Subway and some of its vendors are investing $80 million to make changes and add elements to nearly all of its 26,000 U.S. restaurants by next summer as the sandwich giant works to turn around its ailing brand.
The Milford, Conn.-based company, which has seen sales decline and franchisees close stores in recent years, unveiled a new program at its global convention this week called “Fresh Now” that it will fully fund to quickly add its elements to the chain’s restaurants. The idea is to emphasize the brand’s personalized customer experience, following a pilot program in San Diego.
Read on for a closer look at some of the changes.
Successful San Diego test
The refresh “is the next step toward offering a modern view of the brand and is focused on the Subway flavor experience,” James Walker, Subway’s vice president of North America, said in a statement. “The program lays the foundation for us to layer on new elements and explore new flavors.”
He said the success of the company’s test program in San Diego drove the decision to roll out the program so quickly.
New menu boards
The refresh will also feature new menu boards. The Fresh Now program comes as the chain is working to lift itself out of a long sales slump. System sales last year declined by 4.4% to $10.8 billion, while the number of units declined by 800, according to Technomic data.
Fresh Now will also include new uniforms for Subway’s “sandwich artists.” The refresh comes along with a handful of other initiatives at the company, including a larger “Fresh Forward” remodel, a new loyalty program and its double meat Signature Wrap sandwiches introduced this spring.
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