Subway express: CQ sanga champ rolls onto national stage
WHILE some may say there isn't much to making a sandwich, Rockhampton man Rhys Jones, would argue that statement. It is quite an art - and it is an art the Subway East St co-owner knows well.
Rhys, 27, recently took out top place in the regional Sub Jammer competition which led him to compete in the finals at the National Subway Convention at the Gold Coast last month.
The Sub Jammer competition is held across worldwide and winners from each Subway region move on to compete at Subway's annual global convention in Washington DC in August.
There are an estimated 430,000 plus Subway sandwich makers worldwide.
Rhys came fourth in the Australia-wide competition. Each sandwich artist is required to make a Subway Foot Long Ham sub with all the standard toppings. They are then judged on speed, accuracy, and overall performance.
His co-owner of the East St franchisee, Ashley Knight, said it was great to see him succeeding.
"Rhys is super neat and fast,” he said, "We're pleased to see him doing so well on the national stage.
"He's been with us for a long time and we're really proud to have him on-board as a partner in the business.”
Rhys, who has been working at Subway for 10 years this April and a co-owner for two years, said the key is about presentation.
"We can all make a quick sandwich but it turns out the quickest isn't always the best,” he said.
"You could be the fastest but there is stuff everywhere, your ham is everyone, your tomato is everywhere, it is a mess.”
Through putting a lot of focus on the presentation and hitting the formulas correctly, Rhys's sub landed in the top five.
"My sub wasn't that fast but in the end it was a bit better than others,” he said.
Practising what he preaches, Rhys implements this focus in his Rocky CBD restaurant as well.
"We are working pretty quick but at the same time we do have a really high focus on presentation and making sure every single sub is exactly the same,” he said.
"That way we have customers that come in every day, they know they are going to get the same thing every single day.
"It is a nice and consistent product.”
While Rhys only started out with Subway after he finished school as an in between job, while he was "figuring out what he wanted to do”, a decade has passed and he is a co-owner of a successful franchise.
"It never started out as I wanted to own my store but over the years I progressed through the ranks and your goals change once that opportunity arose we jumped,” he said.
"I like the flexibility, for me I like keep busy outside of work, I do a lot of sport ands training for races and triathlons, to be able to mould my roster to my lifestyle as well.”
Located near the nightclubs, it isn't your average Subway. The franchise opens late and Friday and Saturday nights to match the club crowds. It makes for a very hands on, fast-paced environment.
"It becomes mayhem here at three o'clock on a Sunday morning, it is just absolute chaos,” Rhys said.
"It is just another level you don't experience anywhere else.”
In the future, Rhys plans to keep on striving for more.
"Just putting all my time and energy into the store and making it work as best as possible,” he said.