Thursday 17 August 2017

Marketing people: Sacha Clark

Marketing Director, Subway UK and Ireland

Sacha of Subway
Sacha of Subway
Independent.ie Business Desk

With more than 2,400 stores open across the UK and Ireland and over 44,670 stores in over 113 countries, Subway is the world’s largest sandwich franchised business.

Now the company is planning to expand its Irish footprint with new stores opening over the next few years, as Sacha Clark, marketing director of Subway UK and Ireland, explains to John McGee.

How big is Subway in Ireland?

The first store in the UK or Ireland was opened here in 1994 by David Morrissey. We’ve come a long way since then and we now have 171 stores in the Republic of Ireland, which are operated by 83 franchisees, and 99 in Northern Ireland.

Earlier this month, we announced plans for 51 more stores by 2020, which will create 408 new jobs.

This robust growth is in response to growing consumer demand for affordable, healthier choices for the on-the-go market.

What does your job entail?

I joined the senior team as marketing director for Subway in the UK and Ireland last summer. I was shortly followed by Peter Dowding, who is the country director responsible for overseeing the franchisee business.

We’ve been brought onboard to develop the operations and brand in the UK and Ireland and have spearheaded the activation of a global brand revitalisation, which we announced in May.

We have just launched the brand’s ambitious plans, first announced in 2014, to increase the number of locally owned and operated Subway stores in the UK and Ireland to 3,000 by 2020.

Given that the stores are owner-managed independent franchisees, what kind of marketing challenges do you face?

What I love about the Subway brand is the willingness to test and learn. Every good marketer knows the importance of constantly pushing the boundaries, and that’s exactly what excites me about this position.

We put customers at the heart of everything we do and are constantly looking for new ways to both enhance their in-store experience and grow what they love about the brand.

What are the wider marketing challenges you face?

From a marketing perspective, I am driving to create socially shareable digital content to expand our audience dialogue and we have exciting plans ahead for our loyalty scheme in the near future.

From an operational perspective, we already have drive-through locations and looking ahead, we’ll be focusing on new product development, introducing new ingredients and breakfast options.

In addition, new digital aspects will be introduced for kiosk and remote ordering and collection in store.

What are the key consumer trends in the quick-service restaurant category?

A major trend is the need to create a service that is mobile, convenient and offers healthier options on the go.

Millennials have seen the world change, but Gen Z have never known a world where they can’t get access to what they want, when they want, and exactly how they want it.

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