- Subway on Tuesday unveiled what it’s calling its biggest menu update in the company’s 57-year history. The Subway Series’ 12 signature subs can be ordered via name or number instead of traditional customization, the company wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive.
- To celebrate this launch, the company said it will give away up to 1 million six-inch sandwiches from the new menu on July 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time at participating restaurants.
- This menu revamp comes about a year after it released its Eat Fresh Refresh menu, which included over 20 menu updates and helped the chain exceed its 2021 U.S. sales projections by almost $1.4 billion.
Subway tested hundreds of recipes to create its new signature sandwiches, which include three cheesesteaks, three Italianos, three chicken sandwiches and three clubs. While the Subway Series moves away from customization, customers can still build their own sandwiches, the company said.
“Last summer’s Eat Fresh Refresh laid the foundation to build a better Subway, and now the Subway Series enhances the entire Subway guest experience — proof that we continue to improve and get way better,” Trevor Haynes, Subway’s president of North America, said in a press release.
The new menu follows a couple of shifts in strategy. In May, the company said it will pivot its franchising strategy away from working with mainly single-unit operators to targeting well-resourced, multi-unit franchisees. It also recently debuted an enhanced catering program that provides an “easy order” option where guests can choose from pre-selected options.
Subway’s digital sales have grown significantly, with sales exceeding $1.3 billion last year — a threefold increase from 2019 — following adaptations to meet various customer needs in delivery, pickup and online ordering. Last year, the chain launched Subway Delivery to allow guests to place delivery orders through its app or website and updated its digital ordering experience with a new dashboard.
While many of these strategies have debuted since the pandemic, Subway had been struggling to grow since 2014, when it had 27,000 units, according to Restaurant Business. The chain has closed 6,000 locations since then, and has also faced trouble among its franchisees. Finances have improved within the last year, however, at least for a majority of the company’s system. Some 16,000 units, about 75% of Subway’s store count, reported a 7.5% increase in same-store sales last year compared to 2019.