With more than 26,500 units in the United States, it’s not hard to believe that adding a new menu item is a colossal undertaking. But Chris Martone, Executive Chef, wanted to add the Italian Hero to Subway’s repertoire. Although the sub shop already has two takes on an Italian sandwich—the B.M.T. and the Spicy Italian—the Italian Hero brings with it a sense of place. “I love the heritage of this sandwich,” he says. “It’s got authentic flavors that we worked hard to get in there.”
The Italian Hero sports three Italian deli meats: mortadella, capicola and Genoa salami. It’s topped with provolone, oil, red wine vinegar and Mediterranean oregano, served on Italian bread. “The mortadella was a challenge for us because of the sheer volume needed. We have it made to our specs, which took a little time,” says Martone. “We wanted to be able to do it well and keep it at a high level.”
Subway tested the sandwich in just over 4,200 stores in 2016. It performed really well so this past March, it moved to a national limited-time offer. “So far, so good,” he says. “It’s a hearty sub with great, authentic Italian flavors.” Martone is now looking at adding mortadella to the Spicy Italian, which features Genoa salami and spicy pepperoni. “We did a lot of planning, making sure we could scale up,” he says.