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On the heels of its “Make It What You Want” campaign during the Winter Olympics—where Subway showed customers how it is shifting its advertising strategy to develop creative messaging that resonates with its core audience in a more contemporary fashion—the company announced plans for a new loyalty program that launches in March.
Subway’s new loyalty program will offer customers $2 off any menu item for every $50 spent. Subway’s U.S. sales fell 4.4 percent in 2017, according to food service research company Technomic.
The new loyalty program, Subway MyWay Rewards, which will be offered in all of Subway’s 25,600 U.S. locations and about 2,800 of its Canadian stores, grants users four tokens for every dollar spent. Customers will also receive surprises such as free cookies and chips on their birthdays and as a reward for ordering more.
“The Subway MyWay Rewards program will be the latest release in a long line of innovation from Subway Digital,” Carissa Ganelli, Subway’s Chief Digital Officer, told Loyalty360. “We began developing the MyWay Rewards program two years ago, listening to our customers and using their feedback to design the program. But, it is just one part our larger transformation, changing every element of our business—from new menu items to the look of our restaurants to the entire customer experience—so we can best serve the more than seven million people who visit a Subway each day around the world.”
Subway MyWay Rewards will redefine choice and accessibility in the simplest ways, Ganelli noted, from how a customer joins through app, online, or in-restaurant, to being able to earn rewards no matter how a customer pays, to the ability to redeem rewards on anything Subway sells.
“It is important to us that we deliver a seamless, convenient experience to help our customers get what they want when they want it,” Ganelli said.
Subway MyWay Rewards will be a best-in-class program, according to the company.
“It will be the largest loyalty program in the QSR industry with an estimated 28,500 restaurants participating in the U.S. and Canada, offering customers flexibility and a personalized experience—from how you join, earn, and redeem to the rewards and exclusive deals,” Ganelli explained. “It’s all customized by the customer. Also, with the majority of our U.S. and Canada locations participating, customers will have cross-border earning and redemption rewards capabilities.”
Initially, Subway offered the paper and stamp Sub Club program more than 30 years ago. That program was phased out of U.S. and Canada restaurants in 2005 as the company rolled out the Subway Rewards program. That program is still available in roughly one-third of the company’s North American locations.
Research and feedback from customers and franchise owners played a crucial role in designing the new loyalty program.
“For example, the name of the program came from customer input and our franchisees came up with the idea of ‘bonus tokens,’ which customers receive if they visit a Subway restaurant at times that typically receive less foot-traffic, like during breakfast or dinner time,” Ganelli said. “What’s most important to us is that the program will reward our most valuable customers and that the program is relevant to them and their preferences. Customers determine how they join and how they redeem their rewards. Even the surprise rewards and exclusive deals can be tailored to the customer’s food preferences.”
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