Nation & World

Subway ends $5 foot-long sandwich deal

'It's not just about one price point'

Bloomberg

Subway restaurant owners now can decide on their own if they want to use the $5-for-a-footlong offer.
Bloomberg Subway restaurant owners now can decide on their own if they want to use the $5-for-a-footlong offer.

It was March 2008 and America was about to fall into the Great Recession when Subway launched the $5 foot-long special.

The budget deal — 12 inches of bread, meat and veggies for a few bucks — became an immediate hit for the Connecticut-based fast food brand.

As Businessweek reported in 2009, within the first two weeks of the campaign sales shot up 25 percent on average at Subway shops. The marketing jingle became a pop culture phenomenon.

The $5 foot-long eventually would generate $3.8 billion in nationwide sales by the end of August 2009, lifting Subway into the top 10 fast-food brands in the country.

But in an interview with USA Today, Subway CEO Trevor Haynes revealed the company no longer will require franchisees to run the special.

In recent years, the promotion had become a contentious point among store owners, some of whom believed the deal did not help their profitability.

The brand has more than 44,000 franchises across 110 countries. But as the Washington Post reported in 2015, Subway has suffered from competition such as Chipotle and Firehouse Subs, rivals that apparently offer better quality food and more options for consumers.

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The company’s image was not helped when Jared Fogle, the brand’s pitchman, was handed a 15-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2015 to child pornography charges.

In his interview with USA Today, Haynes, the company’s CEO, acknowledged Subway locations will begin offer new menu items and specials.

“Affordable food is what we’ve always stood for,” Haynes said. “It’s not just about one price point.”

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