Quiznos University is a brick-and-mortar institution in Denver, but its learning solutions reach far beyond the facility’s doors. With a three-tiered training process, Quiznos teaches new franchise owners and store managers everything from finances to customer service. To make this process as convenient and efficient as possible, Quiznos students start their training at their own pace with QU Online.
Quiznos’ LMS, launched in January 2006, houses 44 lessons in nine different subject areas, as well as an innovative learning game called Sub Commander. Christine Fleming, Ph.D., Quiznos University chancellor, said the introduction of the LMS has streamlined the training process and helped learners prepare for the later stages of the educational process.
“Our franchise owners, our team members, everybody has to memorize these complicated recipes for three different sizes of 30 sandwiches — it’s pretty massive,” Fleming explained. “And what we found, before we launched our LMS, was that if they didn’t have a really good grasp of that information walking in the door for their in-store experience, they would basically spend a lot of time just learning that stuff and would not have enough exposure to all the other tasks.”
The training game, Sub Commander, has helped students memorize these complicated recipes. In this Navy-themed game, users move up the ranks from sub crew to sub commander as they learn how to build each size of all 30 subs.
Fleming said Sub Commander has been an effective training tool because it works more like a traditional video game than most learning games.
“People don’t sit and study before playing a video game,” she said. “So, in applying that to the idea of building sandwiches, we came up with Sub Commander. You don’t go off and learn first and then come in and take Sub Commander as a test. You learn by playing the game.”
Quiznos University’s online courses also employ a spiral learning technique that helps students retain information about all nine subject areas.
Instead of focusing on one subject at a time, the lessons spiral among topics, ensuring learners stay fresh and continue to build on each skill area. Fleming said this learning style is especially useful in the restaurant industry, where managers and owners have to be able to work on many tasks at once.
“You can’t say to a customer, ‘Excuse me, I’m working on my financial reports right now. I’ll be able to make your sandwich in 30 minutes,’” Fleming said. “You have to deal with all of these issues simultaneously.”
She also said the students using the LMS have demonstrated much higher skill levels in the later stages of training than students who participated in the university’s previous introductory program, “Training-in-a-Box.”
Regional managers report that trainees now walk in the door with a broader knowledge base, ready to develop more complicated skills. Fleming said she also sees this progress at the highest level, when students come to complete their training at Quiznos University.
“A couple of years ago, we were happy for our learners to be able to do some financial calculations,” Fleming said. “Today, we aim much higher — we try to get them to application and to analysis. So, we feel like we’re giving them a much more solid background to be successful in their stores.”
– Tegan Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org