For many, family provides a necessary reprieve from the everyday stresses of work life. But what happens when business is a family affair? At Subway® restaurants, working with family means having a community that will celebrate your successes and where trust is a given.
In August, the world’s largest restaurant chain celebrated the 54th anniversary of its founding. Throughout its history, families have been a key ingredient to Subway’s success and without the brand’s world-class employees, Franchise Owners, Business Development teams and their families, the past 54 years would not have been possible.
Subway began as a family-owned business and remains so to this day. Across the globe, Franchise Owners, Managers and Business Development Agents have created their own family-run businesses. Multiple generations of families have provided their communities with affordable, delicious, better-for-you meals. At Subway’s global convention this past July, three families gathered to discuss what inspired them to help grow Subway within their own families, each with a unique story.
The Dalton family has been with Subway for 34 years and considers the brand their second family. The father-and-son team are responsible for nearly 1,000 Subway restaurants across the Southern U.S. Since 1989, the Grewal family has built their business of more than 50 owned Subway restaurants and nearly 1,800 others in their territories across the U.S. and Canada, and they have over 30 family members working for the company at some capacity. For more than 30 years, the development of Subway restaurants in West Virginia has been led by a member of the Hammond family, with the second-generation Hammond team now taking over.
For the company’s younger generation of Business Development Agents (BDAs), there are a few whose childhoods were filled with days of watching their parents work various roles throughout the Subway system. This exposure provided insight into the ins and outs of running the business and into all that can be achieved through hard work and dedication. For some, it even provided early job inspiration.
“I had the privilege of watching my dad build something from nothing, and I experienced the fruits of his labor. I grew up with the brand and learned the business every step of the way. My parents even have a video of me saying at my Kindergarten graduation that I wanted to be a Subway manager when I grew up,” said Tara Hammond-Canfield, who became a BDA in 2018.
While many of Subway’s youngest BDAs benefitted from growing up with the brand, their parents had the opportunity to watch their children evolve as leaders. Even though Hardy Grewal has decades worth of memories with Subway, getting to witness his children grow in the business has been a highlight of his career.
“It’s an honor when a child chooses to follow in your footsteps. Watching your kids find their own niche and excel is an even greater feeling,” said Grewal. “My son Shawn has done an amazing job in the leasing space, while my son Jesse has been able to produce sales growth in his territory over the past two years.”
“My earliest memories are of being in the restaurants. It was my summer and weekend job through high school and college. I’d make sandwiches, sweep floors – starting from the ground-up, you get a great understanding of the nuts and bolts of the business. After working as a CPA for a few years after college, I got into the family business as I wanted to work for myself and for my family,” said Jesse Grewal.
Although working with family members may have its obvious challenges, the multi-generational families at Subway believe that working together has allowed them to work in an environment where loyalty and trust are prioritized. By instilling these values into every aspect of their business, the Dalton family has created an environment that celebrates everyone’s contributions and puts the business first.
“Having a shared sense of integrity makes it easy to make the right decision. We exhibit strong family ties around the office, and this has rubbed off on our staff,” shared Mark Dalton. “Our shared values have helped everyone feel a sense of ownership of the company’s mission.”
While reminiscing, there was also talk of the future.
“What’s not exciting about Subway’s future?” asked Chelsie Hammond-Kelly. “With the recent product innovation and branding, I can’t think of a time where it’s been more exciting to be a part of the Subway family.”