Subway Canada to Overhaul Locations with New Offerings and Retail Design


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As part of the brand’s global transformation, Subway Canada is raising the bar for guest experience thanks to a multi-million dollar investment by the company which is seeing more than 2,900 locations in Canada getting a fresh look.

The FreshNOW vision includes new flavours, a new design and decor, and enhanced customer service training initiatives. Company officials estimate the total cost of the enhancement program to be about $9.5 million.

“Really it’s a global initiative on a flavour refresh for Subway,” said Terry Dennis, country director of Canada for the company. “It’s aimed to really enhance the guest experience. We’re doing phases as we go through. This is going to update our decor, our menu design, and ultimately a really new robust flavour station that’s really going to enhance the Fresh program.

“This grant program will cover all costs across 2,900 locations. It’s really all about the guests. This FreshNow program is going to provide all our owners, managers, sandwich artists just the tools and the vibrant appearance of our sandwich unit to really raise the bar and offer ultimately a best in class experience for all our guests.”

The first Subway location in Canada opened in June 1986 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. There are currently 3,200 Canadian Subway restaurants.

FreshNOW introduces a number of new initiatives including:

●     Flavour Stations with new FreshNOW flavours, sauces and seasonings like its new basil pesto sauce and Subway herb garlic oil;

●     New equipment, including new shakers, seasoning grinders and oil dispensers;

●     New black menu board design; and

●     Enhanced customer service training programs including an employee recognition program.

Dennis said the initiative really starts with the sandwich unit and the company is updating that entire piece of equipment. It’s implementing stainless steel pans to hold the quality products fresher.

The lighting throughout the sandwich unit has been brightened to showcase its vibrant and fresh vegetables.

“We’ve gone with a black menu panel design which really brings out the sandwich choices and it’s really easier for our guests to navigate through those choices that they can make,” said Dennis.

“On top of that, we’re really bringing up the importance of the customer and guest service. We started out doing the training modulars just as we’re getting the FreshNOW implemented over the next couple of weeks to make sure the sandwich artists are properly explained. What’s new. How they can use it. What’s your best choices for the sandwiches. As well as getting feedback to see have we missed anything. What they liked or didn’t like – because this is an ongoing phase that we’ll continue through for the next three or four years. Starting in 2020, we’re rolling out a full enhanced customer service training program. That’s going to be going all year.”

Does Dennis see the company’s footprint growing across Canada?

“That’s a very good question. When we relocate restaurants to higher traffic, the demographics of every town and city changes. We’re really trying to upgrade that footprint. We’re constantly looking at building for the future as we go forward with all of our new innovation.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


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