Subway Restaurants' $5 Footlong jingle is the kind of ear worm that'd hard to get out of your head, but now you might have to.
The iconic sandwich may no longer be at your local restaurant. Trevor Haynes, the current CEO of the Milford, Connecticut, has told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview that starting this month, each franchisee will be allowed to decide whether to sell the sub that is so famous.
When the chain brought the $5 Footlong back in winter after a yearslong absence, many franchisees were irate. They complained loudly of the slim margins they earned off of the discounted 'wich; and according to Haynes, the company, whose restaurants are 100% franchised, listened to the gripes.
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"How do we help our franchises with more of a regional value message, so they're able to (have) a value proposition that fits with their economic model," said Haynes. "If you look at California, there's a very different cost of business than in Arkansas."
The 53-year-old privately-held company, originally called Pete's Super Submarines, had $16.8 billion in global sales in 2017, thanks to some 44,000 restaurants worldwide, including 25,000 in the U.S. Subway, which has put about 1,300 stateside locations on the chopping block in two years, declined to share growth percentages or customer traffic numbers.
Haynes, 47, became CEO this summer after Suzanne Greco, sister of Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca, retired. The Australian has worked for the company for 12 years on three continents and inherited a brand still smarting by the sex and child-pornography scandal of former company spokesman Jared Fogle.
The demise of the $5 Footlong is just one of the differences customers will notice at Subway. Here are four other changes Haynes shared with USA Today.