Food

Quiznos upgrades its menu and store design to keep up in the competitive sandwich sector

One location is serving as a blueprint for the chain’s new direction, adding global flavors, new equipment and an updated prototype.
Quiznos new prototype
Photo courtesy of Quiznos

It must be prime season for sub chains to upgrade their menus, as tiny Quiznos just joined giant Subway in a rollout of new items.

Earlier this month, the newest of Quiznos 255 U.S. locations, a unit in Hobbs, N.M., launched an expanded menu with globally inspired flavors. The restaurant also updated its equipment, adding flat top grills and deep fryers to prep the new items, as well as a patio and drive-thru.

Among the new sandwiches is the Asian Steak Dipper, made with grilled steak, pickled vegetables, fresh cilantro, basil and pho dipping sauce—a nod to Vietnamese cuisine. The Steakhouse Philly features the same grilled steak, this time paired with cheddar cheese, provolone, grilled mushrooms and onions, much like Philadelphia’s iconic cheesesteak.

Philly steak

The Philly Steak sub/Photo courtesy of Quiznos

The Carne Supreme is an overstuffed Italian sub sandwich filled with meatballs, pepperoni, salami, capicola (also introduced by Subway), ham, provolone and marinara.

Unlike the 21,000-unit behemoth in the sector, Quiznos is getting into breakfast. Steak and Eggs, made with fried eggs, grilled steak, white American cheese, grilled onions and peppers and cherry peppers, is billed as an “all-day breakfast” option.

While most of the new items are meat-centric, Quiznos jumped on the plant-based meat bandwagon and is now grilling Beyond Italian sausage, pairing it with provolone, grilled peppers and onions, and marinara in a vegetarian sub. Two new salads also joined the menu—the Cobb, made with grilled chicken and avocado ranch dressing, and Steak Frites, a toss of steak, fries, bacon, tomatoes and egg.

Cobb Salad

Quiznos new Cobb Salad/Photo courtesy of Quiznos

Top-selling subs Chicken Carbonara, Mesquite Chicken and original Italian are still on the menu, but the ingredients have been upgraded.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the dining experience for our guests and are delighted to roll out these latest updates that take that experience to the next level,” Quiznos franchisee Dominik Mendoza, owner of CF Lifestyle Investments, said in a statement. “Initial feedback on the new items underscores peoples’ appetite for creative twists on familiar classics.”  

Denver-based Quiznos built its reputation on being the first to grill its sandwiches 40 years ago, but has since lost its way as brands like Jersey Mike’s, Firehouse Subs and Jimmy John’s gained market share.  

The sandwich chain boasted close to 5,000 locations in 2006, but currently operates only 200 in the U.S. and about 300 internationally. Quizno’s unit count declined 94% in 15 years, and the chain fell to No. 335 in Technomic’s 2022 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Chains report.

“We’re bringing in great new flavors and formats for our guests with the launch of these delicious new subs and vegetarian options, as well as the upgraded fan favorites,” Mark Lohmann, president of Quiznos’ owner REGO Restaurant Group, said in a statement. “We continue to seek out more exciting flavors to add to our restaurants and provide a unique, new experience.”

Quiznos will continue to roll out these new experiences and flavors at additional locations throughout North America in the coming months.

 

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