Subway’s performance the last few years — pandemic or no pandemic — has left something to be desired, to say the least. The company had closed thousands of locations even before COVID arrived, and closed another 1,500 in 2020, according to Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 500.
But the tide seems to have shifted. Subway reported back in September that its August 2021 sales were the best since 2013, with the system enjoying a 4% climb over 2019 sales for the same period. Q2 sales were also positive versus Q2 of 2019.
The initiative that might be to thank? Eat Fresh Refresh, the menu revamp Subway rolled out in the summer that it called the biggest menu update in the company’s history. The initial roll out included 11 new and improved ingredients, six all-new or returning sandwiches and four revamped signature sandwiches.
Trevor Haynes, Subway’s president for North America, said Subway had been working on Eat Fresh Refresh well before the pandemic, and that launching such a big campaign across 20,000-plus units in the midst of a global crisis was a way to inspire its thousands of owner-operators.
“That was another point, to give them a sense of hope, a sense of pride around the system and a sense of, ‘Let's get excited about this. Let's engage with this,’” Haynes said.
In this interview from Take-Away with Sam Oches, Haynes discusses the scale of the Eat Fresh Refresh reboot, how the company kept franchisees on the same page with roll-out details and how the brand is optimizing markets to meet today’s consumer demand. Plus, Sam shares his four take-aways that listeners should take with them from the interview.
Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].