Quiznos New CEO Greg Brenneman SpeaksGreg Brenneman, CEO of Quiznos for just four months, speaks with reporter Fred Minnick of QSR Magazine. Brenneman, a Harvard Business School graduate, is best known for his turn-around efforts at Burger King as CEO and Continental Airlines as President & COO. Brenneman has a down-to-earth and approachable style of management. He says, "I answer every e-mail sent to me. I really do believe that people are people, and you need to deal with them individually." Here are a few of his answers and insights into the business issues of Quiznos.
On The Toasted Subs Franchisee Association, an independent association representing the needs of Quiznos' franchisees:
Brenneman: "If you go on the [TSFA] web site, there’s trial attorneys advertising. It’s hard for me coming into the system to say that’s an independent, objective group. It’s certainly not representative of the system. I don’t think it’s either destructive or productive. If they want that forum to talk, they can. I ignore most of that stuff and do what I think is best to drive profitability for franchise owners."
On franchisees complaining about an unfair rebate system at Quiznos:
Brenneman: "Coming from the Burger King business, it was the same thing. There’s always a vocal minority of franchise owners who hate anything you do. Some of them will say ‘We just hate the rebate system…just give it to us at price.’ And others will say ‘We understand the rebate system. We count on that for our cash flow.’ I’m going through it right now and sorting out what’s going on….One thing I am going to do is declare amnesty on all default notices, just like the Italians do about every five years on taxes."
On Quiznos growing faster than its ability to support its franchisees:
Brenneman: "We’ve actually slowed development dramatically. We’ll still develop and we’re still growing, but not nearly at the rate that we were historically. When I think about growth, I think in terms of new units, which is historically how Quiznos thought about growth, and growing our existing franchise owners—that’s more important to me than how many new units we build."
On whether his style is seeing some initial payoff with Quiznos' franchisees:
Brenneman: "I’ve already had five or six franchise owners e-mail me and say ‘Greg, we were going to sell our store, but we really like what’s going on now and we’ve pulled it off the market."