Issues at Subway


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J-Man
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Re: Issues at Subway

Postby J-Man » April 23rd, 2017, 11:09 am

There seems to have been a real proliferation of sandwich chains recently-- in my area, Jimmy John's, Jersey Mike's and Firehouse Subs are popping up everywhere. And I know in other parts of the country there are places like Pot Belly. All of them seem to be more upscale and more expensive than Subway. I'm not sure how this competition has affected them, but I would suspect it's cut into their sales.

I noticed this morning a Subway ad with Jeff Mauro ("The Sandwich King" from Food Network) advertising their new Italian hero, with supposedly higher quality ingredients. I wonder if this is just for this new sandwich, or if Jeff will become the new Jared.

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Re: Issues at Subway

Postby pseudo3d » April 23rd, 2017, 12:48 pm

wnetmacman wrote:
pseudo3d wrote:
Super S wrote:
Subway was really pushing breakfast for a while. Not sure if they still even offer it. I had heard from a few friends that the offerings were not really that great, among other things, eggs, sausage, etc. were precooked then microwaved.

I have to agree that better quality offerings would help. One I already mentioned was the spotty availability of Swiss cheese.


For local stores, it was provolone. Sometimes it would be there, sometimes it wasn't. As for breakfast, they do offer it, but I haven't done it in a while because the regional franchisee got rid of sausage because it couldn't be used in lunch hours, or something. The eggs got a pass though and shipped in frozen "discs" that were then thawed in the cooler. Same with the flatbread, which wasn't baked in-store, and thawed during the day.


Most of this can be summed up as such:
There are two categories of franchises: strict and loose.

In a strict franchise (McDonald's, Burger King, and the like), owners are required to do everything by the book. Product offerings, presentation, advertising and merchandising are all done alike in each restaurant. Some minor variations are allowed, but rarely do they overshadow operations. Also, typically franchisees control a region or city, to stop minor variations around town.

In a loose franchise (Subway, Quiznos, Blimpie and others), owners are given guidelines to follow. Usually, the main products are the same, but there are variations across the board. Like the aforementioned Swiss and Provolone cheeses, franchisees are allowed to cater to the tastes they prefer. For example, Subway locations near me carry banana peppers. Some have Coke Zero while others don't. One restaurant on one side of town may have totally different offerings from a restaurant across town or maybe even down the street. Franchisees only control the location or locations they own; rarely do they control a region or city. While product quality is usually monitored, it too can vary by location.


McDonald's used to be a lot "looser" in some aspects, with unique regional menu items and store décor, though this has largely been streamlined and eliminated in recent years (like in the last decade or so). Conversely, Subway is a lot tighter, with almost uniform décor (have you ever seen a non-standard Subway?) and menu items. There was almost no variation in what stores across town did, I remember my manager talking about how he had to eliminate the M&M cookies because the franchisee wanted certain cookies to be always available. The franchisee (which controlled all the stores in a massive radius, including all stores in town, about two dozen, plus in areas far out as Waco) was fairly "by the book" but did some really odd things--they test-marketed gluten free bread in Waco, but not in Bryan-College Station, which held a younger and slightly more affluent population, they tested veggie patties in two stores, but one of them was a Walmart location (which was filthy, the tables were always dirty, and generally had awful management), and a bunch more terrible ideas that they forced on employees that forced me to quit.

Alpha8472
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Re: Issues at Subway

Postby Alpha8472 » April 26th, 2017, 3:26 am

I drove by a recently closed down Subway today. It was on a major street and was very visible. I read the Yelp reviews and the negative reviews went back years. Service was slow and employees were rude. It sounded like the restaurant wanted to do everything to make sure every customer was treated badly.

There were 2 other Subway restaurants just minutes away down the street. This is the problem with Subway. There are too many of them so close together. Many of them are run by owners who should never have been owners in the first place.

