After mandated closures swept across most of the country due to the coronavirus, Subway announced Friday that it will shutter in-restaurant dining and switch to a takeout/delivery model.
As of Friday afternoon, 80 percent of states have completely closed restaurant dining areas, and restricted businesses to takeout, drive-thru, or delivery. Subway joins a long list of major brands that announced closures earlier in the week such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Taco Bell.
In conjunction with the announcement, Subway added that it’s offering free delivery through Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub, and Seamless with the promo code SUBWAYNOW. The brand said it is offering various promotions for takeout and delivery, and asks customers to call their local Subway restaurant if they have questions about what promotions are available.
“Many restaurants are open for business, and ready to continue to serve our guests the food they love in the best ways possible,” the company said in a statement. “That includes providing food to those in our community who need it most.”
The news comes a couple of days after the world’s largest restaurant chain said it will give financial relief to franchisees in the form of a 50 percent reduction in royalty payments, suspension of payment into the advertising fund, and support with rent abatement, reduction, and referral.
Subway has just over 23,650 units in the U.S., which is down from 2015, when it ended the year with 27,103—more than Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut combined. The restaurant chain had 24,798 locations at the end of 2018.
Subway said many franchisees nationwide, in coordination with the corporate office, are also helping to feed children who are out of school as well as assisting healthcare workers and other first responders.
Since the virus outbreak, the company has increased its sanitation efforts by cleaning touched surfaces every hour as well as enforcing frequent hand washing, use of gloves and asking sick employees to remain home and seek medical attention.
“We will continue to monitor and follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as work with federal, state and local governments to make sure local communities know they can rely on Subway to help them through these unprecedented times,” the company said.