December 18, 2015 // Franchising.com // MILFORD, OHIO - Penn Station East Coast Subs, the fast-casual restaurant known for its grilled, made-to-order sub sandwiches, hand-squeezed lemonade and fresh-cut fries, made some big changes – and reached 30 years in business – in 2015.
Penn Station helped celebrate its 30th anniversary with a brand update. The company debuted a new logo in spring 2015. Designed by Founder and CEO Jeff Osterfeld and the Powers Agency, the logo features a stacked PS. It’s more visible on the retail spaces and highway signs and goes perfectly with the new Penn Station website, which was unveiled in October. Penn Station also embraced the times in 2015 by switching from its traditional paper gift certificates to reusable gift cards.
Penn Station made some enhancements to its physical brand as well, debuting a new restaurant design late this year. The new design is lighter and more streamlined, corresponding with the new logo. As with everything Penn Station does, return on investment for franchisees was a top priority in choosing the new look, which features new wall coverings and flooring.
“We made some exciting brand updates this year that are already setting us up for a great 2016,” said President Craig Dunaway. “Reaching 30 successful years was a great accomplishment and we’ve proven that we aren’t going to coast on that success. The changes we made this year will help us to continue to grow in new and existing markets for another 30 years.”
Penn Station, which was named the No. 1 sandwich chain by the Nation’s Restaurant News Consumer Picks survey this year, saw comparative store sales increase by almost 7 percent in 2015. System-wide sales are up more than 11 percent through November compared to last year.
Penn Station signed new multi-unit agreements for Atlanta and Chicago in 2015. That sets Penn Station up for substantial growth next year. The restaurant chain expects to open 25 units and is targeting Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Richmond, Virginia for most of those units. In preparation for the anticipated growth, Penn Station recently hired an area representative to service franchisees in the expanding West Virginia and Pittsburgh markets and is in the process of hiring another representative for the Middle Tennessee area.
“We have more signed leases for restaurants set to open in 2016 than we had openings in 2015,” Dunaway said. “We should cross the 300 restaurant mark in January and expect that growth to continue throughout the year.”
Penn Station will also reintroduce some popular limited time offers from 2015, including the BLT and Founder’s Special. In addition, Penn Station is planning at least one new LTO for 2016.
“Our BLT and Founder’s special LTOs were so popular in 2015 that we will bring them back again next year,” Dunaway said. “We’re also currently testing additional LTO options, and customers are loving them in the test phase. We expect to add at least one, possibly two, to the schedule next year.”
Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1985, Penn Station serves a variety of grilled and cold deli sandwiches made to order with high-quality ingredients on freshly baked bread. The menu also includes hand-cut fries, hand-squeezed lemonade made throughout the day and chocolate chunk cookies baked in the restaurant. Penn Station was named the best sandwich chain in the Nation’s Restaurant News 2015 Consumer Picks survey.
Penn Station has almost 300 locations in 15 states including Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. All but one location is franchised, and Penn Station has a better-than 99.9 percent success rate with only two store closings over the last 30 years. As a franchisor, Penn Station is known for its outstanding profitability and return on investment.
Projections call for the opening of 25 restaurants nationwide in 2016. Penn Station is targeting Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Virginia and Dallas for franchise expansion. For more information, visit www.penn-station.com.
SOURCE Penn Station East Coast Subs