Subway’s “Eat Fresh” Pitch Falls Flat, More Stores Close

Recent Subway restaurant closure in Maywood, Illinois. DARREN TRISTANO; screenshot, Forbes

“As store closures mount, Subway is trying to keep them open. The company has started requiring operators go to a committee rather than close their stores as it seeks to stem a decline in unit count.”  – Restaurant Business, Nov. 12, 2019

Food poisoning, rodent droppings, foul smells – why no one goes to Subway anymore

Jan 08, 2020

Penn Live – The world’s largest fast food chain is shrinking.

In the past couple of years, Subway has been closing hundreds of stores.

Several have shutdown in the Harrisburg area, including one at 900 N. Third St. in Harrisburg.

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A sign posted on the restaurant’s door reads, “As of Jan. 1, 2020 this Subway location is permanently closed. We would like to thank you for your loyalty and support.”

The building, including six apartments and commercial space, is listed for sale for $450,000.

Subway’s corporate office did not respond to inquiries by PennLive about the closing.

It is not the only Subway in the area to lock its doors in recent months. Restaurants in Mechanicsburg and Silver Spring Township have closed, as well as ones in Swatara Township and Lemoyne.

According to Restaurant Business Online, operators have been closing restaurants at an increasing rate for three years, including more than 1,100 locations in 2018 and more than 2,300 locations since 2015.

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Reasons for the downturn include over saturation and declining sales, as well a changing industry driven by more health-conscious, tech-savvy customers. Meanwhile, competitors like Jimmy John’s, Panera and Jersey Mike’s Subs have been expanding … Read more.

“By the end of the week … the lettuce is just a massive problem. I can’t eat the lettuce, and that’s a problem, and I’ve told them. They’re just not listening.” –Subway franchisee on receiving deliveries of  sandwich ingredients from the corporate distribution center only once a week. SOURCE

Subway taking aggressive steps to convince angry franchisees not to close

Restaurant Business, Nov. 12, 2019

Subway is taking more aggressive steps to convince angry franchisees to sell struggling stores to other operators rather than close them outright, as the Milford, Conn.-based sandwich giant works to stem a growing decline in its U.S. store count.

The effort, first reported by the New York Post, requires operators to fill out a questionnaire and then answer to a committee before they opt to close the store. The effort is designed to find franchisees willing to buy those locations before they are to close. Sources have confirmed the details with Restaurant Business.

The committee represents the first deliberate effort on the part of Subway to directly intercede in franchisees’ store closures. Operators have been closing restaurants at an increasing rate for three years, including more than 1,100 locations last year and more than 2,300 locations since 2015, when the chain peaked at 27,103 U.S. restaurants, according to Technomic Top 500 data.

In a statement, Subway said that it is working to keep locations open. “Subway places a tremendous value on its network of small-business owners, and as such aims to ensure viable Subway locations remain open,” the company said. “Our goal is and always has been to ensure that every restaurant is the best it can be, and in every location.”

The change in policy comes as Subway has unleashed numerous new test products and marketing strategies to rebuild sales after several years of declines.

That includes a new Green Eggs & Ham sandwich limited-time offer in New York and Los Angeles this week, a tie-in to a new Netflix series based on the popular Dr. Seuss book. The company is working to remodel thousands of locations. It’s testing products such as the Beyond Meatball sub along with sandwiches made with King’s Hawaiian bread. It also launched a new loyalty program.

The sandwich giant has added a new chief marketing officer in Carrie Walsh, among several new executives at the company.

Subway said its efforts are starting to yield results. “We’re seeing positive sales momentum following Subway’s multiyear, comprehensive transformation that includes innovative new menu options, refresh of all U.S. restaurants, expanded delivery and the launch of the Subway app and loyalty program,” the company said.

Preventing store closures is viewed as a key step … Source. 

Headline Health – Despite its “Eat Fresh” campaign, Subway apparently isn’t quite fresh enough for increasingly health-conscious consumers.

The number of the chain’s U.S. locations closed in 2018 ballooned to more than 1,100. That’s up from 866 shops shut down in 2017, and 359 in 2016.

Though 2019 numbers are not yet available, there appears to be no end in sight.

The company’s website shows that Subway still has more than 24,000 restaurants in the U.S. and close to 18,000 international locations. Its efforts to woo back customers include rolling out kiosk ordering and more comfortable seating… Moneywise.com contributed to this content.

Food poisoning, rodent droppings, foul smells – Why no one goes to Subway anymore

[Click to enlarge these recent crowd-sourced reports]

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