Cousins Subs Re-invigorates Stores With Vibrant New Menu Boards Systemwide

There’s a fresh new way to order at every Cousins Subs store in the country. Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs has rolled out nearly 170 new indoor and outdoor menu boards throughout its system. The vibrant new menu boards will help establish consistency and increase margins at all Cousins Subs locations.

The new Cousins Subs menu boards feature a contemporary aesthetic and have been re-organized to focus on placement of premium products. Now highlighting product descriptions rather than images, the entire Cousins Subs menu is presented to the consumer, with hot items on one side and cold items on the other side.

Cousins Subs’ menu board initiative was completed in just seven months to support the company’s rollout of 10 new products in 2012. Cousins Subs’ menu board rollout engaged nearly every department in the company, including marketing, IT, operations, and the Cousins Subs Franchise Advisory Council.

“This was an ‘all hands on deck’ effort which demonstrated our commitment to refreshing the Cousins Subs brand image and supporting our owner/operators and franchisees,” says Justin McCoy, director of marketing at Cousins Subs. “The new menu boards have given our system the fast casual look we desired and highlight our new creative direction. After just three weeks in the system, we’re already seeing increased margins and consumer trial of new products, even those with limited or no marketing backing.”

Re-investing significant advertising fund dollars for the program, Cousins Subs’ new menu boards can be efficiently changed at any time based on menu mix and sub sales. The consumer-friendly menu boards are modular with a set middle section, interchangeable tiles, and quick turnaround paper inserts. While the sub offerings make up the middle section, the exterior panels feature Cousins Subs bread offerings, toppings and dressings, salads, extras, sweets, soups, quenchers and even catering options.

“The new menu boards are the biggest marketing tool we have. Our customers have noticed the difference and are starting to try new offerings that they never even knew we had,” says Cousins Subs franchisee, Maria Piotter.

Cousins Subs teamed with Visual Graphic Systems of New Jersey to design and develop the new menu boards. Cousins Subs is also installing refreshed new point of sale and in-store materials in all stores.

In 1972, Bill Specht and his cousin opened the first Cousins Sub Shop in Milwaukee to curb a hankering for their favorite East Coast subs. Their handcrafted, deli-style subs eventually stirred a hungry fan base who especially loved Cousins’ secret recipe for freshly baked bread with the perfect combination of chewy-meets-crispy. This bread eventually became the cornerstone for their Better Bread. Better Subs. positioning. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, Cousins Subs and its franchisees now operate approximately 150 stores in six states and are embarking on an expansion plan. For more information, visit or Facebook.