Subway’s Great Idea

Stuart Frankel is a Subway restaurant franchisee in Miami, Florida. After noticing sagging sales on the weekends, Frankel came up with an idea–he would sell footlong subs for $5.00 on Saturdays and Sundays. His sales immediately soared by double digits and to Frankel’s surprise, his profit margins didn’t decline. Other stores tried the idea and also experienced great success. At first skeptical, Subway’s headquarters eventually adopted the idea and launched a nationwide campaign on March 23, 2008. The results were astounding with sales of $3.8 billion by the the $5 footlong alone. That catapulted Subway into the top 10 fast-food brands in the U.S. In fact, in the last five years, Subway has opened more than 9,500 stores–an average of more than 5 stores every day. It currently has over 32,000 outlets and early next year is expected to surpass McDonalds in it’s number of locations worldwide. You can read the full BusinessWeek article right here.


Subway’s $5.00 menu option created quite a flurry of activity. Food supplies had to be increased by 50%, bread shortages became an issue as the footlong became the leader ahead of the 6-inch sandwich (2 to 1), and additional plastic bags had to be secured. And think about it–this incredible boom in sales occurred because of one very simple, but very great IDEA.

Mark Batterson, pastor of the multi-site National Community Church in Washington D.C. has often said that one God idea is worth more than a thousand good ideas. Have you ever stopped to consider that the next breakthrough in your church or organization may be just one idea away. And sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ideas. And many times those ideas come from outside of yourself. As leaders, our job is not to come up with the great idea. Our job is to see it and seize it.