Subway change: freshly sliced meat and prominent display of slicers

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Restaurant chain Subway will freshly slice the meat used in its sandwiches at U.S. stores starting Wednesday.

Previously, Subway used meat sliced in factories and was shipped to its locations.

The company spent over $80 million getting $6,000 meat slicers to franchisees at the chain’s 20,000 U.S. locations.

Subway estimates that a new slicer was installed in a store every five minutes over the course of nine months. Around 80% of Subway locations will have their slicers placed prominently near the counter for customers to view.

Subway corporate leaders said the slicers would not lead to an increase in labor costs for franchisees.

“Franchisees were concerned about an increase in labor, but there’s ample time to do that during the day. So it doesn’t add costs,” Subway President for North America Trevor Haynes told Nation’s Restaurant News.

As part of its promotion of the new slicers and fresh meat, the chain on Tuesday will give out 1 million free six-inch subs. From 10 a.m. to noon at participating locations, the first 50 consumers to ask will get one free sandwich.

The move to freshly sliced meat comes on the heels of a menu revamp that began in 2021. While Subway competitors like Jimmy John’s and Jersey Mike’s have grown in recent years, Subway has hemorrhaged 7,000 locations since 2016, according to CNN.

The company could be dealing with new ownership in coming months, having announced in February that a sale was being explored. In addition to its 20,000 American stores, Subway has 17,000 locations abroad.

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