Shopping Centers Today International

DEC 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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The original menu featured only four sandwiches, with the grilled cheese- steak in the starring role, plus fresh-cut french fries and hand-squeezed lem- onade. Now there are 13 sandwich options — and these include the club, the Reuben and the create-your-own Dagwood — plus a variety of meats, cheeses, toppings and condiments. "Customers are drawn to the grilled subs prepared with quality meats in comfort-food varieties like chicken Parmesan and Philadelphia cheese- steak," said Lauren Hallow, an analyst eNN STaTioN eaST CoaST SubS could well be one of the most successful brands the world has never heard of. but if this is so, that relative obscurity is unlikely to continue. in 1985, when founder and Ceo Jeff osterfeld opened the very first Penn Station restaurant, in Cincinnati, he was out to serve up a quick cheesesteak sandwich in a display-kitchen environment. Three years later he turned the concept into a franchise model, and today there are nearly 300 units across 15 states, plus one corporate-owned training restaurant, in Cincinnati. at Technomic, a Chicago-based food industry research firm. "Those look- ing for a lighter meal appreciate the chain's lighter-option selection of grilled artichoke, grilled vegetarian and chicken- and tuna-salad subs." Management is quick to say what sets the chain apart from competitors. "our primary point of differentiation is that we grill, we fry and we bake, mak- ing Penn Station a grill-to-order sand- wich restaurant," said Greg Goddard, director of development. "When our customer places an order, we grill meats and fresh vegetables, placing [the ingre- dients] on hearth-baked bread, topping it with cheese and then finishing it off in the oven to finalize the cooking pro- cess and allow consistency, with … the sandwich being served hot and fresh." The company has spent the past P Fast track Penn station subs Plans to oPen 30 units next year and 40 in 2017 By Misty Milioto r e t a i l i n g t o d a y 56 S C t / d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5

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