Subway is stepping up its sandwich game in a big way.
The sandwich franchise is set to forgo its signature pre-sliced deli meats for fresh-cut proteins with the addition of meat slicers in all U.S. restaurants. Beginning July 5, about 20,000 US locations will start serving freshly sliced deli meats, including turkey, pepperoni, roast beef, ham and salami, with 80% of stores displaying $6,000 slicers depending on the counter space, according to CNN.
Subway first announced the change up to Restaurant Business Online in August 2022, and told customers they can expect freshly-sliced meats by summer 2023.
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The transition is “part of Subway’s ongoing transformation journey,” a Subway spokesperson said in a statement to People, adding that the brand is on a quest to “[elevate] the quality of our protein offerings even further.”
Restaurant Business Online previously reported that Subway’s new slicers will be automatic and can be operated with the push of a button. The initiative is expected to bring down labor costs as the company will no longer have to outsource to slice its proteins. Additionally, the machinery will be placed at the front of stores so customers can see the process and be assured they are receiving fresh meats.
Subway’s revamped deli meats come after the brand was sued in 2021 for claiming its tuna was “100% real.” Various DNA testing proved there were “no detectable tuna DNA sequences whatsoever” in 19 out of 20 samples collected from Subway locations in Southern California, with all 20 samples containing “detectable sequences of chicken DNA.”
While Subway’s defense claimed the DNA results could have been impacted by cross-contamination, a judge ruled in July 2022 that the company can be sued for claiming they offer “100% tuna.”
All 22,000 Subway restaurants are expected to implement the new meat slicers.