Screen capture of Subway Indonesia's Instagram page on Thursday, Aug 26, 2021. (JG Screencap)
Subway Promises Traditional Favorites, New Flavors in Indonesian Reopening
BY :GRACE NADIA CHANDRA
AUGUST 25, 2021
Jakarta. Subway, an American restaurant network, promises “product innovation” as something consumers can look forward to in their re-opening in Indonesia scheduled for the fourth quarter this year, the top executive of the fast-food chain's local partner said on Thursday.
“We believe that Subway’s evolving menu options will excite new and returning guests,” said Anthony Cottan, the president director of Map Boga Adiperkasa (MBA), told the Globe.
The fast-food chain, which is set to open within the Greater Jakarta area in the last quarter of 2021, MBA"s parent company Mitra Adiperkasa, a listed retailer and fast-food operator, was announced earlier this week.
This move is said to be the first step in the company’s plans to enter the Asian Pacific market, and it comes 20 years after the last Subway shop closed in Indonesia.
“MAP, Indonesia’s leading lifestyle retailer, is the ideal partner to kick off our expansion in the Asia Pacific region, where we know convenient, better-for-you options are in demand. This is just the start of our global expansion plans,” John Chidsey, chief executive officer of Subway, said in the statement.
Subway signed an agreement with MBA's subsidiary Sari Sandwich Indonesia, which will hold exclusive licenses to operate Subway in Indonesia.
MAP operates over 2,300 retail outlets within 79 cities in Indonesia, and MBA boasts over 590 stores, including international brands such as Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Burger King, and Domino’s Pizza.
“While the Subway brand will be managed by Sari Sandwich Indonesia, guests can expect the same overall experience that Subway is known for,” MBA's Cottan said.
This includes a focus to deliver “freshly made and crave-able food with fast, friendly and convenient service,” he said.
With the re-opening of Subway in the coming months, Cottan said, “We will be focusing on product innovation to offer new and improved ingredients, as well as flavorful menu items that complement our traditional favorites.”
Furthermore, he adds that “We are working closely with third party delivery partners in the lead up to our launch, to offer our guests the convenience of ordering their favorite sub wherever they are.”
On top of this press release, Subway Indonesia has entered Instagram with the handle @subway.indonesia. The account’s first post, showing a footlong sandwich and the hashtag #WhatSUBIndonesia, has already been viewed over 415,000 times within a day of its posting.
The caption under the post, which reads “Yes, this isn’t another prank.” pokes fun at a hoax that went viral in December 2020, where the now-deleted Instagram account @subway_id gained over 15,000 followers within a day for impersonating the restaurant’s official account.
Indonesian netizens displayed great enthusiasm for the prospect of Subway re-opening within the country. In fact, the keywords “Subway Indonesia” experienced a spike in Google searches in the week of the hoax.
Now, nearly eight months after the prank, the restaurant is finally set to open in the last quarter of 2021 within the Greater Jakarta area.
While the official launch date has is still months away, netizens have expressed anticipation over the news that Subway is returning to Indonesia.
Adela and Cecil, part-time food-bloggers behind the Instagram account @jktchubclub, said, "We're excited to welcome Subway to Jakarta since it's the staple sandwich shop back in our college days in the US. We're also looking forward to seeing how Subway would localize its flavors to the Indonesian market.”