Referred to as Fresh Forward, Subway’s new guest-centric restaurant re-design in the United States is aiming to imbue each restaurant with new energy and helps improve the overall in-restaurant experience. It’s a part of the sandwich chain’s multi-year transformation journey, the brand is making sure restaurants are in the right location, right format, and right image, through remodels and relocations.
“Our remodel program is a competitive necessity and allows us to offer guests a consistent, high-quality experience aligned to our brand promise,” said Director of Restaurant Design & Decor Patrick Rose, who leads a team dedicated to helping franchisees remodel or relocate their restaurants.
Subway’s Fresh Forward design includes changes to nearly all the guest-facing areas of the dining space and the service areas—think new flooring, furniture, wall coverings, counter equipment, and ceiling and lighting elements.
“Our hope is to create a bright, welcoming environment for guests and highlight the craveable ingredients in our sandwich units.”
Rose’s team works with IPC, Subway’s franchisee-owned, managed, and governed supply chain cooperative, to identify the right partners and vendors to execute the redesign.
“Remodelling a restaurant is truly a team effort. It’s a ton of coordination between our vendors to the franchisees and their team members to my team at headquarters, but there is a great sense of pride in the final result, and the efforts are paying off as we see the excitement from guests who walk into a remodelled location for the first time,” explained Rose.
All restaurants are on a continual periodic remodel cycle to ensure they stay relevant, modern, and competitive. Rose’s team also works with franchisees to help them consider whether a relocation, instead of a remodel, could be a more profitable option for their business. Together, they look closely at the market, traffic patterns, available real estate, and evolving guest preferences. For example, they might relocate to a building with more parking for curbside pickup and drive-thru capability to meet the needs of on-the-go guests.
To help franchisees remodel their locations, between 2019 and 2022, Subway has provided tens of millions in grants through its remodel grant program. Almost 9,000 U.S. restaurants have committed to remodelling through the program, with nearly half of those already completed.
“We’re excited about the enthusiasm we are seeing from guests, franchisees, and their team members about our remodels and look forward to working with more of our franchisees to transform their restaurants in the coming years,” concluded Rose.