After a year of global brand transformation, we asked Subway® Australia and New Zealand Country Director, Geoff Cockerill, to share what’s next for the popular brand and how they’ll continue to capitalise on the momentum they’ve built despite the challenges of a global pandemic.
With over 40,000 locations globally, Subway® is the world’s largest restaurant brand, but size doesn’t mean complacency for Geoff and his teams. “I’m proud to say we’ve revitalised more restaurants in 2021 than in any previous year,” says Cockerill, and even more are set to be completed in 2022.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Geoff says Subway’s global brand transformation has delivered an increase in sales and helped the brand to remain front-of-mind.
“Brands have to move to remain culturally relevant and significant in people’s lives,” Geoff says.
“It’s important that we always have our finger on the pulse, so we can understand when demand is changing.”
In response to that demand, Geoff notes the Subway® menu is “constantly evolving”.
“We respond to what we hear, and we work to find new and exciting flavours,” he continued. “To stay fresh, you have to refresh!”
For Subway, staying fresh means more next-generation restaurants than ever before and an expansion of remote ordering and delivery options that work for guests.
A ‘Fresh forward’ revolution
Subway® Australia and New Zealand was one of the first regions to begin rolling out Subway’s bright new image for its stores.
Known as ‘Fresh Forward’, the updates include playful décor and wall art, curated music playlists and USB charging stations. It’s a bright, bold shake up that reflects the fun at the heart of the brand.
As far as progress goes, Geoff couldn’t be happier. “Even with the challenges of 2020,” he concedes, “we hit a milestone of 308 remodellings across Australia and New Zealand.”
And, so far, Geoff reports, guests are loving the change. “The fresh look has attracted loads of new guests and even persuaded past guests to taste how things have changed,” Geoff says. “The brand has become even more relevant and significant to Australians. It’s a great feeling.”
Since the rollout started in 2017, the brand has modernised over 35% of restaurants across Australia and New Zealand.
Geoff says that’s a testament to the confidence and hard work of their Franchisees and Business Development teams. “Their belief in our brand and relentless work have brought this transformation to life.”
New locations across the country
Existing restaurants aren’t the only focus of Subway’s growth, Cockerill says. While the brand has been working with existing teams to modernise their offerings, they’ve also been partnering with new franchisees across the country to bring new restaurants to all new guests.
In December 2021 alone, Subway® will open 12 new restaurants across Australia and New Zealand.
With vaccination rates rising and guests returning to in-store shopping, Cockerill believes consumers will still look for the easiest and most accessible option, which serves as solid leveraging to roll out new locations, and new options for ordering, across the franchise.
The food you want, when you want it
In a year of economic uncertainty, Geoff spearheaded efforts to find new and innovative ways to get sandwiches, salads, wraps and cookies to guests who were unable to visit a Subway restaurant.
“Early on, we introduced delivery options to retain as many guests as possible,” Geoff said. “We engaged with the top delivery providers in the region, and focused on digital solutions for remote ordering.”
That quick pivot paid off. So far, the tactic has proved hugely successful for Subway, and continuing to grow the brand’s presence in the delivery and digital service spaces will be a key priority for 2022.
Guests who can reach a store, can also now access a new ‘24-hour window’. Guests place their orders using the Subway®, Australia app and collect them from an express pick-up drawer. The first ‘24-hour window’ was installed in Bald Hills, Brisbane, with more set to be rolled out in city centers across Australia.
“These innovations ensure our franchisees can attract new guests and drive conversions by offering a steady stream of products in our physical restaurants and through an online experience.”
What’s next for the brand?
As health and wellness take centre stage, Geoff believes guests will continue to look for fresh, convenient options they can customise to meet their needs.
So, when looking ahead for Subway®, Cockerill has absolute confidence.
“There has never been a more exciting time in Subway® Australia and New Zealand! These exiting changes are all part of the Subway brand evolution that’s occurred over the past two years, and the hard work of all our teams means we’re on an upward trajectory.”
Anyone interested in learning more about a Subway® franchise can find out more at: subway-franchise.com