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Subway's 'Green Room' Aims to Attract Music Festival Crowd


Bonnaroo, one of the largest music and arts festivals in the U.S., is underway, bringing with it an estimated 75,000 music fans to Manchester, Tennessee. Though this year’s festival features rock mainstays U2 and The Red Hot Chili Peppers as the main headliners, it also has its typical, millennial-focused crowd.

As an attendee of a major camping music festival last summer, there were three big pain points: lack of showers, adequate food and overwhelming heat during the daytime hours. Subway is attempting to tackle at least two of these issues with a summer festival roadshow, which offers free mini sandwiches and air conditioning in what it calls "The Green Room, baked by Subway."

The room also offers “personal refreshment stations,” with wet wipes, sunscreen and other accessories. High-speed Wi-Fi and phone-charging stations are also part of the experience, giving attendees an extra incentive to stick around and hang out. 

A R I Z O N A performs an acoustic set at Governor's Ball.

Aside from this, the Green Room offers exclusive performances and meet and greets with festival artists. Indie rockers Cold War Kids are doing an acoustic performance in the Green Room at Bonnaroo today, while up-and-coming country singer Luke Combs performed an acoustic set yesterday.

Bonnaroo is the third stop on Subway’s summer festival roadshow, with Firefly and Outside Lands later to come. The Green Room landed at Hangout Festival in Alabama and Governor’s Ball in New York last month.

From the limited number of festivals I’ve attended, most of the restaurant vendors are local, or smaller organizations directly associated with the festival. This is a great way for smaller brands to get their name and product out to a local and national community. But if a well-known franchise popped up at one of these with an interactive experience, there’s little doubt it would attract a lot of attention—like Subway’s Green Room is doing now.

So far, Subway representatives say the Green Room has gotten significant interest from festival patrons, with lines out the door for sandwiches and other comforts.

“The Green Room provides an experience festival-goers can’t get anywhere else. It’s also a chance for people to connect with Subway in a fresh way, and reconsider how they see our brand,” Karlin Linhardt, SVP of marketing for North America at Subway, said in a statement.

Subway struggled in 2016, with the company closing more units than it opened for the first time in franchise history. As the company works to recover, it revealed a new logo and uniform design earlier this year.

As more brands try to attract younger customers, enticing overheated, hungry campers with free amenities is a great place to start.


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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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