Subway Will Now Be Slicing Meat Fresh at Each of Its Locations

Customers will be able to see the machines work right in front of them.

February 08, 2023


Photo by: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Subway fans know the sandwich chain made some pretty significant changes in 2021 and 2022. The biggest of them was inarguably the launch of its Subway Series, a streamlined lineup of 12 signature subs you could order by name or number, introduced in July 2022.

That new menu — which, at the time, the North America Subway President Trevor Haynes called “the most ambitious undertaking in company history” — augmented the 60-year-old chain’s usual customizable, made-to-order sandwiches and was good for the indecisive and the in-a-rush.

Clearly, customers have embraced the new way of ordering: Subway Series menu sales now account for 20 percent of all sales at the chain, with more growth expected, and Subway CEO John Chidsey has called it a “win win,” benefiting workers and franchisees, as well as customers, because it makes sandwich prep easier. The menu revamp, as well as store renovations, led Subway to notch a record-setting sales year in 2022, Chidsey told CNN.

Now, in 2023, as store renovations continue, another big new change is coming: Make way for the meat slicers, Subway fans.

Rather than tucking into your sandwich meat that has been shipped pre-sliced at some faraway location, as it previously has, Subway restaurants will now slice sandwich meat at each location, right in front of you. The chain is rolling meat slicers into all of its 22,000 stores for that very purpose.

“We were one of the few, if only, sub shops that didn’t slice in restaurant,” Chidsey told CNN. “Not only does it give the guest a better perception of seeing the nice, fluffy meat, but we save a lot of money since we were paying a lot of money to have it sliced upstream.”

The money it saves will be rolled into forthcoming menu changes, Chidsey said.

And if you’re worried that this will slow down your sandwich order, fear not. The plan is for employees at each location to slice meats (using automatic slicers, not the laborious hand-operated ones) in the morning, as they prepare the food for the day, rather than individually for each sandwich.

“We had some reservations about how difficult this would be for restaurants,” Haynes told Restaurant Business. “But it’s been very smooth and very positive.”

No matter how you slice it, it does sound good.

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