FlashStock Technology Inc.

Quiznos + Shutterstock Custom

Quiznos, a franchised fast-food restaurant brand based in Denver, Colorado, is best known for making toasty subs. Targeting a strong core demographic of millennials (but really, everyone eats!), it makes sense for Quiznos to focus a majority of their marketing efforts on digital and social media. Their loyalty app keeps tech-savvy customers engaged and gets them through the doors.

Kristen Melick is the Digital and Social Media Manager for the Quiznos corporate brand. She manages content across digital platforms, but primarily social channels.

Quiznos has a strong presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Kristen is in charge of the content strategy, content creation, analytics, paid campaigns, and influencer outreach for these channels.

Quiznos approaches content in a very innovative way. With the Toasty TV and Toasty On Tour programs, Kristen engages influencers to visually share their experience with the Quiznos brand. Let’s just say that there’s a lot of content required to run their social media strategy.



Kristen wanted the Quiznos brand to participate in social media conversations every day. However, working on a small team, it was really hard to keep up with production of visual content.

When it came to social media photos, Kristen wanted a good mix of product shots, lifestyle shots, and influencer content. She used to plan expensive shoots with photographers. The photographers would have a specific shot list for sandwiches and lifestyle-type shots, and would spend a couple days creating bulk content all at once to fill in enough of the content calendar for upcoming months. The process was expensive and not scalable for Quiznos.

Kristen wanted to find a solution that would give a large quantity of high quality photos at a reasonable price. On top of that, Quiznos has locations all across North America, so there needed to be a more efficient way of doing localized shoots.

Kristen looked internally to create scalable programs first before approaching vendors. After exploring crowdsourcing programs with some success, she looked at a number of different vendors to create customized photos at scale.

Being part of a small corporate marketing team, Kristen was looking for a natural extension of her team.

“I was looking for a solution that felt like I would have an extension of my team. Where I could act as a creative director, have some control and creative input, but stay at my desk and feel comfortable with that process.”
- Kristen Melick, Social Media Manager, Quiznos


Kristen always keeps tabs on aspirational brands on Instagram. When looking at a number of competitors and other brands, she noticed a pattern behind the high-quality, authentic photography: Shutterstock Custom.

After attending an educational webinar on Instagram best practices for the quick-serve restaurant industry, she realized that Shutterstock Custom had a good understanding of imagery for social and digital channels with a good repertoire of brands, and decided to explore Shutterstock Custom as a solution.

After a few platform demos with the Shutterstock Custom team, best practices and competitor research, and many internal discussions, she realized that scaling content creation would be possible for Quiznos.


At Shutterstock Custom, we’re revolutionizing the global exchange of creativity for hundreds of F500 brands. Powered by our platform, we connect brands with creatives to drive faster, more efficient content creation.

The first thing that we did with Kristen was a visual calibration where we extracted the Quiznos brand guidelines to make sure we had the right look and feel for Quiznos.

“It helped us put things into perspective, and made us think of our brand in a way we hadn’t thought of before. Shutterstock Custom helped us define our visual persona for social, and showed they were dedicated to the Quiznos brand vision for social media.” 

- Kristen Melick, Social Media Manager

When the rest of the marketing team started taking notice of the content produced, they wanted to start using it in print materials and the loyalty app. Some of the content even made it into email marketing campaigns and website headers.

One of the biggest benefits that came from implementing Shutterstock Custom was the efficiency it brought to the content creation process at Quiznos. Planning imagery for content calendars became much easier. It freed up a lot of time, as Kristen didn’t have to be out on shoots. The platform took care of it!

“We went from doing 50-50 high-production and in house shoots, to almost 100% Shutterstock Custom images for social media, within a year.”
- Kristen Melick, Social Media Manager

Learn how Shutterstock Custom can help you globally scale content creation by requesting a demo.