Updated Aug 24, 2022 - Economy

Subway sells out of Footlong Pass subscriptions

Subway restaurant storefront with signs saying Subway and an open sign

Subway is launching the Footlong Pass, a subscription program for 10,000 loyalty members. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The days of Subway’s nationwide $5 footlong deal are long gone, but the chain is launching its first sandwich subscription that will cut prices in half for September.

Why it matters: Fast-food chains, including McDonald's, Taco Bell and Burger King, have said consumers are hungry for deals and rewards as inflation has taken a bigger bite out of their budgets with recent food price increases.

The big picture: The $15 “Footlong Pass” subscription offers 50% off a footlong each day in September when ordered on Subway's app or website with daily digital codes. The pass is not available in Iowa and limitations apply.

  • 10,000 passes went on sale starting at 8am ET Aug. 24 through a special website for Subway MyWay Rewards members.
  • The passes sold out in six hours, Subway told Axios.
  • Several Twitter users said they experienced issues trying to buy the pass, including error messages and the page resetting.

Between the lines: Businesses like Subway are looking to drive loyalty through deals to increase online sales and build larger customer databases, which helps them get more data and customize offers.

By the numbers: Subway prices vary by location and by sandwich, meaning the potential pass savings also vary, but in some cases, subs will cost less than $5.

  • On the chain's app, a tuna footlong cost $9.49 at a New York City restaurant and $9.99 in a Coral Springs, Florida, location.
  • The Monster, part of the Subway Series menu that launched in July, is listed for $14.79 at the same South Florida location and $14.99 in NYC.

Our thought bubble: To get your value for the $15, you should plan to use the pass at least three times.

Zoom out: The pass will be hard to get with 10,000 available, and like similar promotions, it will likely sell out immediately.

  • For six years, Olive Garden sold its Never Ending Pasta Pass online, which gave away access to weeks of unlimited pasta.
  • In 2019, the last time Olive Garden offered the pass, 24,000 $100 passes sold out in “milliseconds,” the company told the Orlando Sentinel.

Of note: Not all restaurant subscription programs have the same "sell out" rush like Olive Garden and what is expected with Subway.

  • Panera launched a coffee subscription program in February 2020, which rebranded to the "Ultimate Sip Club" in April with the expansion of more drinks including soda and lemonade for $10.99 per month.
  • In January, Taco Bell rolled out the Taco Lover's Pass nationwide for a limited time, which for $10 a month gave subscribers a taco a day for 30 days.

Subway coupon codes for rewards members

Meanwhile, for those who don’t scoop up one of the passes, Subway offers savings to reward members through its free loyalty program.

  • The Subway app and website list coupon codes and current offers.

Be smart: You can often find additional codes by searching online but not all codes are current.

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect Subway sold out of its 10,000 Footlong Pass subscriptions in six hours.

More from Axios:

Go deeper