Over 40 years ago, one fast-food sandwich chain differentiated itself with a seemingly simple step in sandwich-making—toasting. While Subway's food was still cold, Quiznos was serving its subs hot, and customers started flocking to its thousands of locations to try them.
But Quiznos has since gone through a decline in popularity, as demonstrated by the fact that it has closed a whopping 94% of locations since its peak some 15 years ago. In spite of that, the chain is looking to reclaim its once-stellar reputation in the world of fast-food and is launching a new store design, complete with upgraded kitchen equipment, that will allow for menu innovation and efficiency.
The chain's back of the house used to center around the toaster, but the new restaurant prototype incorporates a flat top grill and even a deep fryer, making Quiznos's service faster and better prepared to take on the drive-thru business.
"That was really the first reason why we look to those pieces of equipment, and then once that opened up, it allowed us to really start to dive into what was possible that we could actually bring in from new menu items, new side items, and really drive those pieces of equipment to add value and help franchisees realize the return on investment," said Greg Boudreaux, Quiznos' brand leader, according to QSR Magazine.
The chain has incorporated the modernized kitchen, as well as a brand new store design with a drive-thru, at a newly opened location in Hobbs, N.M. Several more restaurants, featuring the new design, are planned for this year, while dozens more will open next year.
New menu items that fans can expect to try at the new locations are Steak and Egg sandwich, Asian Steak Dipper sandwich, Steakhouse Philly sandwich, and the Carne Supreme. Quiznos is also introducing a Beyond Italian Sausage sandwich, which will be the first vegan-friendly protein for the chain, and two new salads, the Steak and Frites and a Cobb.
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"The new restaurant is really a redesigned and reimagined Quiznos, built truly to evolving consumer interest," said Brent Phillip, vice president of marketing and digital experience for parent company REGO Restaurant Group. "So it is founded on extensive research that was done prior to the pandemic and through the pandemic for what should Quiznos look like and feel like in terms of consumers experience, to provide them what they're seeking today, but also really truly 'wow.'"