Adapting to a new normal for restaurants, Subway locations across the U.S. are selling sandwich ingredients for customers to pick up or get delivered.
The “Subway Marketplace” allows customers to order a selection of prepackaged meats, vegetables, and breads to create their own sandwiches at home. Franchise locations can opt in to the new program, with 650 locations across the country already participating. To keep restaurants safe for pickup, Subway created new cleaning guidelines that ensure high-touch areas, such as door handles and credit card machines, are cleaned every hour. Employees are also provided face masks and protective shields and will adhere to social distancing of six feet. In addition to the marketplace, over 900 locations have also turned into “Subway Grocery”, selling grocery essentials to local customers, contact-free. For both the marketplace and grocery, customers can place orders online or through the brand’s app. Ordering through the app allows Subway to optimize its pickup and delivery functionalities, according to a Gartner report on the topic.
While Subway is making it easy for customers to get ingredients they need, the brand is also running a relief program to benefit first responders. Customers can choose to “send a sub” to first responders in addition to placing grocery orders or simply as standalone donations. As well, for every Footlong sandwich ordered until April 30th, Subway will donate a meal to Feeding America, with a goal of donating 15 million meals during the crisis. To promote all of its pandemic-response efforts, Subway has been active across social media, especially featuring its “buy two, get one free” deal on Footlong sandwich orders and free delivery.
Subway’s adjustments to its typical business regime could grow its consumer base as the brand’s accommodating practices reach new audiences looking to shake things up from ordering food for delivery during the pandemic.