Subway Sees Its Highest Sales in 8 Years Despite Removing Fan-Favorite Menu Items

"The journey to build a better Subway has begun, and the changes are having a positive impact on restaurant sales," Subway CEO John Chidsey said

subway tuna sandwich
Subway tuna sandwich. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Subway's new menu changes appear to be paying off.

The company announced on Tuesday that their August sales in the U.S. were "the strongest Subway has experienced since 2013."

In August, the company saw a 4 percent increase in sales compared to 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subway also revealed that at their top-performing 25 percent restaurants, representing over 5,000 locations, they saw a 33 percent increase in sales this August compared to August 2019.

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The franchise has credited its historic numbers to their major menu changes implemented in July.

"The journey to build a better Subway has begun, and the changes are having a positive impact on restaurant sales," company CEO John Chidsey said in a statement.

Chidsey added, "As we continue this journey, our priority is working hand-in-hand with our dedicated network of franchisees to ensure they have the tools and support needed to grow their business and experience a positive return, resulting in franchisees continuing to invest in their business and the brand."

Subway stated that a survey of more than 66,000 customers concluded that 83 percent of people are satisfied with the menu changes.

"We are getting an extremely positive reaction from our guests regarding all that is new at Subway. Our loyal regulars – in addition to many first-time guests – are commenting to our team that they taste a real difference in our new sandwiches and ingredients," David Liseno, a multi-unit Subway restaurant franchisee in Central New York State, said in the press release. "The Eat Fresh Refresh is just the beginning of the transformation ahead. With digital upgrades and more delivery options rolling out, I'm energized by the continued improvement happening at Subway."

Subway. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Eat Fresh Refresh menu changes began in July and included 20 updates — the most implemented by the brand since opening its first store in 1965.

Updates included "11 new and improved ingredients, six all-new or returning sandwiches, and four revamped signature sandwiches," per a press release.

Among new additions were artisan Italian and hearty multigrain bread options, hickory-smoked bacon, smashed avocado, parmesan vinaigrette and more.

"Subway has been serving freshly made, customizable and better-for-you sandwiches for more than 50 years, and we wanted to give our guests more new and improved flavors," president of North America Subway locations, Trevor Haynes, said in a press release at the time. "Our new culinary team is delivering monumental updates to the entire core menu. The Eat Fresh Refresh makes Subway better than ever with freshly made, craveable and delicious sandwiches to excite new and returning guests."

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However, many customers in a Subway subreddit have claimed the restaurant chain got rid of favorites such as Swiss cheese, spicy mustard, nine-grain honey oat bread, Caesar dressing and more leading them to visit the franchise less.

Subway did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request to comment.

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