The company added that “franchise owners have remodeled hundreds of restaurants with the Subway Fresh Forward and Fresh Start designs and we’re now rolling out FreshNOW to all restaurants across the U.S. We also introduced the Subway MyWay Rewards program, remote ordering, third-party delivery and new menu items, all of which have had a positive impact on sales and traffic.”
Prior to the 866-store decline from 2016–2017, Subway added 4,456 locations the previous six years combined. At the end of 2017, Subway had US. Systemwide sales of $10.8 billion and average-unit volumes of $416,000. AUVs were $422,000 the year before and sales were $11.3 billion.
A recent New York Post report, which cited a “source close to Subway headquarters,” said the chain’s restaurants witnessed flat or slightly declining same-store sales in “most of the country” last year. The publication also previously reported, from a November 2017 internal memo it reviewed, that traffic dropped 25 percent from 2012–2017.
To Subway’s previous statement, significant changes rolled out over the past year. As of September, Subway said its “Fresh Forward” design was in 465 locations. Tracy Steinwand, the brand’s director of global operations, said it would be a “multi-year” process to update the system. And the development was also likely to ramp up in the backend of that timeline.