Dayton-based sub chain poised to expand

The Dayton-based Submarine House, a 40-year-old chain that operates seven restaurants in the Dayton area, will open its first location in the Columbus-area market in February, and is making plans to expand to the Cincinnati area, according to Brody Danner, franchise owner and spokesman for the chain.

Submarine House intends to expand its presence in its home market as well: Danner said the chain has set a “franchise goal” that would more than double the number of Dayton-area restaurants to 15 by the end of 2017.

The newest Submarine House is scheduled to open in mid-to-late February in Hilliard, just west of Columbus. “It will be our largest store to date,” Danner said, at about 3,500 square feet and seating for 166. The franchise restaurant will employ 40 to 45 people, he said.

Plans call for additional stores in the Columbus area, Danner said. “And we will start marketing franchise opportunities in the Cincinnati area later this year,” he said. Hamilton and Middletown are “definitely” potential expansion targets, and Springfield is a possibility, Danner said.

“We believe in our product, and we’ve been fortunate enough to experience strong growth in the Dayton market. We feel we can carry over that success to the Columbus and Cincinnati markets,” Danner said.

The chain’s goal is to transform its smaller Dayton-area Submarine House locations into bar-and-grill operations similar to its newer restaurants in Beavercreek and Troy, and to open seven or eight new restaurants in the Dayton area in the next four years, Danner said.

The market is already intensely competitive. Within the past two years, regional chains such as Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike’s Subs and DiBella’s Old Fashioned Submarines have entered the Dayton-area market that is already served by local chains such as Super Subby’s, Milano’s and the Submarine House. And national segment leader Subway also has opened several new locations in the region over the same period.