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New owners bring more than sandwiches to the table

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 5th, 2013


General Manager Lisa Hoffman, Store Manager Kim Red Cloud, and Owners Jon and Dana Barkman stand behind the register during one of their first days as the new crew. The four of them are the key ingredients to making sure Flandreau’s Subway becomes a smash success in the near future.
Jon and Dana Barkman have owned and operated the Flandreau Subway Restaurant for just over a week now and already you can feel the energy and passion they bring right when you walk in the door.

“We want to bring vibrancy and energy as well as become a big part of the community,” Jon Barkman said as he sat in one of the booths he can now call his own.

There is plenty for the couple to be happy about, not only are they embarking on a new adventure, but also after years of traveling and being away from each other almost daily (Jon works as a software consultant and Dana is a Lawyer by trade), the two of them will finally be able to spend time together.

The husband and wife team contacted David and Shannon Kelly about six months ago inquiring about the purchase of their Flandreau store, unfortunately for the Barkmans, the Kellys were not ready to give it up.

This forced the couple to look elsewhere, and after a quick search, they found themselves in DeSmet, owning and operating the Subway and Dairy Queen. So for the last five months, they have done nothing but, among other things, open the store to 24 hours, increase efficiency and increase sales 20%.

Just recently, Jon received a phone call from the Kelly family, who had now wished to sell the store. Although they knew the store in Flandreau wasn’t doing that well when it came to sales, the Barkmans jumped on the idea of owning another store, especially after the success they have had in DeSmet.

So how will the success translate to Flandreau? Simple, they are starting over. They are hiring a completely new staff of Flandreau residents, and have created a management structure out of their four best workers from DeSmet, three of which are going to relocate to Flandreau full-time.

“We plan to double sales by the end of summer, it’s aggressive, but I don’t think it is unrealistic,” said Jon.

It is going to take more than just good employees to double sales, so they have more ideas. They are toying with the idea of making the store 24 hours, re opening the drive-thru, they have extended the hours of operation by two hours, and making sure their product is always fresh. They bake their bread twice daily; offer fresh baked cookies, as well as making sure the store passes the white glove test. The new crew will be efficient as well as extremely organized, getting the customers in-and-out, staying true to the label of “fast-food.”

If that wasn’t enough, the couple has been in contact with their landlord about the possibility of opening up a Dairy Queen Treats next door for the summer months. With their proximity to the school and aquatic center, it is surely going to be enjoyed by many, or at least that is the plan.

If you think this is a lot to handle in a short period of time, just walk in and feel the energy they bring and the passion they have for what they do.

The store is now open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the couple is eagerly awaiting your order.






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