|Headquarters||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Key people||Richard E. Schaden(Chairman and CEO), Greg MacDonald (President)|
|Industry||Fast food restaurants|
|Products||Submarine sandwiches, Salads, other food products|
|Revenue||▲ US$130 million (2004)|
|Owner(s)||QIP Holder, LLC
Quiznos is a fast food restaurant franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The company specializes in offering toasted subs, although they may be served untoasted at the customer's request. It is the second-largest submarine sandwich shop chain in North America, after Subway.
There are over 4,000 shops located in the United States, 300 in Canada, and 100 more scattered across the world, in Central America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, South Korea, and the Middle East. In the Middle East, Quiznos has outlets in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
In 1978, Terrell Braly, along with a group of investors, converted a closed Sinclair gas station at 1275 Grant Street, Denver, Colorado into a sandwich shop called "Sandwich World". Hussain "Jeff" Jaffarie, the store manager at the time, began the practice of toasting sandwiches in a pizza oven that had been provided by Tombstone Pizza.
In 1979, a competing restaurant opened across the street from the converted fuel station. Trading as Footers Restaurant and owned by Jimmy Lambatos and Todd Disner, this business offered to buy the larger and better located Sandwich World operation. The take-over was accepted in early 1980. The new owners of Sandwich World changed the name to Quiznos and began a franchising operation.
Although Quiznos may not have originated the concept of toasted sandwich, many competitors began offering similar sandwiches. Subway began offering toasted "subs" in 2004, Boston Market in 2005, and Blimpie in 2006.
The company's first major advertising push was a successful advertising campaign during the 2002 Super Bowl. Early TV spots advertised the innovation of toasting sandwiches, as compared to the inventor of pants (humorously contrasted with men wearing bushes). Other ads included on in 2003 depicting a man "raised by wolves" suckling at a mother wolf's teat and a pair of ads in early 2004 featuring Spongmonkeys. Quiznos ads in Canada have featured hockey commentator Don Cherry. In 2005, Quiznos launched a series of ads featuring Baby Bob.
Quiznos has also been known to take advantage of underground advertising phenomena in localized areas. For example, they were one of the first advertisers to put ads on the back of famous San Francisco eccentric and alien protester Frank Chu's sign.
In June 2006, Quiznos revealed their new slogan: "Eat Up". Nationally the subs feature a Quiznos sub with steam emanating from it with the slogan, "Mmmm... toasty", spoken as "Mm mm mm mm mm... toasty". This slogan, the aforementioned one, and a newer one, "Love what you eat". are used interchangeably. Actor Michael Clarke Duncan currently provides the voiceover for all Quiznos commercials.
On September 18, 2006, Quiznos launched the most aggressive advertising campaign aimed at Subway. Dubbed the Prime Rib Cheesesteak Challenge, customers were asked to compare the brand new Prime Rib Cheesesteak against Subway's Cheesesteak sandwich. The claim is that the Prime Rib Cheesesteak has twice the meat of Subway's Cheesesteak. If the customers are not satisfied, then they can fill out a form, mail the form along with their receipt, and they will receive a coupon for a free sandwich. One of the commercials features a woman saying "It's not lacking any meat, and that's what real women need".
In subsequent advertisements, Quiznos was shown competing with the fictional "Wrong Way" restaurant whose logo, name, and toaster look similar to Subway's.
After a Subway marketing promotion for $5 "foot long" sandwiches, Quiznos began matching the promotion. In May 2008, Quiznos was offering Large Deli Sandwiches called "Deli Favorite Varieties" for the same price.
The Coca-Cola Company was originally the primary soft drink supplier for the franchise, up until 2006. At that time, Coca-Cola went on to sign an exclusive agreement to provide soft-drinks to the competing Subway franchise. As a result, Quiznos in turn signed an exclusive deal with PepsiCo (except in Canada and on college campuses that have exclusive deals with Coca-Cola).
In March 2009, Quiznos began offering a new product called the "Toasty Torpedo". The sandwich, on 13 inches of ciabatta bread, cost $4. A smaller, 8-inch version, the "Toasty Bullet", was introduced in July 2009 and cost $3.
On January 1, 2010, Quiznos released two new salads; the Spicy Asian Chicken and the Taco Salad.
The Seattle Times reported that the company initially ignored the plight of a Quiznos employee that took over operations of one Quiznos store after the true owner abandoned it. Months later, the store was closed.
At the end of 2008, a Denver District Court found that Quiznos wrongfully terminated the franchise agreement with a Pennsylvania franchisee, based on a faulty test that the company had used as the basis for terminating other franchise agreements. That Pennsylvania franchisee now operates American Sandwich Co., a new restaurant chain.
On November 27, 2006, Bhupinder Baber, franchise owner of two Long Beach, California Quiznos locations, committed suicide after a legal battle with the company. In his suicide note, Baber attributed mistreatment by Quiznos to driving him to suicide. A group of franchisees intended to raise money for Baber's family. These franchisees filed an injunction on December 15, 2006 in the District Court of Colorado.