Exclusive: Subway to launch $80M store refresh

A cheat sheet to Subway's 3 refresh programs

The sandwich chain is pushing for systemwide change

When it comes to marketing and merchandising, Subway is investing on a series of “Fresh” programs: Fresh Forward, Fresh Start and Fresh Now.

Read about the strategy behind Subway’s $80 million investment.

The Milford, Conn.-based sandwich is refreshing dated units, both globally and domestically. But, when you’re the world’s largest fast-food chain, you must give your all-franchisee system options.  Here are the three Fresh-branded choices:

Fresh Forward: This Cadillac remodel is a top-to-bottom overhaul first introduced last year. The new look includes modern furniture, outlets for mobile devices, shelving for takeout and delivery orders, new flooring, and a sandwich assembly line that showcases the company’s fresh produce in open bins like a grocery store. Some stores also have kiosks for self-serve ordering.  Subway expected to have up to 5,000 new and remodeled locations with the new design to open by the end of 2018. So far it’s been a slow go: Roughly 400 stores have adopted the Fresh Forward look globally. Of those, 212 are in the U.S.  Maybe it’s the cost? New, ground up restaurants cost between $200,000 and $300,000, depending on the market.

Fresh Start: This redesign was introduced this summer at a reduced cost of $40,000. So far, two stores have adopted the new, less expensive remodel at locations in Connecticut and Washington D.C.   The tweaked version includes a floor overlay (instead of ripping up and replacing existing flooring), Subway’s 2-year-old redesigned logo, and new wall artwork.

Fresh Now: Introduced summer 2018 at 480 U.S. restaurants.  The $80 million merchandising program includes a new flavor station featuring premium ground spices and sauces, new uniforms for sandwich artists, easier to read menu boards, and the addition an Agua Fresca beverage station.  This is the first time U.S. Subway stores will have these fruit-flavored drinks. Subway expects to roll out the program to all domestic restaurants by summer 2019 — free of charge to franchisees.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @FastFoodMaven

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