Lenny's News and Interviews

Lenny’s Sub Shop offers fresh food, clean environment

January 08, 2011

Lenny’s Sub Shop

Owner's Name: Bo Hill

Phone Number: (501) 368-8045

E-mail: bhill.lennys@gmail.com

Address: 2412 E. Race Ave. B, Searcy, AR 72143

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Startup date: June, 4, 2002

Q: Talk a little about your background. Where did you grow up, how you ended up in Searcy, if/where you went to school, etc.

A: I grew up in Tupelo, Miss. Graduated from Harding University in 1987. I have two daughters. I lived in Nashville and Memphis after college before moving back to Searcy in February of 2002. Before I opened Lenny’s I was responsible for the sales and marketing for a construction company in Memphis.

Q: Is this your first business? If not, tell us about your previous experiences.

A: Yes, this is my first business.

Q: Tell us a little about what your business does and what makes it special.

A: I think part of the Lenny’s allure is our commitment to our customers. They’ve told us time and time again how much they appreciate that their favorite items haven't changed since the beginning. Our Authentic Philly Cheesesteak is still the most popular item, and our guests can still have the customized experience and delicious food that they love, every time they come into the shop. Our large subs have always had a whole pound of freshly sliced meats, and we offer dining services that other quick-casual restaurants don't. When you place your order at the Lenny's counter, you can watch while the Lenny's crew member slices your deli meat fresh to order, and our authentic Philly Cheesesteaks are always cooked fresh and served hot off the grill. I’ve always strived to make our sub shop the cleanest and friendliest place to eat in Searcy.

Q: What was your inspiration to start this business?

A: I had been a customer of Lenny’s in Memphis for several years before moving to Searcy. I loved the food and the concept and believed I could make the best sub in town. So far so good! We have won Best of the Best subs for the last several years.

Q: Who are your main competitors?

A: Anyone who sells food. There’s a lot of competition out there, especially from much larger chains, but I think our product is truly the best around and our dedication to top-notch customer service makes us stand out from the crowd.

Q: Why did you pick Searcy?

A: I attended Harding University as a college student, and I love the area. I wanted to provide the students at Harding with a delicious but quick and casual restaurant option, a place where they can hang out and eat great.

Q: Talk about the physical structure of the business. How many square feet? How was the interior design chosen? Do you incorporate parking? etc.

A: We have 2000 sq ft. Our floor plan and furniture are designed by our corporate office.

Q: Was it a big investment for you?

A: Yes, it took seven years to pay for it.

Q: Who is your target demographic?

A: Well, our portions are large and we want to attract those who want the best sub they can find. We’re especially popular with college students and families with young children.

Q: How are you reaching them (I.E. advertising)?

A: Mostly direct mail and delivering coupons door to door. At times we do radio and newspaper insert. We also do College Night every Monday, where all students can take advantage of our “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” deal. Also, Wednesday nights attract lots of families because kids eat free every Wednesday night!

Q: How has business been so far?

A: Good. I still enjoy every day.

Q: What has surprised you most about the process?

A: How caring our customers have been. Many have become really good friends.

Q: Talk about your biggest challenge or hardship so far.

A: Like most small business owners, times are tough during a recession, but our loyal customers have stuck by us and, as I’ve said, our dedication to quality in both what we serve and how we serve it have kept business going strong.

Q: Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?

A: Yes, get all the advice you can, get all the council you can from people with experience in and out of the field you are interested in. Be sure you are financially stable from the get-go, because while most good businesses will be profitable in the long run, it can often take awhile to get things off the ground and pay off your initial investments.

Luke Jones/ljones@thedailycitizen.com

Contact Lenny's Public Relations:

Jenna Duett
Marketing and PR Manager
(901) 753-4002