Lenny's News and Interviews
Sub shop owner sees power of personalityMarch 22, 2013
Name: Anand Patel
Title: Franchisee of three Lenny’s Sub Shops
Anand Patel, who grew up in Pulaski, Tenn., earned his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management with an emphasis in restaurants from California Polytechnic State University. Patel, 31, is married with two daughters, ages 2 and 1. He is a member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the Tennessee Business Association, which is dedicated to educating and assisting Asian owners.
Patel is the owner-operator and franchisee of three Lenny’s Sub Shops in the Nashville area and has partners in all three locations. He purchased his first one in Cool Springs in March of last year and began operating his second location that June in downtown Franklin and his third in Green Hills in January.
The first Lenny’s Sub Shop opened in 1998 in a suburb of Memphis.
Patel initially noticed Lenny’s while managing the operations of a hotel in Memphis. He was attracted to the business by what he identified as a significant growth opportunity.
“One of the reasons I chose this brand is because it wasn’t watered down. (There’s) not that many Lenny’s in the area, so I could grow with the brand. This was a way for me to get into a business where I controlled my destiny,” he said. “I would love to develop the rest of the … area. As of right now, I have a playing field of a 30-mile radius of Nashville.”
Patel, who still has his hands in hotel operations, said that among the key differentiators when comparing his Lenny’s shops with other sandwich shops he previously worked in are the product and how the stores are managed.
“(Lenny’s) motto speaks for itself: More food, more taste, more personality. That’s what brought me into this sub shop. That’s how I’ve been brought up in the hospitality management field. Personality goes a long way in any business you do,” he said.
Patel described his management style as hands-on, and he credits his father — who has opened and managed multiple limited service hotels since 1978 — as the person who taught him the most about business.
“One of the things that my dad has always told me, ‘There’s time to play later. Work now,’ ” he said. “I (set) a goal for myself. … I’d rather do twice as much work today and then, 20 years from now, sit back.”
Patel said the fruits of his labor have paid off, as his Cool Springs store reported 30 percent year-over-year growth.
“That made me realize even more that the amount of stuff that I go through is nothing compared to something like that,” Patel said.
What do you do day-to-day?
“My daily world is a little bit of everything from acquiring new sub shops … to sweeping and mopping the floors. I take a hands-on approach to all my sub shops. I may be the owner of a sub shop, but on the majority of my days, I am baking the bread in the morning and then that same night, I’m closing (the shops) down for the next day.”
Describe your leadership philosophy.
“Lead by doing. I don’t expect anybody to do anything that I wouldn’t do. I’m willing to do anything that needs to be done.”
Name a person you most admire.
“Work. I get pretty bored.”
What is your favorite part of the job?
“The challenge. Every day is something different.”
What are your hobbies?
“I love sports,” said the Tennessee Titans season ticket holder.
Contact Lenny's Public Relations:Jenna Duett
Marketing and PR Manager