Rid­ing on suc­cess

> Datuk Vin­cent Choo and Datin Cyn­thia Cheong share the plans they have for the Sub­way brand in Malaysia

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE - JEREMY CHEONG

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.”

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