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Penn Station East Coast Subs is updating its 35-year-old brand with the rollout of PS 2020 — a restaurant redesign and new menu.
"We spent the better part of a year gathering data, interviewing guests and franchisees, and speaking with crew members about the new layout and our menu changes," President Craig Dunaway said in a company press release. "From the data analysis, interviews and hours of observation, we knew we had something that everyone would embrace."
Penn Station's revised menu focuses on bringing the brand's expertise in hot sandwiches to cold sandwiches, which include turkey avocado, turkey bacon ranch and classic Italian. Through the "Dagwood" option, customers may still create their own sandwiches, however, which come on the chain's proprietary French bread or multigrain bread. Some sandwiches may come as wraps featuring the cheddar jalapeno tortillas Penn Station debuted in 2018.
"Penn Station has always had cold sandwiches as an option, but now we are offering new flavor profiles and ingredients and bringing our competitive edge to cold sandwiches," Dunaway said. "We were amazed customers didn't realize we offered cold subs, but by featuring and highlighting them on the menu, this allows guests to fill all their sandwich needs."
Penn Station has also updated its restaurant design. The PS 2020 design offers an unimpeded view of employees making sandwiches and a more prominently placed deli case. With the new design, customers place and pay for their orders in one spot, and both POS stations are in the front of the restaurant. Online and delivery orders are picked up in a different location within the restaurant, so customers do not have to wait in line.
"The flow process from walking in the restaurant to receiving your order is seamless for customers and employees with the new design," Dunaway said. "The design highlights our freshly sliced meats and cheeses and allows customers to see their sandwich being made to order. It also makes the carryout process smoother, which is important as we continue to see an increase in off-premise consumption, even before COVID-19."
There are nine restaurants with the PS 2020 design, and any restaurant opening from now on will feature it.
"We expect to have more restaurants with the PS 2020 layout by the spring of next year," Dunaway said. "What's even more exciting is that many of those new restaurants are being opened by longstanding franchisees who see the value in the new more efficient design and the menu enhancements we've made."
Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1985, Penn Station has more than 310 locations in 15 states, including Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Nebraska.