Subway CEO Addresses Chain’s Rebrand and its Challenges

New and improved storefront |  Subway

New and improved storefront | Subway

  • Subway CEO makes first ever TV appearance on "CBS News."

  • The sandwich chain has had difficulty completing a total rebrand due to its large number of stores.

Once upon a time, Subway was seen as a disruptor brand.  

It was founded way back in 1965 and was one of the first, if not the first, chain to introduce the open kitchen format, where the ingredients were displayed for the customer to see. Then the sandwich was made in real-time in front of the guest.  

Subway may have the same format today, but a lot has changed in 50 years. 

It's no secret that the chain has struggled significant in today's market. 

Although the chain has dominated the market in terms of volume and has 45,000 stores in 100 countries, Subway is still having trouble competing in today's restaurant space.  

There are now millions of other fast casual concepts and the sandwich sector as a whole has been elevated. 

For the last few years, Subway is attempting to combat its recent slump in both sales and consumer sentiment by doing a complete rebrand.  

Self ordering kiosks |  Subway

Self ordering kiosks | Subway

It all started with an overhaul in technology.

Guests can now order on the recently launched mobile app and through Messenger and then pick up the order in a designated take-out area. This is similar offering to Panera Bread's rapid pick-up area. 

The chain is also incorporating self-order kiosks and digital menu boards.

Then Subway introduced a new "fresh forward" design.

With a new vibrant green design and a fresh vegetable visual display behind the counter next to the state-of-the-art kitchen equipment, the brand has changed its look and is trying to take its tagline "eat fresh" to another level. 

Instagram: @Subway

Instagram: @Subway

Subway's CEO Suzanne Greco, who took over from the chain's founder who was her brother in 2013, recently addressed how the chain is adapting to appeal better to today's consumer while appearing in a TV interview for the first time.

"Fresh, nutritious, customized food at an affordable price, was relevant 50 years ago. That is still relevant today, but we do have to evolve because fresh has a different meaning than it had 20 years ago," said Greco, on "CBS This Morning."

Greco also said that it hasn't been easy to make these changes due to the chain's massive size. 

"There's a lot of disruption so we were the ones that started with this fresh revolution. That's how we started, and that's who we're going to be, that's who we are. But many brands are starting to do that. And that is what customers want," said Greco.  "Consumers' ideas about food and their ideas about restaurants and service have evolved and being the size that we are it's not as simple to make a change, but we are making rapid changes."

Read more about Subway's past and its future plans at “CBS News.”