This Struggling Sandwich Chain Is Poised For a Comeback
At the height of its game in 2006, one promising restaurant chain seemed like it had the potential to take on the sandwich behemoth that was Subway. And that chain was Quiznos. At the brand's 5,000 restaurants in the U.S, customers were eager to try the new toasted subs in town, and the potential for growth seemed boundless. Alas, it was not meant to be.
Over the next 10 years, Quiznos took a staggering series of losses, and 94% of its restaurants were wiped off the map. As of June 2022, a mere 170 Quiznos locations remained—a far cry from its heyday.
But now, the once-beloved sandwich chain is undertaking a massive redesign in the hopes of winning its customers back. According to a recent press release, Quiznos is back with a new menu and overhauled brand strategy.
What does that actually mean? For starters, it includes an elevated dining experience and a "globally inspired menu." The first of the new stores is now open in Hobbs, New Mexico, and features a drive-thru, patio dining, flat-top grills, and deep fryers, and is the blueprint for all future locations. The Quiznos remodel will extend across the U.S. in the coming months.
"We are always looking for ways to improve the dining experience for our guests and are delighted to roll out these latest updates that take that experience to the next level," Quiznos franchisee Dominik Mendoza said in the release.
While some staple sandwiches are being carried over, others are getting an upgrade, like the Chicken, Italian, and Chicken Carbonara subs, as well as Quiznos' popular veggie guacamole.
A collection of new sandwiches joins the chain's original lineup as well. There's the Asian Steak Dipper sandwich, made with grilled steak, pickled vegetables, cilantro, basil, and a pho dipping sauce; a Steakhouse Philly made with grilled steak, cheddar cheese, provolone, grilled mushrooms, and onions with zesty grill sauce; the Carne Supreme, made with meatballs, pepperoni, salami, capicola, ham, provolone, and marinara; and a new all-day breakfast Steak and Eggs sandwich, featuring fried eggs, grilled steak, white American cheese, grilled onions, and peppers. Two new salads—Steak and Frites and a Cobb—are also being added to the menu.
The company is also joining the growing number of fast-food chains introducing more vegetarian and plant-based products to their offerings. Quiznos' new menu will now include a Beyond Italian Sausage sandwich—the first vegan-friendly protein for the chain.
"As a brand, we are known for our innovation and it all started with being the first to integrate toasting into our menu," said Mark Lohmann, president of REGO Restaurant Group, which owns Quiznos, in the release. "We're bringing in great new flavors and formats for our guests with the launch of these delicious new subs and vegetarian options, as well as the upgraded fan favorites. We continue to seek out more exciting flavors to add to our restaurants and provide a unique, new experience."