Precinct 333

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Good Things Happen To Good People

If your boss disappeared, could you keep the business afloat for several months – without access to the checkbook? Could you keep the employees paid, inventory stocked, and generally make a go of it? I would personally say no – but I think Dawna Lentz would disagree with me.

Dawna Lentz, the manager who ran a Quiznos Sub shop on a shoestring after the owners went absent, won't lose her job as she'd feared.

On the contrary, Quiznos is flying the 25-year-old to its Denver headquarters to meet company President Steve Shaffer and to go through training to become a certified manager.

"She's shown loyalty to Quiznos like no other employee has," corporate spokeswoman Stacie Lange said yesterday. "Her ability to keep that store afloat through a very difficult time needs to be commended."

Lentz received an outpouring of support after her story appeared in The Seattle Times on Friday. For the past two days, customers lined up at the Holman Road Northwest store, which on Tuesday was out of just about everything but bread and lunchmeat.

Some people gave kudos, some offered jobs, and others just ordered subs that had been off the menu for weeks after store ran out of the special Quiznos ingredients.
"It was so wonderful to have sales," Lentz said. "That big weight was taken off my shoulders."

Lentz and her crew of three had kept the franchise afloat since November, when the bank account ran dry and one of the principal owners stopped showing up. The other partner, an absentee owner, would check in occasionally but hadn't been seen for weeks, Lentz said.

Lentz used the daily cash flow to buy the necessary food supplies, pay employees, and keep the doors open. She paid employees in cash daily, and made sure that wages were kept up to date as best she could. Most folks would have walked away. Is it any wonder that Quiznos wants to keep her and that others want to lure her away with better job offers?


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