Subway Says Series Menu Spurred Better Worldwide Sales Than Expected

In what Subway calls a multi-year "transformation journey," the company has stepped up its strides – and it shows. An early February 2023 press release reveals accumulative record-setting sales over the previous eight quarters, leading to CEO John Chidsey's statement that Subway is "getting its swagger back."

A lot of that credit, per the company, goes to the Subway Series Menu, which launched in July 2022 on the heels of its 2021 Eat Fresh Refresh initiative. The Series menu veers from the consumer-led customization approach to ordering sandwiches, instead highlighting 12 sandwiches available by name and number, which helps streamline the process and increase digital sales, explains CNN. The sandwiches land in four categories: cheesesteaks, chicken, clubs, and Italianos. Just three months after the new menu's debut, Subway stated it was a key driver of positive sales momentum, along with new digital channel growth.

Current and future plans involve many of Subway's 20,000 U.S. locations, but the company also aims to expand its global footprint. Subway venues exist in more than 100 countries to date, including about 500 in China, according to Forbes. Current international development agreements include more than 5,300 store commitments. The menu is part of the planned revitalization journey, which involves a long worldwide road map. From menu renovation to store remodeling, new customer experiences, and franchise growth, they're reportedly all-in on the new approach. How much the Series menu has contributed to this new march forward is pretty clear by the new two-year sales report.

How good is Subway good when it comes to sales?

Record sales reports from Subway come in the form of comparisons to previous years. Stating that the numbers exceeded sales projections, the company's announcement suggests that success was driven in part by new product introductions, particularly the Subway Series menu. Apparently, two subs did nearly half of the heavy lifting for the lineup. The brand revealed in a December Instagram post that the top-selling item on the Series menu was the All-American Club followed by the Subway Club. They accounted for 24.7% and 21.4% of Series menu orders respectively.

What were the swagger-worthy numbers Subway netted more generally? Overall same-store sales in 2022 increased by 7.8% in North America compared to 2021, with the top 74% of stores experiencing sales growth of up to 12.5%. When considering average unit volume (AUV) weekly sales, the new numbers break a decade-old AUV record. Global sales increased as well, adding to overall sales projections. Global same-store sales rose 9.2% compared to 2021 and 29.1% over 2020.

Subway also began its global menu expansion in 2022 and began testing new menu items, among other strides. Stores are getting a makeover to go with the Series menu. It's known as Fresh Forward design, explains QSR Magazine, and comes with new tables, chairs, color themes, floor coverings, and LED lighting. More than 2500 store remodels occurred in 2022, and more will get the upgrades this year.