Today Subway announced a new partnership with four massive restaurant delivery services: Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates. While sandwich consumers might cheer the news, entering into delivery gives the brand something more to chew on.
Partnering with all of these services is a smart choice, giving Subway wide geographic reach and helping ensure that the brand is always available as customer preferences for delivery platforms shift. The sandwich space is crowded with delivery options, including Jimmy John’s rapid delivery service and Panera’s recently expanded in-house delivery service. With DoorDash surging past Grubhub in daily active users on Android and Uber Eats continuing to gain steam, the courier space is in flux and restaurants should not necessarily settle on one partner.
However, to make the most from these partnerships, Subway will need to promote them, something many of its competitors fail to do. Just 6% of brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants link to third-party courier services from the homepage. Subway is now ahead of the curve, promoting delivery options prominently on the homepage and allowing customers to enter their zip codes to see which services are available near them and click through to use them. This is a step ahead of the YUM brands, which fail to promote delivery on the homepages for KFC and Taco Bell despite the brand parent’s partnership with Grubhub.
For best-in-class partnership implementation, Subway should look to Chipotle, which announced a partnership with DoorDash in August that allows customers to place DoorDash orders while staying on the Chipotle site. Even with this development there are still kinks—for example, the menu pages on Chipotle.com don’t link to e-commerce, making customers click through an Order Now button before being able to build their meal. As Subway rolls out its delivery capabilities, it should track previous developments and effective execution from restaurants like Chipotle and Panera.