The way consumers define their relationship with quick service restaurants is evolving. Nowadays, it is all about making food affordable, convenient and accessible. However, consumers also want nutritious food on-the-go and Subway aims to deliver that affordably around the world.
Airports, in particular, are an important part of Subway’s growing business. This year alone, the company has opened airport outlets in Germany, Mexico, Brazil, India, Thailand and Turkey, and it is in the process of opening additional outlets in India, Oman, Singapore, Venezuela and Malaysia.
“We have locations in 113 countries around the world, and we want to make sure consumers think of the Subway sandwich shop first when they are craving ‘better for you’ choices or something more savoury,” explains Donald Fertman, Chief Development Officer, Subway. “We serve 37 million sandwich combinations and we offer guests with very different tastes and needs a one-stop-shop to sit and eat together or to take on their flights.”
Subway’s strategy and focus is on making the customer experience convenient. “We are always looking at how important the customer experience is through the physical space – is our location in a visible area that passengers frequent and are we taking advantage of airport marketing and signage opportunities?”
Subway’s Sandwich Artists and franchisees engage with millions of customers around the world each day.
“We want to inspire them to do everything they can to ensure our customers have the same great Subway® sandwich shop visit whether they are in Beijing or Boston,” explains Fertman. Additionally, the company also focuses on its digital strategy as a way to extend the customer experience beyond the four walls of the restaurant into digital channels. “We launched Subway Digital in 2016, a brand division dedicated to building and expanding the restaurant experience through an omni-channel strategy,” says Fertman. “We are evaluating all aspects of technology, from consumer-facing loyalty programmes and the Subway App, to identifying new initiatives to personalise engagement with customers.”
Subway’s commitment to investing in the best technology to connect with customers is evident through its many digital options, such as remote ordering through the Subway App and bot for Facebook Messenger, and quick self-order kiosks in selected restaurant locations.
Looking ahead, Subway is even more excited for the future. “In the midst of a major transformation, we are looking at every aspect of our business and making improvements – from the food and customer experience to the restaurant design and technology. Our priorities are – and always have been – delivering an exceptional guest experience and creating great opportunities for our franchisees to grow their businesses. That’s what we do,” Fertman concludes.