Brendan and Sarah Irwin own three Subway franchises in Gladstone, at Clinton, the Valley and the Nightowl centre.
Brendan and Sarah Irwin own three Subway franchises in Gladstone, at Clinton, the Valley and the Nightowl centre. Chris Chan

Subway owners taste success as workers consider health

FOR many people starting a small business, it looks like a dream job, but that is rarely the case.

But as some people in Gladstone are realising, the smartest way to become your own boss is often by buying a franchise.

Brendan and Sarah Irwin purchased the Subway franchise at the Nightowl on October 10.

The move added to their Subway franchises at Clinton and the Valley Shopping Centre, and means they own all three Subways in Gladstone.

For Mr Irwin, becoming a franchisee four years ago proved a masterstroke.

When looking for the best franchise available, he believes he made the right choice in Subway.

"It's a high-quality brand and it's a really great system to be part of," he said.

"Our customers are fairly loyal too. A lot of them come in three to four times a week."

Mr Irwin was working in finance before the couple took the plunge in 2008 and bought Subway at the Valley.

He said early on they were partly motivated by a desire to work for themselves, but as time passed they became more confident about branching into their second and third franchises.

Subway has become a perfect franchise for the time and place.

Mr Irwin said Gladstone was full of workers who were time-poor but didn't want junk food for lunch.

Their customer base is too broad to identify, but data shows men aged 18-35 are the main group.

Mr Irwin said providing a fresh lunch option had set the franchises up for a solid future while traditional fast-food outlets were being forced to adjust to an era of health awareness.

"Our competitors have done fresh and healthy options (in recent years)," he said.

"It's admirable to do it from a public health point of view.

"But we will be around for a long, long time, whereas our competitors will have to adjust."



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