Man talking(l+r), Subway storefront(c)

Ian Dewar Photography/Shutterstock @ceo.twright/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Subway corporate is the only winner here’: Man shares the reality of owning a Subway

'Finally someone showing the real side of entrepreneurship.'


Vladimir Supica


Posted on Apr 9, 2024   Updated on Apr 9, 2024, 11:01 am CDT

Social media is often filled with flashy entrepreneurship stories and glamorous success tales, but one Subway franchise owner decided to pull back the curtain on what it’s really like to become a business owner.

In a video posted on April 6, TikTok user Tommy Wright (@ceo.twright) filmed himself breaking down the finances of his first week as a Subway owner.

“My first week in total revenue was $5,666.88,” Wright shares in the video. “That is how much money I collected in sales. And that was under my $7,000 goal by $1,300 and some change.”

While Wright’s first-week revenue amounted to a seemingly hefty figure, expenses were quick to kick in. “Now, of course, I have expenses,” he candidly admits.

According to Wright, just his cost of goods consumed nearly $1,700, accounting for “roughly 29%” of his earnings. “So it was 29% of the $5,000 that I made, which is not horrendous, but I like to keep it 28% and under,” he remarks.

Then came the labor costs. Wright says he worked grueling 13-hour-a-day shifts the entire week, but despite that, he still had to expend another $960 for his employees. “So it’s not like I paid for labor, and I was able to not be here; I was actually here. So this was not passive [income] at all. Nothing was passive,” he says.

Due to owning a Subway franchise, $708 of Wright’s earnings also went to royalty fees. According to Subway’s official documentation, Subway franchise owners pay 8% of gross sales, plus an additional 4.5% advertising fee.

Finally, after $750 in rent, $200 for electricity, and a $350 loan fee, Wright’s take-home profit for the week turned out to be $931. 

“I know a lot of people will be like: ‘Hey, if I could just sit at home and make $931, that’d be cool.’ I didn’t sit at home. I was here open to close—13, 14 hours. … So $931.72 was actually horrendous,” Wright admits.

@ceo.twright Full transparency. Follow for the journey #entrepreneur ♬ original sound – Tommy Wright

In the comments section of the video, one user commended Wright for his honesty. He wrote, “Finally someone showing the real side of entrepreneurship.”

“First week and you turned a profit. Hard work, but you actually made money,” a second said.

A third remarked, “Small business ownership is never what people think. It’s a lot of work with not a lot of profit.”

“Damn corporate really ate with this. They cut their expenses and risk management down to 1 person,” another added.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Tommy Wright via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Apr 9, 2024, 7:00 pm CDT