Subway will bring back roast beef and rotisserie chicken after months of demands from franchisees and angry customers

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Subway will bring back roast beef and rotisserie chicken after months of demands from franchisees and angry customers
Subway's roast beef will return to menus this summer.Subway
  • Subway will bring back its roast beef and rotisserie chicken this summer, sources told Insider.
  • The two sandwiches disappeared last year, to the dismay of some customers and franchisees.
  • "Who has a deli shop without roast beef? I mean, it's ridiculous," said one Subway franchisee.

Subway is bringing back its roast beef and rotisserie chicken sandwiches.

The deli staples are finally returning to the menu this summer after disappearing last June, two sources with direct knowledge told Insider.

A Subway representative said in an email to Insider that while the chain "can't unpack all the details just yet, we can confirm that fresh, exciting changes are coming for Subway fans. We look forward to sharing more with you soon."

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When Subway got rid of the sandwiches last year, it was a top-down decision that some operators questioned, according to a veteran Subway franchisee operator from California who wished to remain anonymous.

"Plus who has a deli shop without roast beef? I mean, it's ridiculous," the franchisee added. Subway blamed the menu cuts on the pandemic, the franchisee said.

Customers and franchisees have questioned Subway's strategy

Subway was among many restaurant chains like McDonald's, Panda Express, and Taco Bell that trimmed menu items during the early days of the pandemic.

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But when restrictions lifted in various parts of the US, Subway operators wanted to bring back the two sandwiches to appease consumers, who were demanding the return of the two premium subs on social media.

"The customer reaction was horrendous," the franchisee said. "People were pissed off that those two items were gone. You would think that they would bring them back faster, but they didn't. But finally, this year, they said they are bringing them back."

"I won't eat at Subway again until they bring back Roast beef," reads one recent comment on Subway's Facebook page. "I thought it was a temporary thing but the restaurant I was at today said it was a forever thing. So I said that's the stupidest thing I heard today. I canceled my order and walked out."

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The decision to ditch rotisserie chicken and roast beef is not the only strategy that franchisees say has come from the top without support from the operators that own 100% of Subway locations across the US.

Last June, many franchisees refused to participate in a heavily-hyped two-for-$10 sandwich deal. Franchisees told Insider they have also pushed back on the company's decision to require stores to pre-pandemic hours of operation, despite sales slumps and difficulty staffing locations.

Some franchisees blame CEO John Chidsey, who was hired in November 2019, for the top-down approach.

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"He doesn't really communicate well with franchisees," a second franchisee told Insider. This source also asked to remain anonymous as this person was not authorized by the company to speak to the press. "It's obvious that he thinks franchisees are his employees."

Are you a Subway franchisee or employee with a story to share? Email ktaylor@insider.com and nluna@insider.com, or get in touch via the Signal encrypted messenger app at (646) 768-4740 or (714) 875-6218

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