Fresh off a sale announcement, Subway unveiled a new restaurant format—one that will be 1,000 feet in the air.
The sandwich chain will soon showcase "Subway in the Sky," which will give customers an opportunity to dine on a blimp inspired by the brand. The outside of the 180-foot-long aircraft looks like The Beast, one of the new Deli Hero sandwiches released in July that features a half-pound of freshly sliced meat. Underneath the blimp is a gondola that's been transformed into a makeshift restaurant that can accommodate up to six diners per trip.
The vessel will embark on its maiden voyage on September 1 and visit four cities. The first leg of the journey will be in Kansas City for the NFL's first game of the season where the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Detroit Lions.
Here's the blimp's full schedule:
Kansas City: September 5-7
Atlanta: September 13-14
Orlando: September 19-20
Miami: September 24 and 26
In these cities, as many as 40 customers per day will have an opportunity to eat a "flight" of all four Deli Hero Subs.
For those not based in any of the selected markets, Subway is giving guests a chance to attend Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas through an online game. Customers can visit SubwayInTheSky.com or scan a QR code at their local restaurant for a chance to win and unlock special discounts on Deli Hero Subs.
The news comes after Subway confirmed it struck a deal to be acquired by Roark Capital, a prominent player in the restaurant investment realm. The deal's estimated value stands at approximately $9.6 billion, as per The Wall Street Journal. This acquisition marks the most significant in the restaurant sector since Inspire Brands bought Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins for $11.3 billion.
During the second quarter, Subway surpassed multiple financial milestones. For three consecutive months, the sandwich giant posted its highest AUV in North America and recorded its best weekly AUV ever. In the initial half of 2023, there was a 9.8 percent year-over-year increase in global comparisons. This marks the chain's 10th quarter in a row showcasing positive growth. In North America specifically, same-store sales surged by 9.3 percent. Of this, the top 75 percent of its outlets, translating to 17,000 restaurants, saw a growth of 14.5 percent. Meanwhile, the leading 50 percent or 11,500 of its establishments witnessed 19.8 percent growth.