Subway, in an effort to keep up with its rapidly expanding competition, is implementing a significant adjustment to its meat selection.
On Wednesday, Subway’s roughly 20,000 US locations will begin offering freshly sliced deli meat, the company’s most significant change in two years as it seeks to revive flagging sales and make itself more attractive to potential acquirers by modernizing its menu offerings, ingredients, and restaurant appearance.
Subway has been having a tough time in recent years as the industry’s competition has heated up and the traditional brand has lost favor with consumers.
The company’s sales in the United States increased by over eight percent last year as a result of a new menu item that allows for personalization, a strategy that has been adopted by several of the company’s competitors.
Subway’s decision to prioritize smartphone orders undoubtedly boosted their online income. The benefits of fresh-sliced beef, for example, have yet to be determined.
Approximately 80% of stores will showcase the $6,000 slicers prominently (space allowed) near the deli counter, where the majority of the meat (turkey, pepperoni, roast beef, ham, and salami) is sliced multiple times daily. Subway formerly had its meat sliced in its factory and delivered to locations, so this is a significant change.
In addition to improving quality, having in-store slicing capabilities brings the company in line with its smaller competitors, such as the rapidly expanding Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s Subs, and Firehouse Subs. The opposite is true for Subway, which has shut down some 7,000 stores since 2016.
Subway restaurants now routinely slice and bake bread, cookies, and vegetables everyday. Adding freshly sliced meat “felt like the natural step that we needed to get back to and address,” Trevor Haynes, president of Subway’s North American operations.
The pre-sliced delivery of cheese, steak, and rotisserie chicken will continue.
Subway has introduced four new sandwiches to promote the modifications, all of which employ the new slicer: the turkey club, the garlic roast beef club, the ham club, and the “The Beast,” which contains pepperoni, salami, turkey, roast beef, and ham on Italian bread.
Subway, which has been around for over 60 years, debuted its most significant redesign to date a year ago. As part of the revamp, the “Subway Series” sandwich menu was introduced, which now makes up 20% of sales, with customisation taking a back seat. Sales through its app and third-party services have doubled since 2021, representing another area of digital growth for the corporation.
Subway’s annual revenues at its US locations are significantly lower than those of its sandwich industry competitors. QSR Magazine reports that its three main competitors earn around $1 million per unit, while the typical Subway restaurant makes less than $500,000.
Sales at Subway locations in North America that have been operational for at least a year increased 7.8% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to the privately held company. The corporation did not disclose the exact sales figures, although they were more than expected by more than $700 million.
Subway is also up for sale, and according to Haynes, the company is “on track” to make an announcement soon, maybe around the middle of July.