Development: Subway changes method for the French market

At the house of Subway , France will display its uniqueness. The fast food brand, which still belongs to the family of its American founders, relies all over the world on the expansion and animation of its network of franchisees provided by ” external business developers. Activities that the personalized sandwich specialist is doinginternalize completely in France, Belgium and Luxembourgthereby aligning with the overall mode of operation of the sector.

“This model will allow better proximity to the network, help accelerate performance and capitalize on multi-franchisees. The development will be done in a less dazzling way but, for many, with partners already there”, estimates Sandra Chassan, who will ensure from the 1er October the general direction of the three countries.

Upgrading of places

In an economic environment that has become more complex, maintaining the link with partners is more than ever the sinews of war for the catering sector , especially for a company like Subway, which has no establishments of its own. It had already worked for several years to restore its reputation with franchisees and develop their attachment to the brand.

Today, 144 restaurants out of the approximately 400 in France are affected by the new organization with generalization planned by next February. The year has started well for Subway, with an increase in turnover over the first eight months of 10% compared to the same period of 2019, before the effects of Covid. On a comparable basis, the increase even reached 14%, more than thirty restaurants, insufficiently efficient, having been closed in the meantime.

The deployment of the brand, which arrived in France in 2001, is more targeted. “Restaurants opened in recent months are settling in more premium places. We are heading towards a reasoned development, by settling in particular in white areas such as Boulogne-Billancourt which has broken sales records”, remarks Sandra Chassan. A total of twenty new establishments should be created this year.

It is also about adapting to new consumption flows. “The hearts of cities, which were in decline, have regained growth, especially in certain suburbs”, observes Sandra Chassan. Telecommuting is ultimately beneficial to them, with people going out to buy their lunch so they don’t have to cook or have it delivered.

For 2022, the network, which has just converted to displaying the Nutri-Score of its recipes, expects sales of around 200 million euros against 185 million in 2019, even if it expects effects related to consumer concerns about purchasing power. He recorded a turnover of 135 million in 2021still very marked by the Covid and the curfews, even if the strength of the lunch at the sandwich specialist limited the impact compared to other players.

A very young clientele

The share of the delivery today has reached an average of 20% compared to 9 to 10% before the Covid. Even if the brand has observed a slight drop in this over the past three months, in line with inflation, certain psychological thresholds, including the price of home reception, have been crossed.

In its points of sale, the brand adjusted its prices in April and July. However, it has taken care to maintain the price of certain recipes to preserve its attractiveness and no longer foresees any increase this year. In particular, it must take into account the fact that 40% of its customers are under 25 years old.

In the medium term, Subway is seeking to adapt its restaurant formats to the areas in which it operates. He also intends to explore the prospects opened up by the success at the beginning of September of his ephemeral store Cookie Way allowing him to personalize his cookies, perhaps by imagining cookie bars in restaurants. Enough to tackle new moments of consumption.

Development: Subway changes method for the French market