Subway is planning to roll out sandwich-vending machines nationwide, shunning traditional restaurants in some locations for a faster grab-and-go concept that eschews the need for dining rooms and even employees.
The fast-food chain's first sub-sandwich vending machine, dubbed Grab & Go, has been operating at the University of California San Diego since September. The fridge is stocked by a nearby franchisee, so the subs are fresh — though nothing is as fresh as when it's made in front of you at the restaurant. You can also get more traditional vending-machine fare like chips and drinks to go with your sandwich.
Your next Subway sandwich may come from a vending machine. The fast food chain is reportedly looking to step up its business by expanding the presence of its ‘Grab & Go’ smart fridges. pic.twitter.com/sUAdZDPbSj— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 15, 2022
The smart fridges are unattended and interactive. Customers can order by speaking, not just by pressing buttons or numbers on a keypad, and they can also ask the vending machine questions. Payment is cashless and contactless, and ultraviolet-C lights sanitize the machine after each use.
Reception to the vending machine has been positive, though it's not hard to persuade college students to eat anything that's cheap and convenient. They especially love being able to get subs any time of day or night, according to a news release, presumably for those late-night study sessions or parties.
You don't have to worry about a vending machine taking the place of your favorite location, though: Subway plans to install Grab & Go machines in locations like airports, hospitals, college campuses, convenience stores, and even casinos where convenience and speed are valued over freshness. Maybe Subway should change its slogan to "Eat mostly fresh."