Last week, Dining Services announced that Subway would replace Quiznos in Albert E’s Food Court during the summer months.
Considerations of bringing a Subway restaurant to campus began before Quiznos was brought to campus.
More than a decade ago, administration looked into bringing a sandwich and sub shop to campus.
“Sandwiches are one of the top [restaurants] at college campuses,” Wolverton said.
According to Wolverton, no well-known brands were hosted on campus at the time, which made administration hesitant to bring Subway.
“They didn’t have the best model for college campuses,” Wolverton said. “Over the last couple of years, we went back to Subway. Within the last decade, Subway has done a great job at catering to the college market.”
The Subway chain is famous for its made-to-order footlong and 6-inch submarine sandwiches. Fully customizable, the sandwiches are served on Italian, wheat and other seasoned breads that are baked fresh daily in each restaurant.
Many colleges and universities are contracting Subways to their campuses. Subway locations include Wayne State and Grand Valley.
CMU saw a location open on its campus last fall, which quickly became a top selling Subway in the geographic region in terms of sales.
Despite 13 sites of the sub sandwich shop in a 10-mile radius of the university, Wolverton said it shouldn’t affect sales.
“In truth, if it’s affecting anyone, it might affect theirs,” Wolverton said.
He said many faculty, staff and commuters venture off campus already to purchase Subway foods.
Wolverton said he has been pleased with the student reactions to the announcement.
“From the value standpoint, Subway has a high value perception,” Wolverton said.
According to Wolverton, prices will remain fairly relative to off-campus locations.
Subway will recommend prices to charge, and Dining Services will set prices as close as possible to it.
Wolverton said there are no plans to have touch screen ordering kiosks at the new location.
“Subway doesn’t recommend that technology with their brand,” Wolverton said.
He said Subway’s toasting system does not take as much time, so wait time should not be slowed down through the new site.
Wolverton said consumers can expect all menu items, including breakfast foods, that a regular Subway would have with the exception of pizzas due to the Papa John’s in the food court.
According to Wolverton, there are no plans to replace the Albert E’s Papa John’s site.
“We recognize it might be an area of opportunity,” Wolverton said, “and we recognize it might make sense down the road (to replace it).”
He said the two Papa John’s fits different audiences of residential populations in the Doan building and commuters, faculty and staff in the Albert E’s location.
“We make a point to have conversations regularly to make selections that make sense,” Wolverton said. “It’s no secret Quiznos is struggling a little bit… we have to look at the long term.”
Quiznos filed for bankruptcy in March, and ultimately closed seven of the corporation’s 2,700 stores.
For those who prefer the Quiznos subs to Subway, consumers may visit the Saginaw location at 5580 State Street.
While a construction timeline is still being finalized, Subway is expected to open in August prior to the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester. It is also expected that Albert E’s Food Court will remain open during construction with increased sandwich and “to go” offerings made available to give customers additional options during the transition.
Dining Services will announce updates and grand opening activities in coming weeks.