Subway Introduces New Way To ‘Eat Fresh’ — Premade Sandwich Smart Vending Machines

City of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden - 02 Jun 2018
Jeppe Gustafsson /

Need lunch on the go? Your favorite Subway sandwich may soon be available at a vending machine in your city. In a company release published on Nov. 14, Subway announced its Grab & Go smart fridge, stocked with convenient and affordable food and drink options.

The Subway Grab & Go smart vending machine was first introduced at the University of California San Diego in September, and the company says the machine was stocked daily with fresh items from a nearby restaurant location. According to Subway, the fridge uses artificial intelligence and “natural language processing,” allowing visitors to ask the vending machine about available products.

As one of the world's largest quick service restaurant brands, Subway serves freshly made-to-order sandwiches, wraps, salads and bowls to millions of guests, across more than 100 countries in more than 37,000 restaurants every day. Subway restaurants are owned and operated by Subway franchisees - a network that includes more than 20,000 dedicated entrepreneurs and small business owners - who are committed to delivering the best guest experience possible in their local communities.

Subway says the debut of the Grab & Go smart fridge has been “extremely positive” and college students enjoyed the convenience of getting a sandwich at any time of the day. Karla Martinez, director of innovation for non-traditional development, says the company plans to add smart fridges to more locations, like airports, college campuses and hospitals.

In 2020, Subway began selling premade sandwiches in normal fridges at retail locations, including casinos, gas stations and airports, CNN reported. Subway said that the program was rolled out in more than 400 locations with plans for continued growth.

CNN added that the chain has seen “record-setting sales” after making several changes, which include new sandwiches, soups and store remodels. Sales at non-traditional locations (airports, hospitals and college campuses) have also increased by more than 20%.

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“As more of our guests search for dining experiences to meet their ‘in-the-moment’ needs, the brand’s non-traditional locations and platforms can serve them wherever and whenever they are craving Subway,” said Taylor Bennett, vice president of non-traditional development at Subway.

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