Subway Closures Explained

Brian Lutz
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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by Brian Lutz » November 15th, 2019, 11:00 am

Oversaturation has definitely been a problem in some areas (back when I worked in Downtown Bellevue a few years ago there were four different Subways within three blocks of my office, and another one a couple blocks further away (there were also two Jimmy John's and a Quizno's in that area as well.) I know one of those has closed, but looking at the map of the area I still see three of those locations open. It probably helps that you can shoehorn a Subway into a pretty small space (you could probably do a walk-up counter in less than 300 square feet) but I also see a number of places where there may be multiple Subway locations in the same facility, and not even a particularly large one. For example, the Washington State Convention Center has a Subway counter at street level and another one on the third floor (about 200 feet and a couple of escalators) away. The Ferry terminal in Seattle also used to have one Subway location in an outbuilding in the car waiting area and a second one in the passenger terminal, also pretty close to each other. I suppose in some cases it makes sense, but there are some areas where they are definitely oversaturated with locations.

Then again, we're right in the heart of Starbucks territory here, so we probably know a thing or two about oversaturation.

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by retailfanmitchell019 » November 15th, 2019, 5:03 pm

Brian Lutz wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 11:00 am
Oversaturation has definitely been a problem in some areas (back when I worked in Downtown Bellevue a few years ago there were four different Subways within three blocks of my office, and another one a couple blocks further away (there were also two Jimmy John's and a Quizno's in that area as well.) I know one of those has closed, but looking at the map of the area I still see three of those locations open. It probably helps that you can shoehorn a Subway into a pretty small space (you could probably do a walk-up counter in less than 300 square feet) but I also see a number of places where there may be multiple Subway locations in the same facility, and not even a particularly large one. For example, the Washington State Convention Center has a Subway counter at street level and another one on the third floor (about 200 feet and a couple of escalators) away. The Ferry terminal in Seattle also used to have one Subway location in an outbuilding in the car waiting area and a second one in the passenger terminal, also pretty close to each other. I suppose in some cases it makes sense, but there are some areas where they are definitely oversaturated with locations.

Then again, we're right in the heart of Starbucks territory here, so we probably know a thing or two about oversaturation.
Speaking of non-traditional Subways, there is one in Manhattan built out of an old subway station :mrgreen:

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by Alpha8472 » November 17th, 2019, 11:05 pm

I have an idea for Subway, serve Starbucks drinks like the Barnes & Noble Cafe and you will see your customer count quadruple. Barnes & Noble cafes are run by the bookstore, but have somehow managed to create a cafe that looks so much like Starbucks that it could fool anyone.

You could wrap premade cold Subway sandwiches with the Starbucks logo and people would buy them without a second thought.

You can build Starbucks across the street from each other and people will still flock to them. With Subway that is not working anymore.

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by Super S » November 18th, 2019, 8:12 am

Alpha8472 wrote:
November 17th, 2019, 11:05 pm
I have an idea for Subway, serve Starbucks drinks like the Barnes & Noble Cafe and you will see your customer count quadruple. Barnes & Noble cafes are run by the bookstore, but have somehow managed to create a cafe that looks so much like Starbucks that it could fool anyone.

You could wrap premade cold Subway sandwiches with the Starbucks logo and people would buy them without a second thought.

You can build Starbucks across the street from each other and people will still flock to them. With Subway that is not working anymore.
Maybe that's the idea behind Target converting their in-store restaurants to Starbucks.

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by cjd » February 9th, 2020, 11:26 am

I've noticed in the last few months Subway has been mailing coupons again. I don't mind Subway but at $3.49 for a 6" sub with a coupon, I could easily go to the Publix deli and get whatever pre-made sub is the cheapest for not much more (likely the same price even if they happen to be running a sale). Then get a Publix bottled tea or lemonade and a bag of chips at the checkout and it comes about the same as going to Subway.

The only drawback is Publix doesn't offer any indoor seating here.

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by storewanderer » February 9th, 2020, 9:45 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
November 17th, 2019, 11:05 pm
I have an idea for Subway, serve Starbucks drinks like the Barnes & Noble Cafe and you will see your customer count quadruple. Barnes & Noble cafes are run by the bookstore, but have somehow managed to create a cafe that looks so much like Starbucks that it could fool anyone.

