He closed all his stores. “Customers used to come into the store and say to me, ‘You must be rolling in the money,’ ” recalled Mr. Westerfield. “If they only knew.” About 1,000 Quiznos locations nationwide closed between 2007 and 2009. Recently, Quiznos announced a new lease-to-own strategy to regrow the chain where aspiring restaurateurs can own the restaurant after two to five years. Quiznos also plans to build 400-square-foot (37 m2) restaurants inside convenience stores. Industry analysts and former franchisees say, however, that the changes will not work. Former franchisee Brett Freifeld said these measures do not address the company's biggest problem: Owners have to buy everything from Quiznos - from meat and payroll services to toilet paper - at prices so high that it is hard to make a profit. Analysts who follow the company say it is clear that the chain is nearing default on its loans and scrambling to restructure $875 million in debt. Quiznos had an estimated 14 percent drop in sales during 2010 and the loss of 600 restaurants, the steepest decline of any major fast-food chain, according to restaurant consulting firm Technomic Inc