Subway announces a major menu update with the debut of Sidekicks, a collection of three new footlong snacks available only at Subway restaurants nationwide. Subway Sidekicks give fans more of what they love about Subway as the perfect pairing for their favorite footlong, or as a sweet and savory snack any time of day.  

Subway Sidekicks are the latest in a series of initiatives developed in collaboration with Subway's franchisees to enhance the overall guest experience, drive more traffic to restaurants and increase profitability for franchisees. In addition to Sidekicks, Subway provided deli meat slicers to every Subway restaurant in the U.S. – further improving the quality of their meats by freshly slicing many of the proteins in restaurants – and designed a guest friendly menu where chef-inspired sandwiches can simply be ordered by name or number.

The brand has also made digital innovations and enhancements to the guest experience, like the relaunch of its loyalty program – Subway MVP Rewards.

Subway, one of the world's largest restaurant brands, is kicking off 2024 with a hot new menu category that is exceeding sales expectations and creating fresh momentum following another year of record business results.

Since debuting last month, guests have rushed to their local Subway to experience "Subway Sidekicks," featuring Subway Footlong Cookies, Cinnabon® Footlong Churros, and Auntie Anne's® Footlong Pretzels. Available exclusively at Subway restaurants, more than 3.5 million Sidekicks have been sold in the two weeks since launch, resulting in Subway rushing additional supply to meet guest crave. In particular, the Subway Footlong Cookie has had unprecedented demand.

These initiatives are paying off and contributed to Subway ending 2023 by achieving 12 consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales globally and, for the first time since 2016, positive global net restaurant growth.

2023 results, compared to 2022, include:

  • 6.4% increase in same-store sales globally.
  • 5.9% increase in same-store sales in North America, with the top 75% of locations (about 17,000 restaurants) up 10.1%.
  • Double-digit growth in digital sales around the world, with 21.8% increase in North America.

Over 18,000 global locations in Subway's contemporary image, including over 12,000 in North America, with a record-breaking more than 4,000 remodels in the region completed in 2023 alone.

"Sidekicks are a big hit with guests and the latest proof that Subway is a remarkably different brand than it was when we began our transformation journey three years ago – and we're not slowing down," saiys John Chidsey, chief executive officer of Subway. "Our consistent positive sales results and the renewed enthusiasm from guests around the world is a true testament to our team's commitment and the changes we've made across every part of our business."

In 2024, Subway is leaning into the momentum it saw last year. Guests can expect exciting new menu items at a great value, as well as enhancements to their in-restaurant, online and in-app experience, with even more convenience for the on-the-go consumer.

Smart growth and international expansion will also remain key priorities as the brand works to ensure restaurants are in the right location, image and format, and operated by the right franchisees. Efforts include strategically opening new restaurants, including non-traditional locations, modernizing the image of all Subway restaurants and partnering with franchisees – such as multi-unit owners and Master Franchisees who have the operating expertise, resources and passion to grow with the Subway brand. 

New twist

To take snacking to new lengths, Subway's culinary team joined forces with Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's to create a craveworthy new twist on their classic snacks. Subway also spent a year perfecting the recipe for its Footlong Cookie to complete this irresistible new addition to Subway's menu that's big on size, taste and value:

  • A new Cinnabon Footlong Churro for $2, is baked to perfection, served warm and topped with Cinnabon's world-famous Makara® cinnamon and sugar.
  • The Auntie Anne's Footlong Pretzel for $3, reimagines Auntie Anne's buttery and salty classic, served with a side of Subway's Honey Mustard that takes each bite to another level.*
  • The Footlong Cookie for $5, is back nationwide and better than ever after popping up in select restaurants on National Cookie Day in 2022 and 2023 – it's thick, gooey and packed with chocolate chips.

"The introduction of Sidekicks builds on six decades of equity and expertise in all things footlong," said Douglas Fry, president of Subway North America. "This whole new category on our menu offers Subway fans something they can't get anywhere else and kicks off a year of culinary innovation and delicious new menu items. 2024 may be the most exciting chapter yet in our growth story."

Subway's multiyear transformation journey began in 2021 with an overhaul of its pantry of ingredients and continued to crescendo with significant changes to its entire guest experience, whether dining in or ordering online. While previous menu and experience updates have been focused on Subway's signature sandwiches, Sidekicks puts a deserved spotlight on the rest of Subway's menu.

"We're excited to team up with Subway to bring guests the fun and flavor of two of our iconic brands - Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's," said Dave Mikita, president of international and retail channels at Focus Brands. "These fan-favorite snacks will delight guests in new, craveable ways."