European Independent Purchasing Company (EIPC) is an organisation that commands huge influence over the foodservice sector. That’s because the company sources, purchases and manages the complexities of providing the Subway franchise network with the catering equipment and other products they need to successfully run their businesses. In the UK alone the Subway estate runs to more than 2,000 restaurants — in fact, the 2,000-store milestone was reached at the beginning of 2015 when the company opened a branch in Hemel Hempstead.
EIPC is actually a non-profit making organisation owned by Subway franchisees in Europe. It was formed in 2001 by a group of enterprising franchisees that wanted to benefit from the discounts that could be achieved through buying together, similar to the model that Subway has operated in the US for many years. Since its formation, EIPC claims to have delivered more than £184m of “benefit” to Subway franchisees through volume purchasing and support services. The company, which is based in Buckinghamshire, boasts an experienced group of purchasing and supply chain professionals with huge industry experience. Head of equipment, Jo Galsworthy, and her team play a vital role in supporting Subway branches with capital expenditure of catering equipment and related servicing and maintenance. Collectively they keep an eye on ensuring franchisees have access to the best kit possible, with product development, strategic sourcing and supplier performance management all part of their remit.
The team has certainly been kept busy by Subway’s ongoing expansion. Last year in the UK and Ireland some 260 stores launched in a 12-month period; an opening rate of more than one every other day. With all its stores operated under franchise agreements, EIPC is sensitive to the fact that it needs to provide the dedicated support that each owner requires and help them meet the rigorous standards that Subway sets to ensure customers receive a consistent experience wherever they are in the world. “It is our role to execute against these rigorous standards,” states EIPC. “In doing this, we help to ensure that each and every one of the thousands of small businesses that we represent across the European franchise network receives the Subway-approved products and services that they need to run their business.”
“we help to ensure that each franchisee receives the approved products they need to run their business”