Cousins Subs is completely changing its look

Posted at 12:29 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 14:52:02-04

A Wisconsin-based sub shop is hoping renovations and re-branding at its various locations will help it grow and expand in the future.

Christine Specht, President and CEO of Cousins Subs, said the sandwich chain wants to provide customers with a consistent look at its 104 stores.

The company was founded in 44 years ago.

“Assets get tired out, you have to refresh yourself,” Specht said.

So far, 21 Cousins Subs locations have been re-branded. Specht said the goal is to have all stores done by 2026. She said the timeline was based on renewal agreements with the 81 stores owned by franchisees.

“It is a requirement for renewals that we expect a remodel,” Specht said.

Those renovations will cost $90,000 to $350,000 per store.

“There’s a lot of factors that go into the cost of the remodel, like square footage, if it’s a freestanding restaurant, and if there’s a drive thru,” Specht said.

Justin McCoy, the company’s vice president of marketing, said he hopes the bulk of franchise stores will go forward with the remodeling. Roughly 14 have done so already.

“Whenever you talk about reinvestment, there’s going to be some push back from certain operators,” he said. “We’ve had situations where a franchisee might be hesitant to reinvest. In those cases, we work with them to transition either the sale of the restaurant or the closure of the restaurant. But in order to succeed with the level of competition coming in, we have to have a consistent look, to invest in our infrastructure and to invest in our restaurants."

There are currently 101 Cousins Subs stores in Wisconsin and three in Arizona. The company hopes to expand into the Chicago area over the next 12 months.