franchise Association (NEFA) had its first meeting of the year Tuesday eveningt at the Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA. Over 50 people attended the meeting; the keynote speaker was Kevin Brough, Chairman North American Association of Subway Franchisees (NAASF). The largest franchisee association of its kind!
Kevin Brough has been a Subway franchisee since 1992 and currently owns three stores in the Saratoga Springs area of upstate New York.
With more than 26,000 locations (last night Kevin announced that the total number of Subway units reached over 27,000) in 86 countries, the SUBWAY brand is the world’s largest sandwich franchise, and has become a leader in the international development of the quick service restaurant industry.
Kevin has been an active franchisee in the Subway system, since 1993 he has served on the local Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust Board, he was Chairman of that board from 1996-2002. Since 2002 he has been a director representing the Northeast of the North American Association of Subway Franchisees. He chaired the Business Affairs Committee and was elected Chairman of NAASF in 2005.
Kevin articulated the importance a franchisee association has in securing and defending the brand. Ultimately even though the franchisor and the franchisee see things from different angles they are both united in promoting the brand for each and every stakeholder.
The NAASF organization, founded 1n 1998 on the principles of being representative and accountable to all Subway franchisees, has accomplished a great deal in eight short years of existence. Development of and participation in the Systems Advisory Council ("SAC") was the first priority of the NAASF. The Subway system has a very unique structure by which the company's goals and objectives are initiated and implemented. Having one council with representatives from the various groups ensures a unified focus toward growing system wide sales and profits.
The NAASF is truly a positive force within the Subway system. Working in partnership with representatives from the DAI, SFAFT, IPC and Development Agent communities, the NAASF endeavors to make the Subway brand a true leader and model within the franchise industry in the 21st century. The strength of NAASF is within its membership base. To become a member of the NAASF, you must be a licensee of Doctor's Associates Inc.
Kevin didn’t directly speak to the lawsuit that NAASF filed in July of 2006, against Subway (Doctor Associates, Inc.) over changes in the franchise agreement regarding control over Subways advertising budget, but he did answer a question regarding how important advertising expenditures are to a franchisee. Kevin mentioned how popular the Jon Lovitz Eat Fresh commercials are in “pop” culture, but they had little to no impact on store sales. Those ads were recently replaced by bringing Jared Fogle back and store sales increased immediately.
Kevin brought a film produced by NAASF that showed the response by Subway and NAASF to help fellow Subway franchisees recover from the devastating effects caused by Hurricane Katrina. NAASF has since formed a disaster relief fund. The fund, officially named the NAASF Emergency Relief Fund, will assist SUBWAY Franchisees who are victims of crises and natural disasters.
NEFA was proud to offer Kevin Brough a platform to present the real life example of how the powerful forces of franchising can combine and work together to improve the life of so many.