- Subway announced Thursday that its franchisees will hire approximately 50,000 employees at participating North American restaurants starting this summer. Positions range from entry-level to management roles, according to a company release.
- "As our business continues to see a growing demand for our value offerings, curbside pick-up and delivery, we are happy to support such a large-scale employment opportunity to meet the demands of our guests," Aidan Hay, Subway VP of Operations for North America, said in the release.
- Additionally, Subway enhanced its operational procedures over the last few months to keep restaurants and safe including closing its dining rooms, working with third-party delivery to provide contactless delivery, providing 1 million masks to restaurant employees, requiring social distancing guidelines for employees and guests and increasing food safety procedures and providing franchise owners with guidelines for employee wellness checks.
This is likely welcome news for some Americans as the unemployment rate flirts with record highs at 13.3%. It is also some positive news in an otherwise dismal environment for the restaurant industry in general, which has shed three decades’ worth of jobs this spring alone.
While delivery-heavy pizza brands like Domino’s, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut pressed the gas on their hiring trends in March before rock bottom even hit, fast food brands are starting to join in on this hiring spree as cities across the country begin to loosen dine-in regulations. From May 11 through June 24, QSR hiring increased 28%, according to DailyPay. McDonald’s anticipates hiring about 260,000 employees this summer, while Taco Bell, Dunkin’ and Panda Express plan to hire tens of thousands of workers.
Subway’s hiring binge is a bit of a puzzle, however. The company has had a challenging few years of sales declines. According to Technomic data, sales at the sandwich giant were about $11.5 billion in 2015, versus $10.2 billion in 2019. Further, Subway's unit count declined 12% from 27,103 to 23,801 in 2019, which includes closing 1,000 units in 2018. This year, the company cut hundreds of corporate jobs.
Additionally, this hiring initiative comes as some franchisees push back against the chain’s latest $5 Footlong promotion, which began on Tuesday. Operators claim the promotion is unprofitable as costs, especially as labor costs are much higher than they were when it was first introduced more than a decade ago.