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Re: Issues at Subway

Postby storewanderer » May 1st, 2017, 9:16 pm

Subway seems to have a nice presence in tourist areas in South Florida.

In Miami Beach they have multiple 24 hour locations. I tried one location for iced tea and left empty handed. 21oz drink is priced at 1.85+tax which is not really out of line. I found a second location that was very reliable in having iced tea unsweetened and the half sweet half lemonade version and the tea was properly made with the plastic liners in the dispensing urns and generally clean looking equipment. I bought there multiple times.

In Downtown Miami (financial district), I happened upon another location where a Subway in an office building was a good stop to buy a drink. There was a "SUBWAY Under NEW Management" banner hanging at the opening to the parking garage. I stopped in and the person ahead of me was buying drinks and the clerk said to him, "there is no ice in the machine." He said that is okay. I went over to check the iced tea and found both urns empty. I asked if there was any iced tea and was told, "no." I asked if they could make any and was again told, "no." I was there about 3.5 hours from closing time.

I later moved to Fort Lauderdale beach. In one group of shops I found what was an out of business Subway. Then I found an open Subway and again attempted to buy iced tea. This time, the location had tea brewing equipment, but no tea dispensing urns were even out on the drink station. I was there about five hours from the posted closing time. The location in general was pretty dirty. I did not ask any questions and just left.

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Re: Issues at Subway

Postby Super S » September 6th, 2017, 6:41 pm

Went to Subway for the first time in a couple months yesterday. $12 for a basic ham and turkey footlong and small drink is simply too expensive for a national chain when the ingredients are mediocre at best.

As a side note, I don't really care for the new solid yellow soft drink cup lids they switched to.

Subway is going to have to change it up a little...maybe better ingredients, maybe better franchisees. If they keep doing what they are doing, there is only so long where people are going to tolerate it.

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Re: Issues at Subway

Postby pseudo3d » September 6th, 2017, 7:53 pm

Super S wrote:Went to Subway for the first time in a couple months yesterday. $12 for a basic ham and turkey footlong and small drink is simply too expensive for a national chain when the ingredients are mediocre at best.

As a side note, I don't really care for the new solid yellow soft drink cup lids they switched to.

Subway is going to have to change it up a little...maybe better ingredients, maybe better franchisees. If they keep doing what they are doing, there is only so long where people are going to tolerate it.


Weirdly, I've found several options that are cheaper than Subway or at least comparable when accounting for price, size, and quantity. None around here save for a Potbelly but I'm predicting that the local Subway franchise, which owns far too many restaurants in a small radius, is going to implode soon and close down locations. Some of the stores do fine and at least one is busy enough to stay open almost 24/7 during the school year, but there are some mostly-empty locations that are so poorly managed that no one wants to work there, and with the vast over-supply, they can apply at another location.

Honestly, Subway is in for a huge downgrade in store numbers. Some stores do well, but I can see franchises closing en masse. They aren't particularly good...they're not particularly cheap anymore...they don't have the following places like Chipotle do...their "eat fresh" motif is staler than most of their bread...their franchise model doesn't allow for much variation except for cleanliness...their new logo isn't really doing much for the company...if they want to survive, they'll need to introduce some major changes. Why do Subway stores have a distinctive smell (that is not very good) that is not found in other sandwich shops? Why are they so picky on ingredients offered and look & feel of the restaurant but have some dreadful stores?

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Re: Issues at Subway

Postby Knight » September 8th, 2017, 8:24 am

Super S wrote:Went to Subway for the first time in a couple months yesterday. $12 for a basic ham and turkey footlong and small drink is simply too expensive for a national chain when the ingredients are mediocre at best.

As a side note, I don't really care for the new solid yellow soft drink cup lids they switched to.

Subway is going to have to change it up a little...maybe better ingredients, maybe better franchisees. If they keep doing what they are doing, there is only so long where people are going to tolerate it.


I noticed this at Subway last year. I spent more money on food and left still hungry. Firehouse Subs exist for a reason.


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