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Subway’s new menu limits customers' ability to customize sandwiches

Yahoo Finance Live anchors break down how Subway's new menu limits the ability to customize sandwiches.

Video Transcript


BRAD SMITH: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live, everyone. Subway is rolling out a new menu, but those sandwiches will not be as easy to customize. And the company said that the menu is, quote unquote, "expertly crafted" and designed to bring the best out of Subway. But can it really be the best when you will not be allowed or able to pile on the toppings? That's the big question. And that's where we find Sozzi's take today. Sozzi, what do you think?

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, I need to be really careful because I'm learning in real-time our staff really, really loves Subway. And historically, I've liked it, too, but I don't think the ingredients are where they need to be. But new initiative by Subway, and I think our Brooke DiPalma discussed this a little bit yesterday on one of the shows.

They're offering 12 new sandwiches. You walk into a Subway restaurant. You go in there. And you're likely now to see a menu board offering 12 sandwiches pre-made. Not pre-made in terms of the sandwiches sitting in a cooler somewhere-- you can now just go, hey, I want a number 6. And you can order one of those sandwiches like we see on the screen.

Now, this is, I think, getting applauded out there on Twitter. You know, this is pretty good. It'd be nice to just walk into a restaurant, get in, get out, and get your order. And I that's a large part of the reason why Subway is doing this, especially when labor is under severe pressure. Can they find labor? Probably not. Restaurants are still struggling with this. And can they pay workers enough to keep that labor in their restaurant? So they're going to come out with this pre-set menu.

But Brad, this really unwinds, really, the main reason Subway was founded, is, you can walk into the restaurant and get whatever you want. I know they're keeping customization in place. But still, when I walk in there, I want that full confidence I can get my double turkey. I can maybe go for a triple turkey. I can get my extra pickles. And I don't have to worry about these things. And there I am, holding a Subway sandwich.

So, you know, I think Subway has to really toe a fine line because I can go into my Jersey Mike's that just opened down the street and get full customization, not be beat over the head with various pre-made sandwiches here. But, again, the competition in this space remains very fierce. You have a lot of competitors out there trying to grab that Subway crown at a time where the company is still closing a large number of restaurants. According to Restaurant Business Online, Subway US closed 1,000-- 1,000 restaurants last year.

BRAD SMITH: Look, it's just a race for second place up against Wawa. Let's be real here. But Subway--

BRIAN SOZZI: Oh, come on.

BRAD SMITH: --we know--


BRAD SMITH: We know-- what?


BRAD SMITH: Wawa Hoagie Fest has begun. It is summer of 2022. It is Hoagie Fest time. Forget the Subway stuff here. Subway, they barely put the amounts that they are looking at within that-- can we toss the video or the photo back up there? When is the last time you went into a Subway and remember seeing that much meat on your Subway sandwich? You don't.

BRIAN SOZZI: It never exists. It doesn't-- you know, I was thinking, Brad. You know who I wish was in this segment? Julie Hyman. You know, she is a big food innovation person, especially in fast food. And I'm sure she would have loved this discussion, but I've never seen a Subway sandwich like that. I think that's quadruple turkey, quadruple beef.

BRAD SMITH: It is, and you're paying up for it. In the trade down environment, you're trading up for even more of the beef, the meatballs, everything. You've got to ask for more scoops. And that's going to cost you at the end of the day.