Subway Returns to Croatia

Total Croatia News

The first of 20 planned outlets has been opened.

One of the largest chains of fast-food restaurants in the world has returned to Croatia. The first Subway outlet has been opened at the Arena Centre in Zagreb, which officially marked the start of the chain’s operations in Croatia, reports on May 3, 2017.

In recent months, Subway has worked on the preparation of the project and selected a team to run and continue to oversee the chain’s development in Croatia. After an internal process, which involved several Subway teams from Europe, the mission was assigned to a team from Slovakia. The experience and results of Subway in Slovakia were crucial, but also the similarity of the two countries, their markets and their languages.

Vladimir Hanula, who is also the first recipient of the Subway franchise in Croatia, was selected as the Subway development agent for Croatia. In addition to running his own outlet at the Arena Centre, Hanula will be in charge of the development of the entire Subway chain in the Croatian market.

“I know how Subway processes work and I know that Subway has good results wherever it opens its doors. Great business results in neighbouring countries are a great encouragement and a sign that it is time for Subway to open the doors in Croatia as well. This is also the main reason why I have decided to move to a new country and learn a new language,” said Hanula. “I believe my experience and willingness to personally start a restaurant in the new market are a good recommendation to future owners of the Subway franchise.”

Hanula has been living and working in Zagreb for eight months now. Until August last year, he lived in Bratislava, where he worked in the Subway development team for the Slovakian market. “I have noticed a certain level of disbelief in Zagreb – I believe this is partly due to the previous history of this American brand in Croatia. Subway first appeared in this market in 2006, and six restaurants were opened. Since Croatia was not in the European Union at the time, the purchase price of foodstuffs, which must be purchased from certified producers, drastically complicated the logistics and raised the price of the final product. That is why all restaurants were closed in 2009,” explained Hanula. “Croatia’s entry into the EU has paved the way for Subway. We started working on the return two years ago – we made detailed analyzes, prepared the projects, selected the team and asked for approvals from the company’s headquarters. However, we did not want to open the restaurant at any location, but we insisted on the top location, which we have now finally found. In the future, the process will be much faster and more efficient.”

The Subway restaurant in Zagreb is just the beginning of the company’s development in Croatia, and the plan is to open 20 Subway restaurants in the country. As the development agent, Hanula has already organized several information seminars which could be attended by those interested in running a Subway outlet.

Ideal candidates for a Subway franchise in Croatia are both businesses and individuals. “A corporate franchisee is, say, a chain of petrol pumps or supermarkets. These are companies that have more than one store, station, or supermarket, with the turnover of over 10 million euros and which want to open several restaurants. As for individual franchisees, the best ones are those who intend to live from Subway. They do not enter into this project just as investors, but they also work in the restaurant, maybe together with their family members, and the restaurant will be their main source of income.” said Hanula.

The expected investment for a Subway restaurant is between 100,000 to 120,000 euros, which largely depends on the size of the premises. “The break-even point, when current revenues are higher than current expenditures, is expected almost immediately, in the first months of operations. The period for the return of investment depends on several parameters,” said Hanula.


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