Subway closures: Yass restaurant keeps doors open

Subway Yass is bucking the trend and keeping its doors open for the foreseeable future despite a widespread closure of the fast food chain's restaurants in Australia.

Open for business: Subway Yass employee Jaiden Burgess, manager Patel Maulik and employee Jane Ross-Wilson. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Open for business: Subway Yass employee Jaiden Burgess, manager Patel Maulik and employee Jane Ross-Wilson. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Franchisee Harsh Patel said he recently renewed Subway Yass' lease for five years and did the same for his other Subway Restaurant in Smithfield, Sydney.

He said Subway still offered value for money compared to the regional town's fast food alternatives.

Subway Yass customers can get two foot-long sandwiches for $18 under the restaurant's dinner deal, Mr Patel said.

The other fast food options in Yass include Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Domino's Pizza and fish and chips.

"We can't name our product as a healthier option but we are usually cheaper," Mr Patel said.

Subway Yass hires several locals, including young people, and would have an impact on the town's economy if it closed.

"We tend to ask staff members if they want their friends or family members working here. We don't mind. We've got a brother and sister and two brothers working for us," Mr Patel said.

"Even the previous owner's wife is one of the employees. After the transfer, she was more than happy to be a part of the team."

Subway Yass also sponsors local events such as Classic Yass.

"We try to be as supportive of the community as possible," Mr Patel said.

"And the community has been very supportive of us."

Mr Patel bought Subway Yass in August 2016 and said sales have been consistent.

"We were down in Sydney for a couple of years but now it's starting to get better," he said.

Mr Patel said the Sydney restaurant benefited from tradespeople who worked in the surrounding industrial area.

Mr Patel said he felt positive about the future; "no doubt about it".

Subway is down to 1311 stores this year from 1444 in 2015, according to research by Technomic.

Subway has been working to change its offering, acknowledging changing consumer tastes with people moving away from carbohydrate-heavy options and processed sandwich fillings.

However, a Subway spokesperson said it had 1353 restaurants in Australia and "has no intention to reduce its restaurant footprint."

The spokesperson said restaurants were experiencing sales growth and increased franchise owner profits after Subway launched online ordering and third-party delivery.

They said restaurant changes occurred under reasons including rental increases, site suitability and convenience or lease completion.

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