Monday, April 17, 2017

Firehouse Subs tries something new for the sandwich world

Besides adding a new sauce or combination of the usual ingredients, it's not that easy to introduce something new to the sandwich world.

The newest try is from Firehouse Subs, the 1,000+-unit chain that entered the Capital Region market in 2014. It is rolling out smaller versions of its sandwiches systemwide in a move to attract new customers and drive frequency among existing guests, according to an announcement from CEO Don Fox.

That may sound like just another way of making a half sandwich, something every competitor does. In this instance, however, the smaller subs replace the chain’s lower-calorie Hearty & Flavorful sandwich line which had consisted of reformulated versions of regular subs with less bread and lighter sauces and cheeses. The sandwiches had under 500 calories, but had similar price points to full-calorie items.

"As things progressed, we thought it was more important to have some greater variety, and maybe a greater opportunity on price point," Fox told Nation’s Restaurant News. The sandwiches were tested in some markets in the fall and, Fox said, they far outperformed the Hearty & Flavorful sandwiches. "In fact, we were selling more than twice the number."

The new sandwiches have two ounces of protein instead of the four ounces in medium subs. They are 3.5 to 4 inches long and start at $3.99 for a Hook & Ladder, made with smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham and melted Monterey Jack cheese.

Although Firehouse Subs has a number of locations throughout New York State, the only one in the Capital Region is in the shopping strip at 860 Loudon Road (Route 9) in Latham near the entrance to Latham Farms.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

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