Russell Sergent – The History of Quiznos

The first Quiznos was opened in 1981 in Denver, Colorado by chef Jimmy Lambatos, along with his partner Todd Disner. Lambatos drew on his childhood memories of eating oven baked sandwiches while growing up in New York and the toasted submarine sandwiches that Quiznos offered became their trademark.

Russell Sergent

Russell Sergent

After two years in business, the sandwich shop offered franchise opportunities to promote their expansion and by 1987 there were 12 franchises in the country. In 1991, the chain was sold to Rick and Richard Schaden; RickSchaden became the president, and eventually the CEO after the purchase. Schaden worked to build the infrastructure of Quiznos to offer more support for the franchisees and grew to the company to 103 locations by 1995.

By 1997, Quiznos had grown to 278 locations and was the third largest submarine sandwich franchise in the world. At the peak of their success, there were over 5,000 Quiznos franchises worldwide. Between 2007-2010, over 2000 stores closed, and by early 2014 the chain filed for bankruptcy. After emerging from bankruptcy by mid-2014, the chain had restructured and put more focus on operating improvements. Today there are over 2100 Quiznos stores.

In 2000, Russell Sergent purchased a Quiznos franchise in his hometown of Rockford, IL. He had already found success as the owner of Pro_source Distributors and Pro-Source Xtreme, but when the opportunity to buy the Quiznos presented itself, he knew he was ready for a new challenge. Sergent has turned to Rockford, IL restaurant into a profitable and successful location.