Innovate or Evaporate: Scaling Secrets of Restaurant Franchises

Dive into the remarkable story of Penn Station East Coast Subs (, a sandwich empire built on grit, ingenuity, and financial acumen. This episode features Craig Dunaway, COO, who takes us on a journey starting in 1997, when the founders made a bold move to transition from Papa John’s to becoming Penn Station franchisees in 1998. Craig sheds light on the hidden engine driving their success: meticulous systems and procedures. He delves into the art of micro-managing expenses, from mastering food and labor costs to revolutionizing reporting for real-time financial insights. You’ll discover their powerful philosophy of prioritizing efficiency over greed, where every penny saved translates to exponential growth. But survival means adaptation. Learn how Penn Station weathered the COVID-19 storm by embracing operational and financial agility. We see them embracing technology trends to optimize brand efficiency, even venturing into smaller, more streamlined restaurant models to meet evolving consumer behavior.Despite the challenges, Craig paints an optimistic picture of the industry’s future, fueled by the positive changes brought on by the pandemic. This episode is a treasure trove of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses alike, offering a masterclass in building a resilient and thriving enterprise, one perfectly toasted sub at a time.

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