Look out, Florida: There’s a whole new Miami Subs Grill coming your way. With its recent plans for South American expansion and a new equity partner, Latin music sensation Pitbull, Miami Subs is incorporating a distinctly Latin flavor into all aspects of the brand.
And its Latin Fusion menu is just the latest step in this rebranding effort. Launched right in time for the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month—which runs September 15–October 15—the Latin Fusion menu is designed to reflect the changes going on inside the brand, as well as to capture a dominant audience in the South Florida region.
“We started on it because we felt that was part of the community we were missing out on, and we wanted to continue to service that market,” says CEO Richard Chwatt. “And just by coincidence, at the same time we started to come out with it, we made our deal with [Pitbull].”
Chwatt says the singer and now-partner had a lot of input in developing the Latin Fusion menu, which hit stores on September 4.
The menu features items like the Cuban sandwich, served on a 6-inch or 12-inch sub roll; the Roast Pork Sandwich, made with mojo-marinated pork, sautéed onions, pickles, and potato sticks and served on a brioche roll; Tostones, a Caribbean side dish of fried green plantains; yellow rice; Guava Cheesecake; and tropical beverages like Materva and Jupina.
The brand also upgraded existing Latin-inspired items—including the Nacho Ordinary Cheesesteak, Fajita Cheesesteak, Havana Burger, and Jalapeno Bites—to become part of the permanent Latin Fusion menu.
“It really adds to our already diversified menu, which is really what we’re known for,” Chwatt says of the Latin Fusion menu. “We have this ‘mas es mas’—‘More is More’—kind of menu, and we like to say we’re more of a Greek diner with such a diversified menu. Well, now we’re more of a Greek and Latin diner with that kind of diversified menu.”
Chwatt says the brand conducted research with Latin focus groups to make sure the items it introduced were authentic and true to the Latin culture it was aiming to tap into. “We’re not just masquerading as a Latin fusion,” he says. “These are genuine tastes coming from home-grown Latin folks who know what it is they want.”
And the Latin Fusion menu isn’t the last effort the brand will be taking during its revitalization phase. Chwatt says the company recently signed a letter of intent with a Latin company to expand the brand throughout Latin America.
“We’re trying to take the brand back to where it was 20 years ago when it was really in its growth mode,” he says, “because that’s where this company is now going to go.”
Whether it involves the food, store design, culture, or international expansion, Chwatt says Miami Subs will continue to listen to its consumers and gauge where they want the brand to venture in the future.
“We pay very careful attention to our customers and who they want us to be, and we’re going to turn with that,” he says. “We don’t get stuck in any place. We like to move with the times and where our customers want us to move.”
By Mary Avant