Milford-based Subway plans to eliminate around 300 positions at the company’s headquarters.
The company got its start locally, with a single sandwich shop in Bridgeport, and grew in the decades to follow into a chain with more than 40,000 locations around the world.
“A reduction in workforce is never an easy decision but streamlining and simplifying our business with a smaller and nimbler workforce will help us react quickly to the changing needs of the business,” Alan Marcus, the senior director of public relations for Subway, said in a statement.
“Every Subway restaurant is locally owned and operated. We must do what we can to fully support our owners and our guests in every neighborhood in which we do business. Our focus remains on ensuring Subway guests get great service and value at every restaurant they visit, our franchise owners get the full support and tools they need to help them grow and be successful and that we strengthen our overall business performance. In order to deliver on that strategy, a difficult decision was made to eliminate approximately 300 positions at our Global HQ in Milford, Connecticut,” the statement goes on to say.
Several employees told NBC Connecticut they were stunned and saddened to hear the news at Subway’s Global Headquarters.
Some had worked there for decades.
“It’s a huge hit for this community,” said Mayor Ben Blake, D – Milford. “They’re our friends. They’re our neighbors. They’re our family. And to have this many layoffs it’s tough. It affects everybody.”
Cuts hit various departments, affecting about 30 percent of the estimated 1,000 people who work there.
Blake said in a conference call on Wednesday the privately-held company reaffirmed its commitment to the community.
“They’re not moving anywhere. Milford is their home. They’re going to remain in Milford but they are going through a restructuring,” Blake explained.
Fred McKinney, Quinnipiac University’s Carlton Highsmith chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, thinks Subway’s new CEO John Chidsey, who took over back in November, might be making moves to improve the company’s operation.
“I feel sorry for those who’ve lost their jobs but I don’t think this is the demise of Subway,” said McKinney.
He said Subway is facing growing competition including from food delivery apps and other fast food restaurants.
“They have sort of consolidated a number of franchises so that would dictate that you might not need the same level of corporate support as the number of franchises decline,” said McKinney.
Several affected workers told NBC Connecticut the company is providing limited help.
The City of Milford, along with several other organizations, is planning a job fair for affected workers. It’s from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on February 20 at the Parsons Complex gymnasium.
There will be a photo studio for head shots and people can receive help including with their resume.