As a native New Yorker I spent a fair amount of time at Windows on the World, the restaurant that sat at the top of one of the World Trade Center towers. And it still saddens me to look at the incomplete New York skyline. So I was quite excited to learn last week that eight long years after the towers fell, a restaurant will soon open in Freedom Tower, the still under construction skyscraper being built ar Ground Zero, in the WTC’s footprint. And it’s not just any restaurant — it’s a Subway franchise.
At the moment, the franchise’s target market is the workers who are hard at work at the construction site; the idea being that having a restaurant on site will enable them to have time for lunch during their short 30-minute break.
Currently, according to the Associated Press, the three-story franchise sits atop the fifth floor of Freedom Tower. As the skyscraper is erected, the restaurant will be pulled up by construction cranes, about a story every week or two, until the tower reaches its planned for 105-floor height in sometime in 2013.
The restaurant is not a company-operated unit, but owned by a franchisee, who told AP he plans, in addition to offering the standard Subway menu (and baking fresh bread while suspended in the air), to serve hot dogs, burgers and NY pretzels.
According to the AP, Subway (the #1 franchise in the 2010 AllBusiness AllStar Franchise rankings) was the only one of nine bidders for the fast-food contract that didn’t “demand a guarantee of profit.” A Subway field manager admitted to the AP that this is great exposure opportunity for the franchise, but added, “it’s also a great opportunity to be a part of history.”
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva on Twitter @Rieva. Visit SmallBizDaily.com to read more of Rieva’s insights on small business and to buy her newest book, Marketing 101: Quick Tips for Marketing Your Business.