Jake Lackey and Andy Sain have been friends since their middle school days in Lincoln County.
Since graduating from West Lincoln High School in 1996, they maintained their friendship but took separate paths through life: Lackey became a nursery production manager, while Sain became an Internet marketer and owner of his own storage company.
A mutual friend was the inspiration for them to become business partners.
â€œShe said that she liked Quiznos and said there should be a Quiznos in Lincolnton,â€ said Lackey.
Last Friday, Lincolntonâ€™s first Quiznos restaurant opened under the ownership of Lackey and Sain. The Lincolnton/Lincoln County Chamberâ€™s grand opening celebration was held on Tuesday.
The whole venture started with a phone call between friends, after Sain did some research into the company and went to a franchise seminar in Charlotte.
â€œHe usually doesnâ€™t get excited about things but he got excited about this opportunity,â€ said Lackey. â€œI was a little skeptical at first, but then I saw Andyâ€™s excitement about the idea and I was convinced.â€
With the help of officials from Quiznos corporate office in Denver, Colo., Sain and Lackey picked their new location last February.
The restaurant sits on part of the old Cronland Hardware property.
â€œWe saw this location and thought it was perfect because of the traffic,” said Sain.
There are three Subway restaurants in Lincolnton alone, and Sain said that he doesnâ€™t view them as competition.
â€œThe competition is more across the street from us,â€ he said. â€œOur competition includes McDonalds, Wendys and China One.â€
According to Carlos Del Pozo, new store developer for Quiznos, Sain and Lackey arenâ€™t typical franchisees.
â€œThey have business experience but no restaurant experience until now,â€ he said.
Del Pozo added that the pairâ€™s desire for success more than makes up for their lack of experience in the restaurant business.
â€œThese guys have a high level of initiative,â€ said Del Pozo. â€œI think theyâ€™re going to be very successful. They have the energy and potential franchisees need for that success.â€
Also having a product that sells itself is helpful as well.
â€œThe product sells itself because people can actually toast their subs to their individual tastes,â€ said Lackey. â€œWe can adjust the toaster.â€
Want to go?
Quiznos is located in the Alltel building next to Fatz CafÐ¹ on N.C. 27. Hours are 11a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Catering is available and call-in orders are welcome. To call-in an order or for more information on catering, call (704) 732-1733.
by Jon Mayhew