The Most “Amazing Subs” in Dearborn
Ahmed Elmasry entered the business industry at a young age and worked his way up to becoming the owner of Amazing Subs in Dearborn.
Elmasry’s mother migrated from Lebanon and his father from Egypt. Elmasry’s father studied the arts at the Davinci Art Academy in Giza, Egypt. However, he was unable to continue, so he decided to go to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming an artist on a student visa.
During Elmasry’s early years, his family lived in New York and moved to Michigan to open a restaurant business that ran for approximately 15 years. Elmasry has been working alongside his father in the industry since he was about 13 years old. After gaining valuable skills while working with his father, Elmasry decided to branch off and pave his own path.
Elmarsy started by working at Rocket Mortgage, which is a company well-known for the impact that its founder, Dan Gilbert, has had with real estate in Detroit. Elamsry says, “I was at the bank for about seven years and worked my way up to becoming the director. One day, my friend found this place and asked if I’d like to open a restaurant.” Elmasry agreed and never looked back since.
Amazing Subs opened in October 2022. Since then, the response from the community has been positive and supportive. Elmasry mentioned that they keep the restaurant as clean as they can, which stands out to the customers. “I think, if anything, we’re lacking in the area of advertising and marketing. But it’s intentional because we want to scale at a healthy pace,” Elmasry says. He adds, “Sub shops and other restaurants, in general, start off as excellent businesses. But the owners gradually get laid back and decide they do not want to be involved anymore. Then, they hire other people and just fall off. So we’re trying to scale as healthy as possible.”
Elmasry grew up in an area where there were multiple sub shops to try such as Mangoes, and Miami Subs. “These restaurants were my favorite places to eat when I was growing up. For the last decade or so, there have not been any great subs around. So, we decided to give it a shot and it’s been a success.”
According to Elmarsy, the ingredients they use are what make their subs “amazing.” Elmasry emphasizes that they sincerely care about where they are sourcing their products. Amazing Subs gets all of its meat halal from Saad Wholesale Meats and the produce comes from Del Bene Produce, both located in Detroit.
For their subs that contain chicken, they do not use the breast because “it is a little more dry.” Instead, they use the tender and some of the tender on the back of the breast. Elmersy says, “We make sure to get our meats delivered fresh every day from Monday through Saturday. But Sundays are the exception since everyone is closed.”
Elmasry is specific about the mayo he buys because he does not appreciate cheap mayonnaise. He notes that one case for four gallons comes out to be nearly $100.
“It’s extra heavy-duty mayo called Banquet Mayonnaise. For all intents and purposes, it’s very creamy and brings the flavor together rather than having bland mayo that can be underwhelming,” Elmarsy says. He adds just enough mayo to complement the other ingredients and create a world of flavor that combines in the mouth, resulting in a satisfactory balance of absolute deliciousness.
Amazing Subs also offers burgers, wraps, salads, and a kid’s menu that includes options such as chicken tenders, mini burgers and grilled cheese mini-subs. The most popular items on the menu are the Amazing Steak and the Chicken Fajita. The Amazing Steak contains tenderloin beef, portobello mushrooms, green peppers, onions, arugula, swiss cheese, and mayo, which falls under their best seller for the beef section. The Chicken Fajita has tenderloin chicken, onions, pepper, mushrooms, corn, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo, which is the most favored in the chicken section.
Elmarsy conveys that his biggest challenge in running the business is the lack of staffing. “No one wants to work these days. I think that COVID changed our mindset and perspective on things.” Elmarsy mentions that it has been difficult to find the right people because they need staff members who care about working at the business for the sake of the customers and the Dearborn community.
“As of right now, the business is mainly just in this area. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of curb appeal, but we have a lot of people that walk around. So, we try to retain customers by treating them with the utmost respect and maintaining cleanliness at all times. We also try to have our social media as updated as possible,” Elmasry says. Amazing Subs has a Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and website that are used to attract customers. According to Elmasry, Amazing Subs stands out compared to other restaurants because they create a homey feel and a sense of connection with each customer. For instance, Elmasry remembers almost every customer’s name. Elmasry states, “For 70 percent of our customers, I could start their order before they even make it up to the cash register. So I believe that my presence at the restaurant makes all the difference in terms of how our business stands out.”
If students are interested in working at Amazing Subs, Elmasry recommends they send him their school schedule before applying and he will be happy to work around it. Elmasry adds, “We do offer a student discount, along with discounts for family members of staff who come in. We make sure they get half off.”
Dearborn has one of the largest concentrations of Muslim Americans in America. Therefore, to accommodate the Muslim community, Amazing Subs sources all their beef and chicken from Halal meat markets.
During Ramadan, Elmasry mentions that they shift their hours further into the day. For example, in that month, Amazing Subs would open at 4 p.m. and run until 2 a.m. for customers to enjoy their menu during Suhor. “Last year was a great success and the atmosphere was wonderful. So we’re planning on doing that again this year round too,” Elmasry says.
The plan Elmasry has for the future is to franchise and open his business in locations such as Ann Arbor and Livonia.
For students who are interested in becoming business owners, Elmasry advises, “If you are going into the industry with a mindset of ‘I can just sit back and relax,’ this will not bring you success because you have to care more than anyone and help out the most. As long as you are putting your best foot forward, everything will work out.”
Amazing Subs is located at 1035 Mason St, Dearborn, MI, and is open from 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday, and they are closed on Mondays. More information can be found at amazing-subs.com, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @amazingsubs313.