“I think we have a smaller but stronger footprint,” Fertman says. “So were moving in the right direction ultimately.”
He says Subway has strengthened its relationship with franchisees, many of whom grew frustrated over the thin profit margins associated with the brand’s marquee $5 footlongs promotion. Though that promotion drove huge traffic for some locations, Subway has adopted a new marketing tact for the future.
“What we’re moving toward is a change in strategy from maybe discounting core sandwiches to really introducing a broader range in sandwiches and food ideas over a wide variety of price points,” Fertman says. “And that represents a pretty profound change in our go-to-market strategy.”
Subway isn’t about to abandon its classic Italian B.M.T. or Meatball Marina subs. But the brand is busy “blazing new trails” in efforts to build the most compelling menu in the quick-service space, says Len van Popering, Subway’s vice president of brand management and culinary innovation.
“We absolutely want to balance those Subway classics that our guests have come to know and love,” he says. “But we are also responding to what we’ve heard loud and clear even from our most ardent fans: they’re looking to us to provide bolder flavors, new and interesting experiences and even more options than what they’ve enjoyed from Subway in the past.”