With the news that Subway is closing down hundreds if not potentially thousands of locations, the Shameless Consumer decided to take on the task of fixing Subway’s woes by himself. As a card carrying Subway member and thus a master in the way of the sub, here are five ways Subway can stop shooting itself in the foot.
1. All Your Sandwich Artists Need Mustaches
All of them. Even the female employees.
Let’s be fair, the public doesn’t view Subway employees as sandwich artists as much as they do minimum wage fast food workers. If Subway wants to call its workers artists, they need to be appropriately adorned with an artist’s mustache. Nothing crazy, we’re not talking Nick Offerman level of facial fur. Just a simple artist cut.
Who wouldn’t want to have their Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki put together by a spry young Sandwich Artiste twirling her well oiled mustache as she asks if you’d like banana peppers or olives? If the Subway next to Shameless Consumer Industries hasn’t shut down and been replaced by a Major Magics that may or may not be haunted, I’d be in there every day for my signature cold cut combo.
2. Find Subway’s Double Down
Shameless Consumer has previously referred to the Double Down as a fake food, it’s a product that really exists just to get people talking about the brand on social media, because that’s the kind of thing that drives sales in this day and age. It’s a product that is both zany and sounds pretty tasty, but you never order it because the place is always out of stock (Double Down) or the name is embarrassing (Rooty Tooty Fresh n Fruity).
Every fast food joint has to have its Double Down. Taco Bell virtually develops all of its food for social media, Burger King has its Cheetos products, Arby’s has the Meat Mountain, McDonald’s not so much, and I think you get my point. Subway needs to come out with something crazy, crazier than the thick sliced rotisserie chicken or flatbread pizzas (which are quite tasty).
Subway needs its own Double Down, and as a one time deal, I am here to offer Subway its Double Down. Here’s what you do, and you can have this idea for just 1% of your CEO’s salary (payable on approval).
Picture this commercial: Handsome fit young lady walks into a Subway restaurant and orders a six inch steak and cheese. The Subway Sandwich Aritste playfully twirls their well oiled mustache as the lady chooses her bread and type of cheese. Then the two share knowing glances as she nods and says “dip it.” The Sandwich Artiste takes her six inch steak and cheese and dunks the bastard in a container of Subway brand au jus sauce.
Next cut, the lady is very clearly enjoying her sandwich dripping with meat broth. Camera focuses in on an old couple in line and both the couple and the Subway worker are watching the woman eat with hungry envy. Zoom in on the old lady who says “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Then Alec Baldwin shows up right in front of the camera and, twirling his own oiled mustache, says “with Subway’s new Dip It Au Jus, you too can add that kick to any sandwich. Just ask your artiste to dip it, dunk it, douse it, or drown it. I’m Alec Baldwin, and as an honorary Sandwich Artiste I know a lot about Au Jus.”
Marketing material should naturally show some athletic looking dude doing extreme sports like bungee jumping or skateboarding while dunking various non-steak and cheese sandwiches, with a speech bubble that says “any Subtime, any Subway. Dunk em all.”
Bam, you can thank me for singlehandedly turning around your misfortune in the form of a lifetime of free Subway, or 1% of your CEO’s annual salary, whichever involves less paperwork. I’m not evil.
3. Roll Hard On Those Popular High Profit Margin Items
Does Subway sell coffee? If not, sell coffee. In fact, let’s go further. Sell Starbucks coffee. The partnership will do great things for your brand and bring in those hipster millennials who already don’t mind paying premium prices for a tasty coffee beverage and since Starbucks itself isn’t so strong in terms of meal food, probably wouldn’t mind picking up a delicious Subway flatbread breakfast sandwich or something to have for lunch with their coffee.
Now obviously the Shameless Consumer knows that Subway has coffee, since we put a photo of it right before this section. That being said, we’re willing to bet that most people reading this did not know that Subway sold coffee.
You can even roll that into your advertising. Roll out a commercial with a tired, haggard looking mom driving to work on a rainy morning. She sees a Starbucks and a Jimmy John’s across the street from each other and realizes she doesn’t have enough time to go to both places and still make it to work on time but she didn’t pack a lunch and forgot her morning coffee. Then she sees Subway with its “Now Serving Starbucks” sign and the heavens open up.
Same terms and conditions from the previous cure to your problems apply to this.
4. Your New Spokesperson
This is obvious.
5. Restrain the Expansion
And finally, let’s not forget why Subway is partially in this pickle (or banana pepper, your choice) in the first place: Senseless expansion. Subway needs to stop letting its franchises open competing restaurants so close to one another.
To understand where the Shameless Consumer is coming from on this, take this test: Go to Subway’s website and type your zip code and see how many locations are within five miles of your location, and then ten. For the Shameless Consumer, there are ten locations within a five mile radius, and twenty within a ten mile radius.
Now compare that to Burger King (3 & 10), McDonald’s (4 & 12), Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc. Subway has about as many franchise locations as Starbucks and McDonald’s put together, and around a third of them are allegedly unprofitable.
In a way, Subway franchises have become just as expendable to Subway corporate as Subway employees are to Subway franchises, because the corporate body keeps the price to buy in as cheap as humanly possible and because the franchises barely make a fraction of what the competition brings in. As such, Subway costs about a tenth to own a franchise of what McDonald’s costs, for instance, requires less money, and also makes a small portion of their revenue.
So maybe try to assist your existing franchises before you double down on bringing in new ones.