Subway is hoping that upgrading its ingredients and mobile app will help draw customers back to the iconic sandwich chain.
Starting July 13, the company’s U.S. restaurants will offer nearly a dozen new or improved ingredients, as well as 10 revamped or original sandwiches.
The company has been struggling for several years. The success of its $5 footlong deal during the 2008 financial crisis fueled massive expansion, helping the chain become the largest in the U.S. by number of units. But new rivals like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Potbelly have lured consumers away, while its large footprint led to sales cannibalization among its remaining customers.
Subway’s parent company, Doctor’s Associates, reported 2020 revenue of $689.1 million, down 28% from 2019’s net sales of $958.9 million, according to franchisee disclosure documents, while the chain has also been reducing its massive store footprint since 2016.
Executives said its restaurants have largely recovered from the pandemic, giving the chain momentum for its turnaround. However, sales on college campuses and in urban areas are still down.