The journey from Researching Franchisors to Signing an Agreement to Now Open is an exciting, and sometimes challenging one. Selecting a franchise can take several months and once the decision is made…the real work starts! Real estate, construction, marketing, financing and training all culminate in a whirlwind toward the Grand Opening! We ask three of our newest franchisees to share their thoughts and experiences on the process and why they decided to franchise with Erbert & Gerbert's Sandwich Shop.
The first of our Sandwich Shops to open this season was in Iowa City, IA, with franchisees Lloyd and Jan Bier. We reached out to the Bier's to pitch them the idea of opening an E&G about a year and a half ago. They successfully own and operate with a non-competitive pizza franchise in a target area for us, so it seemed like a natural fit.
After the pitch, Lloyd began doing his homework. He asked his son, who had college friends from the Twin Cites area of Minnesota, if he had ever heard of the brand. “They said it was great!” With that, the Bier's headed up to Eau Claire, WI to engage in a Discovery Day at the corporate office. “I think the one thing that finally convinced us was when myself and Jan went to Eau Claire. Everyone was so nice and we liked how the atmosphere felt. We got the feeling of them really caring for their franchisees.”
Inversely, Colin Zeman (Missoula, MT), already had experience with the brand from a consumer perspective, having been a customer of the Duluth area shops. Colin saw the potential in introducing E&G to a new market and capitalized on that. “I very much hope that Montana will love a quirky sandwich shop and an eclectic variety of options.” But the menu wasn't the only thing he considered. Getting a great site was vital. “Our location will need to be very convenient for high school students, college students, and busy professionals…the catering and delivery is just what the community needs.”
Once an E&G is open, the next step is getting customers in the door. Bill and Kathi Sergenian, franchisees of Sun Prairie, WI, worked with E&G Corporate to launch a massive grass-roots campaign, including social media initiatives and food give-a-ways. With grand opening sales approaching the same as shops that have been open for years, we would say the Sergenians are off to a fantastic start!
With serveral recently signed franchisees and new sites under development, Erbert & Gerbert's continues its expansion plans and is actively recruiting owners and operators in key U.S. markets.