You could wrap premade cold Subway sandwiches with the Starbucks logo and people would buy them without a second thought.

You can build Starbucks across the street from each other and people will still flock to them. With Subway that is not working anymore.
I've been noticing Starbucks closing some duplicate locations in recent years.

In my area Dutch Bros. has been opening new locations and they are getting a lot of traffic day and night. They seem to be much more efficient than Starbucks and priced lower as well. They have a "punch card" program, like old times. Also all posted prices include sales tax and are convenient to the .25. No indoor seating and 90%+ of the traffic is drive through. No wi-fi. No loitering. Definitely a "get your drink and go" place. I think other chains will continue to chase Starbucks. Very efficient.

Last time I went into Starbucks in Reno at Lemmon Drive a couple weeks ago there was a homeless person camped out inside with a cup of water (with odor) and then while I was in there another homeless person walked in from outside carrying multiple backpacks and didn't buy anything but asked them for a fork, then sat down at a table and started to eat something from the backpack. I was the only paying customer inside and this was a little awkward. I've never seen any homeless people out in that part of Reno before until going into the Starbucks. They need to clean up this type of individual from hanging around their locations if they want to keep up their image. A few weeks ago I went to Starbucks down in Carson City and a single drink order took 10 minutes. While I was waiting, I only saw 5 other drinks served between the inside and the drive through, also they had no napkins and instead were offering giant size paper towels instead. I think Starbucks has really gone downhill as it has expanded.

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by Alpha8472 » February 11th, 2020, 5:08 am

Subway is the opposite of Starbucks in many ways. Starbucks has a "Just Say Yes Policy." They are required to go out of their way to say yes to what a customer wants. Can I get a free fork? Yes, of course! Can I get a free cup of water? Can I use the bathroom key? This is really stupid as it creates a sense of entitlement and lets homeless people walk right in and get free stuff.

Subway would say "No." Forks are for paying customers and bathrooms are for customers who actually buy food.

Starbucks does not want to throw people out of their stores ever since high profile incidents where people claimed discrimination when they were told to leave. Starbucks does not want to offend anyone, but this has caused their stores to be overrun by homeless people.

Subway for all of its faults, will tell homeless people to leave. Starbucks has been slipping in customer service recently. This is due to the understaffing. Starbucks used to be well staffed, and drink orders were done quickly. Then corporate cut hours and now wait times are out of control. Employees barely have time to make orders. There is no time to restock supplies or get anything else done. Starbucks once was a place to get good benefits and a nice job. Now so many good employees have quit, because of the understaffing and stress. This leaves behind new employees who could not care less about customer service.

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by Super S » February 11th, 2020, 6:26 am

Subway has really cracked down on wanting only paying customers in their stores. Even small town locations have installed locks on the bathroom doors that require a code from the cashier, and I know of some that have changed their wifi setup to requiring a password that employees only give out after making a purchase. Too many people were abusing the free wifi. Many now keep everything including drink lids, napkins, and straws behind the counter.

As for giving out a fork...it is a violation of health code in many areas to bring in outside food or drink and it is well within the rights of a food service establishment to say no to this.

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by J-Man » February 11th, 2020, 7:07 am

Subways are franchised and Starbucks are company-owned, so wouldn't the Subway policy vary from store to store depending on the ownership?

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Re: Subway Closures Explained

Post by Super S » February 12th, 2020, 6:51 am

J-Man wrote:
February 11th, 2020, 7:07 am
Subways are franchised and Starbucks are company-owned, so wouldn't the Subway policy vary from store to store depending on the ownership?
A lot of things at Subway vary from store to store. In fact, there is a whole other thread talking about that.

But most Subways throughout SW Washington/NW Oregon now have locks on the bathroom doors, most are combo locks but some have keys. I have been told a few times that I can not use the restroom unless I buy something first. On those occasions I have decided to eat elsewhere as I have encountered some pretty nasty restroom conditions at Subway in general.

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