Subway, looking to regain its place among fast-food royalty has hired former Burger King CEO John Chidsey. He'll take over the Subway controls starting Nov. 18.
"I am honored to be joining such an iconic global brand and I am most excited about the future of Subway," said Chidsey in a press release announcing his hiring. "I look forward to learning from and working with the many constituents who have built this brand."
Subway is in the midst of what some are calling a "refresh" but what more cynical sub watchers might call an overhaul. It is undergoing a $100 million remodeling program with franchises of more than 10,000 of its 24,798 stores.
And the chain is also trying to stave off a swell of store closings. Subway franchisees now have to take additional steps before closing their stores including completing a questionnaire and working with a committee at the company's Connecticut headquarters. Subway ended 2018 with 1,110 fewer stores than the year before according to the trade publication QSR.
This is the second hire of a fast-food veteran in two months. Chidsey will join new Chief Marketing Officer Carrie Walsh, who formerly held the same role for YUM! Brands' Pizza Hut.
The world's largest fast-food chain has been working to not only update its restaurants but its menu as well. In recent months it has added "sliders" — four mini-sandwiches under $2 featuring favorites such as the "Little Cheesesteak," a bite-size version of the Philadelphia favorite, and "Little Turkey," which features turkey breast, pepper jack, spinach, and mayo on a slider roll.
Chidsey replaces Suzanne Greco who retied from Subway in May. Greco led the chain since 2015 taking over from her brother and Subway founder Fred DeLuca, who died that same year. DeLuca founded Subway at the age of 17 in 1965.