MILFORD, CONN. — Quick-service restaurant chain Subway turned in its strongest monthly sales since 2013 in August, reflecting positive momentum associated with the company’s launch of the Eat Fresh Refresh menu makeover that debuted in July.
Overall US restaurant sales in August rose more than 4% compared with the same period in 2019, Subway said. The top-performing quartile, which represents more than 5,000 restaurants, experienced a 33% increase in sales, and the top three combined quartiles, about 16,000 restaurants, averaged an increase of nearly 14%, the company noted. In addition, the week of the Eat Fresh Refresh campaign launch Subway had its highest average unit volume per week in over eight years, and the company is projecting to beat its sales plan for the year by more than $1 billion.
“The journey to build a better Subway has begun, and the changes are having a positive impact on restaurant sales,” said John Chidsey, chief executive officer of Subway. “As we continue this journey, our priority is working hand-in-hand with our dedicated network of franchisees to ensure they have the tools and support needed to grow their business and experience a positive return, resulting in franchisees continuing to invest in their business and the brand.”
As part of the Eat Fresh Refresh menu makeover, Subway introduced 11 new and improved ingredients, six new or returning sandwiches, and four revamped signature sandwiches.
New and improved ingredients include smashed avocado, BelGioioso mozzarella, MVP Parmesan vinaigrette, bacon, black forest ham, oven-roasted turkey, steak, rotisserie-style chicken and roast beef. Additionally, Subway worked with a panel of bakers — including Aspire Bakeries — over two years to develop bread recipes and baking methods for two new bread offerings: Artisan Italian and Hearty Multigrain.
The new and returning sandwiches include a revamped Rotisserie-Style Chicken sandwich, Roast Beef sandwich and Subway Club sandwich, as well as three brand-new offerings.
The Steak Cali Fresh is made with steak, hickory-smoked bacon, smashed avocado, BelGioioso mozzarella, spinach, red onion, tomatoes and mayo on Hearty Multigrain bread.
The Turkey Cali Fresh features oven-roasted turkey, hickory-smoked bacon, smashed avocado, BelGioioso mozzarella, mayo, spinach, red onion and tomatoes on Hearty Multigrain bread.
The All-American Club includes oven-roasted turkey, black forest ham and hickory-smoked bacon with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and red onions on toasted Artisan Italian bread.
According to Subway, out of more than 66,000 guests surveyed, 83% said they like the menu updates.
“We are getting an extremely positive reaction from our guests regarding all that is new at Subway,” said David Liseno, a multi-unit Subway restaurant franchisee in Central New York State. “Our loyal regulars — in addition to many first-time guests — are commenting to our team that they taste a real difference in our new sandwiches and ingredients. The Eat Fresh Refresh is just the beginning of the transformation ahead. With digital upgrades and more delivery options rolling out, I’m energized by the continued improvement happening at Subway.”