The year was 1965, and it was the summer. Fred De Luca was concerned about his future during this year. After graduating from high school, the young man considered furthering his education. He thought education was the key to success, but fate had other plans for him on a scale that Fred would never have dared to imagine. But, at the time, higher education seemed as far away and unattainable as the prospect of landing a man on the moon.
The phone rang at the De Luca family’s home on a typical hot and humid summer day in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA. A family friend, Dr. Peter Buck, said he had changed jobs and planned to relocate his family to Armonk, New York, which is only 65 miles away. Buck was relieved that the arcs of the family would be closed after almost a year of Buck and De Luca’s breakup.
During a barbecue at Buck’s new home on a Sunday afternoon in July 1965, he and De Luc struck up a business relationship that would change the fast-food industry forever. Today, opening a fast-food restaurant can be a lucrative business; the key is to establish a presence in the market.
In the summer of 1965, the family had little hope that the eldest child would be able to afford a college education. He was a hardworking, intelligent, and dependable young man, but a $1.25-an-hour minimum wage at a local hardware store wouldn’t cover his education costs.
When they took the guy to Baku, it occurred to them that he might be able to provide him some guidance. Fred had expected Dr. Buck to offer him a loan. After all, they’d known each other for years, and Pete might have been eager to lend a hand if he’d understood how much Fred wanted to go to college and become a doctor.
Fred should open a diner, Pete offered. This proposal took the guy by surprise at first. But then he asked me to elaborate on the concept. Pete went over the major stumbling blocks in this industry.
To help pay for his schooling, he first offered to rent a tiny kiosk, buy some food, and start a company. Pete, on the other hand, was getting ready to join him as a partner. Dr. Buck took out his checkbook and made a $1,000 cheque as the De Luca family prepared to depart. It was his commitment to their shared goal.
Fred considered it on the way home and decided that if he could build a cafe, he could earn a lot more than just enough money to pay for his college. If he succeeds, he will be financially self-sufficient. This will mean endless new adventures and experiences, a business that will eventually be known as SUBWAY Restaurants, and Fred will become a successful entrepreneur.
Over the years, the partnership has put in a lot of effort. In fact, one of the key objectives was to create 32 sandwich shops in ten years. By 1974, they already owned and operated 16 outlets throughout the state of Connecticut. Although it seemed unlikely that they could double that number within two years, they focused on their goal.
Buck and De Luc met with their lawyer late one Monday night in 1974. They talked to him about the future of their company. They started talking about franchising when they were discussing assessing their skills. Franchising was initially regarded to be an issue reserved for major corporations, and this concept was dismissed.
They were ready to consider him now that they were behind schedule. They considered all that could be done to achieve their goal. They started looking for people who would invest money and use Pete and Fred’s management technique, as well as their trademark, to open and run a restaurant in their hometown.
He even told his friend Brian Dixon about it. I informed him of my franchising aspirations and offered to assist him in purchasing a restaurant in Wallingford, Connecticut. Fred went so far as to say that if he didn’t like the business, they would refund his money and he would owe him nothing.
Dixon flatly declined. He was used to living on his weekly salary and did not want to take any chances. Then Fred decided to focus all of his efforts on managing existing locations and put franchising on hold for the time being. Brian Dixon later changed his mind. When I arrived at work in the morning, I noticed a lock on my boss’s office door and a note stating that the company was closed. Dixon’s life changed radically after that day.
SUBWAY has been in operation for 48 years. It is the world’s largest fast-food business, with over 21,000 locations in 75 countries. SUBWAY has more locations in the United States and Canada than even McDonald’s. SUBWAY and its goods have even been featured in a number of films. Isn’t this a good project for a 17-year-old?