Subway on Tuesday laid off another 150 employees, including just more than 100 at its Milford, Conn., headquarters, in its second major workforce reduction in three months.
Alan Marcus, senior director of public relations for the company, said in an emailed statement that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to “accelerate a restructuring plan” it had already been preparing.
“A reduction in workforce is never an easy decision, especially during these unprecedented times,” Marcus said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to accelerate a restructuring plan for which we had been preparing.”
He said the company reduced the size of its global workforce by about 150 workers, two-thirds of them in Milford, and reassigned some staff “for better alignment and efficiencies.”
Subway in February laid off 300 people, most of them at company headquarters, as part of a reorganization designed at least in part to give employees a sense of urgency about the need to reverse a yearslong sales slide.
To be sure, a lot has happened in the months since those layoffs, notably a global pandemic that has sent industry sales plummeting. Many Subway operators were closed altogether, though most have reopened in recent weeks as federal stimulus dollars arrived and consumers seemed more willing to get restaurant takeout.
The pandemic could have a significant impact on Subway, which had been struggling for years heading into the shutdown.
That includes the closure of about 13% of its U.S. units, along with a reduction in its international restaurant count. The company now has fewer than 24,000 domestic sandwich shops. U.S. system sales declined 2% last year to $10.2 billion.
The company hired former Burger King CEO John Chidsey last year. It has also made numerous changes to the executive team, including hiring former Carrabba’s Italian Grill President Mike Kappitt to be its new chief operating and insights officer. Kappitt worked with Chidsey at Burger King.