• Jason Revere

Lessons Learned From Losing Prospective Franchisee to Subway

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Subway is one of the largest franchise systems in the world (45,000 locations), so it's no surprise that people that are interested in our franchise would also consider opening a Subway. But, since Subway is widely considered one of the worst franchises to open, the prospect of actually losing a potential franchisee to them had never truly been considered. That was until we got the news that someone (Daniel - North Carolina) that had gotten fairly far into the process of becoming an Honest Abe Roofing franchisee had decided to go with Subway instead.

We were shocked! Subway, really? Talk about a punch to the gut! That "wake up call" got us thinking - if this could happen once, it could happen again. We took it personally (as you should all do when you lose a prospect). We failed to show Daniel the value in our system. That is why we are writing this article. This should shed some light on the differences between our two franchises.

The Numbers

Startup costs for both Honest Abe Roofing and Subway are relatively low. You will be investing around $150,000 to open your Subway and $98,000 to open your Honest Abe Roofing. Again, both numbers are low when compared to the $2.2 million it will cost to open a McDonald's franchise. Royalty fees are similar with both companies - 7% for HAR and 8% for Subway. Potential annual revenues are where the major differences are.

Since there is no Item 19 financial performance representation on the Subway F.D.D. we had to do some digging. According to Business Insider (https://www.businessinsider.com/what-it-costs-to-open-a-subway-2015-3 ), the average Subway franchise does $422,000 in gross sales annually. Compare that to the $8.1 million that Honest Abe Roofing reports in Item 19 of their F.D.D. and you have a clear winner!

Lifestyle Differences

- Subway - You will be working 7 days a week, making sandwiches, sweeping floors, ordering inventory, managing employees, etc. If that's your idea of success, then by all means, contact Subway and get the process started. Or, better yet, you can stop by your local Subway and apply to be a "sandwich artist".

See quote below from real Subway franchisee taken from http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/subway-franchise-complaints/

"...owners work 7 days a week, are exhausted and are constantly harassed by Subway, they are punished to the point where we either die of subwayitis or they take everything we worked for away."

- Honest Abe Roofing - You will be overseeing the business, finding and retaining subcontractors to do the physical labor, working with your Honest Abe Roofing Marketing Team to make sure the leads are coming in, assembling a winning sales team, building wealth.

As you can see, Justin (Franchisee - Fishers, IN.) is pumped about that!


Subway - Subway obviously has a very robust marketing plan. They run national and regional campaigns on TV, radio, billboard, etc. The franchisees are paying the bills of course, but the resources are still out there to drive business.

Honest Abe Roofing - We also have a very robust marketing plan. We run regional campaigns on social media and work with you to plan your local marketing. Depending on the market you are in we will utilize TV, radio, digital advertising, and anything else that we believe will help bring you leads. We have hundreds of commercials to choose from. Our advertising has won regional awards. See below for a compilation of a few examples from the last decade.


We understand that Subway is a HUGE global brand! There is a sense of comfort associated with investing in something predictable and "safe". While we may be the "new kid on the block", we believe that the information detailed above will show that our system really is the "safe" investment.

If you're ready to make the "safe" investment by becoming an Honest Abe Roofing franchisee, then call 866-587-5171 or fill out a form here.

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