The sandwich chain is revamping its menu and image to remind us how good a sub shop can be.
Every once in a while a little earworm gets stuck in my head out of nowhere: “We love the subs! ’Cause they are goooood to us!” The undeniable catchiness of the Quiznos jingle (and the grotesquerie of the spongmonkeys who sang it) burned this 2004 commercial into many brains, for better or worse. The Denver Business Journal reported at the time that certain locations’ same-store sales dropped as much as 30% after these ads ran, and some workers were even chastised by customers who said the ads terrified their children. But on the plus side, nearly 20 years later, I’m still thinking about it. And every time that jingle reemerges from my memory, I can’t help but wonder: What’s Quiznos up to these days?
The answer, in 2022, turns out to be “a whole lot, actually.” According to QSR Magazine, the sandwich chain is gearing up for a total makeover of its kitchens, service models, and menu. The restaurant might have seemingly lain dormant for the past decade or so, but we are blessedly about to enter a Quiznos renaissance. It’s about damn time.
Why Quiznos is revamping its image
It’s been a rough decade or so for Quiznos. In the late 2000s, the chain had nearly 5,000 locations in the United States, QSR Magazine reports, a figure that has now dipped below 200. The company declared bankruptcy in 2014, and in 2018 it was bought by private equity firm High Bluff Capital and was absorbed into the REGO Restaurant Group, which also handles Seattle-based chain Taco Del Mar. It’s the team at REGO that is now hoping to revitalize Quiznos, starting with a new location in Hobbs, New Mexico.
“The new restaurant is really a redesigned and reimagined Quiznos, built truly to evolving consumer interest,” REGO vice president of marketing and digital experience Brent Phillip told QSR. “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.’”
What to expect from new Quiznos locations
Photos of the new design seem aligned with the style we’re seeing at several fast casual chains like Chipotle, Sweetgreen, and Shake Shack: sleek and modern architecture with strategic dashes of color (in this case, bright green and neon orange). In the kitchen, the biggest changes are the addition of a flat-top grill and deep fryer, allowing for more menu creativity. The Hobbs location will also be the first to have a drive-thru, likely a response to COVID-era preferences.