Subway wants a bigger bite of breakfast.
In May, the sandwich chain will offer a buy-one-get-one deal: anyone who buys a 6-inch or Footlong sub before 9 a.m. also gets a 6-inch breakfast sandwich.
The monthlong promotional move comes as a variety of chains are seeing growth by focusing on breakfast. McDonald's first-quarter sales strength was boosted by All Day Breakfast. Dunkin' Donuts saw growth in sales of breakfast sandwiches during the latest quarter. At Starbucks, increased sales of breakfast sandwiches helped its sales in the morning jump 13%. Meanwhile, Taco Bell is trying to attract value-conscious diners with 10 breakfast items priced at $1 each. Breakfast accounts for 6% of sales at Taco Bell.
Subway has been selling breakfast sandwiches nationally since April 2010. These days, its breakfast menu focuses on flatbread sandwiches including eggs or egg whites, cheese and ham, steak or bacon. The privately held company doesn't say how much it rings up in the early morning hours. Often, though, the franchised chain tends to be busiest during lunchtime. The deal could entice those patrons who stop in on their way to work to pick up lunch for later.
Subway's breakfast deal will be marketed with a "Deja Vu" commercial from BBDO set to air starting May 1. The commercial, which also has a Spanish version, uses repetition to remind people that the offer will appear day after day after day.
Promoting breakfast could help the chain bring its patrons in more often. And it could use a boost. Subway's sales fell 3.4% to $11.5 billion last year, the second consecutive annual decline, according to Technomic.
It is not the first time Subway has used a morning buy-one-get-one promotion. Subway offered a buy-one-get-one deal on its 6-inch subs back in April 2012 at the same time of day, before 9 a.m. Back then, it was buy any 6-inch and get another 6-inch free. This appears to be the first time it has done such an offer as a way to promote its breakfast sandwiches.
Franchisees determine whether to serve breakfast items all day, or only until 11 a.m. More than half of the Subway shops that serve breakfast serve it all day.