Riding on success
> Datuk Vincent Choo and Datin Cynthia Cheong share the plans they have for the Subway brand in Malaysia
WITH today’s fast-paced and hectic life, waiting for 20 or 30 minutes for our meals to be prepared and served seems such a luxury, especially if we have to rush off to our next appointment.
This makes fast food an attractive alternative, and it has become for many a staple in their daily, weekly and even monthly diets.
While stacked burgers and deep-fried chicken are tempting and convenient meal options, they aren’t exactly the healthiest choices.
That is why Subway’s freshly-prepared submarine sandwiches are so popular, as they are packed with fresh vegetables and meats, and can also be ‘customised’ to individual preferences.
Development agents (the equivalent of a master franchiser) of Subway Malaysia Datuk Vincent Choo and Datin Cynthia Cheong ( top) recently sat down for a chat with theSun about the past, present and future of this fast-food chain.
Choo recalled when they first took over ownership of the franchise in 2004, it was an uphill struggle as the previous franchise owners had not run the brand well. But despite the huddles, both Choo and Cheong were adamant on making Subway a success.
With sheer determination and experience accrued from past jobs and business ventures, the pair eventually got the brand to where it is today.
Currently, the franchise has over 209 outlets natiowide, with 70% (147) of them located in the Klang Valley.
Subway restaurants can now be found in most major malls and also places like hospitals, colleges, theme parks, fitness centres, cinemas and even petrol stations.
This is due to the fact that Subway restaurants don’t require a large kitchen, unlike other fast-food brands, as most of the food is prepared on site.
Cheong assures customers that the meat and vegetables used in every outlet goes through a very stringent inspection process, as the brand follows the standard operating procedures set by Subway HQ.
And while a lot of the meats used in their subs are considered processed or preserved meats, such as the pepperoni, salami and sliced turkey, Cheong emphasised that these items are made according to a very specific Subway formulation.
“The main difference is that we use quality ingredients and are guided under the Clean Label Meat category,” she explained. “What this means is that we don’t use colouring to enhance the look of the meat and we even remove additives or preservatives and use ingredients that keep things as natural as possible.” On Subway’s returning Sub of the Day promotion, which offers a special price deal starting from RM8.50 on a selected sub each day of the week, both Choo and Cheong stated that it was due to customers’ request.
“Not only does it offer customers great value, it also gives them a chance to try the other items we have on the menu,” said Choo.
“We actually realised that most customers tend to order their favourites and thus not try other items, so this would definitely be a way for them to do so.”
As for their future plans for this brand, Cheong said: “We’re looking at opening more locations and by 2018, we hope to have 250 restaurants.
“We want to set foot in areas that we aren’t in yet and provide even more customers with busy lifestyles a healthier fast-food alternative that is packed with flavour.”