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Fast-food chain Subway launches mobile ordering system

Subway is letting its customers place orders via their mobile phone, before they even get to one of the fast food chain's locations.

The company has partnered with GoMobo for the Subway Now program to target New Yorkers, who can text their orders to short code 466626. Diners get a text back confirming when their order will be ready.

GoMobo is a remote food-ordering platform. The service lets customers order ahead via the Web or through a text message to skip the line at quick-serve restaurants.

Clients of GoMobo include Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Papa John's, Quiznos, Booster Juice, Johnny Rockets and Krispy Kreme. The company also offers interactive marketing services to clients, allowing them to distribute opt-in promotions and specials to users of the service.

To participate in mobile ordering, Subway customers must first register online at

Users enter credit card information when they place their first order. The credit card information is securely saved to their account from then on.

To order, participants are asked to text MENU to 466626 for a list of Subway sandwiches. The sandwiches are numbered.

Consumers just reply with the number of the sandwich that they want to order and receive a text confirmation and pickup time.

The credit card account saved online is billed for each text-message order.

Users of the free service can specify later pickup time or schedule a delivery at select stores.

At this point, daily soup specials and other items that change regularly are not available through the program.

To get the word out, Subway is giving a free $5 foot-long sub to customers who place an order for three using mobile or online ordering.

American Express cardholders get a complimentary $5 foot-long sub when placing their first order through the Subway Now program using the card.

Additionally, Subway asks consumers to opt-in for special offers via text message, allowing for the compilation of a database for future marketing.

The program launched Jan. 5 and was promoted via signage within New York's MTA Subway System.

Also, American Express promoted the Subway Now program through direct mail and an email campaign.

This isn't the first time that Subway has dabbled in mobile.

Last year Subway restaurant franchisees for the Buffalo, New York, area recorded a redemption rate of 5 percent to 6 percent for mobile coupons (see story).

More than 100 Subway restaurants in Buffalo participated in the My Subway Mobile effort and used mobile coupons to drive retail traffic with periodic coupons and last-minute special offers. Retail media delivery services firm Modiv Media helped the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust with this program.