It seems like Subway wants us to eat fresher, healthier and cleaner: the sandwich shop is now introducing the Rotisserie-Style Chicken that is raised without antibiotics.
Back in 1965, Fred DeLuca set out to fulfill his dream of becoming a medical doctor. Searching for a way to help pay for his education, a family friend suggested he open a submarine sandwich shop. With a loan of $1,000, the friend—Dr. Peter Buck—offered to become Fred’s partner, and a business relationship was forged that would change the landscape of the fast food industry.
This is how the first Subway store was opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. Then, they set a goal of having 32 stores opened in 10 years. Fred soon learned the basics of running a business, as well as the importance of serving a well-made, high quality product, providing excellent customer service, keeping operating costs low and finding great locations.
These early lessons continue to serve as the foundation for successful SUBWAY restaurants all around the world.
Now, we all know that Subway uses the motto ‘Eat Fresh’, and focuses on how their sandwiches are made from freshly baked bread and fresh ingredients, in front of customers to their exact specifications.
However, the motto is getting new meaning with an upcoming lineup that includes antibiotic-free meat. It turns out that the fast-food restauranteur will add a new chicken sandwich to its menu, one that will feature antibiotic-free meat for the first time in the chain’s history.
The new sandwich, which Subway showcased at a media event in Manhattan this week, will debut on March 1 at U.S. restaurants. Subway says the new rotisserie-style chicken sandwich also features no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
A year ago, McDonald’s said it would eliminate antibiotics, but is still working with suppliers to make the change.
Chick-fil-A made a similar announcement in 2014. So far, its accomplished 23% of its goal to eliminate antibiotics and is on track for a full conversion by 2019.
Many fast food and so-called fast casual companies want to convince customers of their commitment to “cleaner” ingredients. Subway also said it was on “track to remove all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from North American menu items.”
Subway has also committed to nixing antibiotics in turkey, with the first products expected later this year. The ultimate goal: removing all antibiotics from meat by 2025.
Of course, public health officials have been warning about the dangers of antibiotics in food supplies for years. The food industry’s overuse of the drugs is fomenting the rise of the superbug – bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. That’s because every time we use antibiotics, some bacteria survive, and those drug-resistant bacteria can then multiply and spread.
Last year, a group of advocacy organizations published a report that graded fast food chains based on their antibiotics policies. Subway was one of the companies that received an ‘F,’ along with Wendy’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Domino’s and Starbucks.
At the time, the report said that Chipotle and Panera were the only chains that said publicly that a majority of their meat and poultry is produced without the routine use of the drugs.
However, Subway says its achievement is unique because of the scale of its operation. It has about 27,000 stores in the U.S., while Chipotle and Panera have a fraction off that.
The menu addition is part of a broader plan by Subway to transition to only serving chicken raised without antibiotics, with a promise to make the transition for all chicken it serves in the U.S. by the end of 2016.
It will also transition to turkey raised without antibiotics over the next two to three years, while the pork and beef phase will be completed in 2025. The longer delay for those meats is because it takes longer for those animals to mature, and thus the change takes more time for suppliers to implement.
All in all, it seems like Subway, like many of its competitors, is responding to a consumer-driven trend. One question still remains: will the fresher and cleaner image of Subway actually boost sales? That, only time will tell.
Image Source: restaurantnews.com.