O'Brien's Sandwiches UK enters administration?

I’m sure I heard this on the radio (on Newstalk, I believe), but I can’t find anything online about it. All I could find was this SIndo story from earlier in the week suggesting today was the crunch day for refinancing:
independent.ie/business/smal … 73277.html

I heard it too.

Using a sandwich as collateral is soooo 2006. :smiley:

They sell stale, overpriced muck anyway. Terrible sandwich shop.


O’Brien’s sandwiches looked OK but the prices were always WAY too high, hopefully the end of O’Bs means sandwiches everywhere can now find their right price level again, 1.50 to 2.00 euros each.

If your business goes bust, are you still a “successful entrepreneur”?

You may have managed (like Seanie) to walk away with a tonne of money, but if the business is dead can you still be called a “successful entrepreneur”?

That mightn’t be completely untrue.

ah yeah… I think if you got it up and going and employed loads of people for while then you are a successful entrepreneur…

I’m not a big fan of Brodie the politician or his sandwich bars but the man got out there and gave it a lash. A business failing is very sad for those involved. Let’s give the guy a break.

I would say there’s a difference between a successful entrepreneur and a successful businessman in that I view an entrepreneur as someone who starts a business and a businessman as someone who keeps one going through good times and bad.

Considering that he was extracting a fiver a go for extremely mediocre sambos being served up by some of gruffest staff I’ve ever encountered means the man’s a fucking magician in my eyes - never mind entrepreneur.

It’s only one business, the UK business. This isn’t the end of O’Briens in Ireland.

The guy started a business and grew it to a certain level…that takes something… as far as I know he didn’t get a valuable state asset (e.g. one of 3 sandwich making licenses) for half nothing and extract money from it…

To me, it looks like he started a business and grew it well during the boom. Ive no idea how leveraged the thing is wrt to debts etc, its franchised right?

His business was one of the first to suffer as the recession bit. Its priced high…I’d prefer to go to Cafe Kylemore and get a hot lunch for just a little more than O’Briens or grab a roll from the local supermarket for less… But thats what a market is, it must have been positioned right to appeale to enough people.

So what if he made a load of money on it, in the good times… As long as he didn’t defraud people, has paid wages etc and is honest in dealing with suppliers or creditors…Good luck to him…and to all who work in O’Briens in Ireland and abroad…

They did say on the Newstalk piece, though, that the leases for many of the UK outlets are held by the Irish operation. Birdies tell me that the model O’Briens adopted in Ireland as well as the UK - to secure the lease themselves and sub-lease to the franchisee. As the franchisees go out of business, the O’Briens’ business is left holding the leases…

Count me in on that.
Hes just a normal guy, who through hard work and risk taking, built up a sandwich business.
Its now falling on hard times (like many others) and hes doing his best to steer the company through it.

IMHO, the main problem is the rent.
He has many shops in prime locations and the rent must be a serious drain on cashflow.
Additionally, its a pricey product and could do with a euro or two shaved off in an effort to increase sales.
But in the end Ive no doubt that the rent must be the biggest killer.

Landlords will have to renegotiate. The alternative is to put the franchise holder out of business and be left with a vacant premises in one of the worst retail recessions in recent memory.

I don’t think there’s much popping at Mr. Sweeney, perhaps at his product, for sure at the choice of words in the Sindo (but we could be here all night if we want to start on that one!).

My concern is that O’Briens are a large employer and have a lot of commercial propery leases. Add to this, the franchisees have, presumably, sunk large sums into their businesses. It is one thing for your business to fail because of the location you are in, the staff you employ, whatever. It is quite another to suddenly have the company that holds your leases, supplies you all your marketing and all your product go bust.

edit: not that is has gone bust in Ireland, just that it must now be in a ‘stressed’ condition…


Will the Irish HQ Company survive this?

I would have thought there are cross guarentees?

I was very surprised when O’B’s in Rathmines village closed earlier this year. Contrary to what other have said, I found it quite cheap - €3ish for a BLT if memory serves. Very odd that there was not enough custom in such a busy area for it to survive.