Subway is strategically growing its non-traditional locations, such as airports, truck stop plazas, colleges campuses and hospitals, but the brand is also expanding its portfolio to better serve their “on-the-go” guests, according to a press release.
For the first three quarters of 2022, approximately 5,900 non-traditional locations across the U.S. and Canada — representing about 25% of Subway’s North American footprint — saw an average 13% increase in same-store sales, compared to the same period in 2021. Locations that were hit hardest by COVID-19 restrictions, such as airports, college campuses and hospitals, experienced an average 22% increase, indicating a strong recovery in 2022 across channels impacted by the pandemic.
The brand is testing non-traditional locations around the world.
“As more of our guests search for dining experiences to meet their ‘in-the-moment’ needs, the brand’s non-traditional locations and platforms can serve them wherever and whenever they are craving Subway,” Taylor Bennett, vice president of non-traditional development at Subway, said in the press release. “As Subway focuses on strategic and profitable growth, there is a significant opportunity to expand our footprint in non-traditional locations and for franchisees to generate incremental revenue for their business.”
Subway piloted its Subway Grab & Go platform in which sandwiches are prepared fresh and distributed to retail locations like casinos, convenience and gas stores, hospitals and airports. Subway’s Grab & Go is available in more than 400 locations across North America.
In September, the brand installed its first Smart Fridge at the University of California at San Diego. Stocked daily by a local franchisee, the Smart Fridge uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing, and guests can talk directly to the Smart Fridge. UV-C light sanitation after every purchase helps guests stay confident in the quality of their food.
Subway operates more than 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.