Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Alpha8472
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Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by Alpha8472 »

Subway starting now has eliminated customization. Now customers will have to choose from 12 sandwiches to be made as is. To order the new sandwiches you have to order by number or by name.

Some items have been renamed. The Meatball Marinara sub will now be known as "The Boss."
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by storewanderer »

I haven't been to a Subway in a long time, but, how can they possibly eliminate customization?

I guess thinking back places like Quiznos weren't big on customization and Firehouse Subs also isn't big on customization. But both would customize anything any way you wanted it upon request.

Pricing on sandwiches must sure be going up. I notice the Safeway NorCal "small" sandwich is $8.99 and they are trying to get that price both in the Boar's Head and non-Boar's Head Stores. That is a complete ripoff for the terrible quality meat they offer in the non-Boar's Head Stores.
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by Alpha8472 »

When you order in the store you have to specifically tell them to change the ingredients if you want changes. The app allows you to customize, but it automatically defaults to the standard recipe. Maybe Subway thinks that standardized recipes will cut down on the ingredients used and save Subway some money.
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by kr.abs.swy »

Can we please stick to facts and avoid the exaggerations? Subway is not "eliminate(ing) customization." They are adding an order-by-number system like many other fast food chains to make it easier and faster to order sandwiches. But -- per their PR team -- "guests are still able to order their go-to customized classic."

https://newsroom.subway.com/2022-07-05- ... -to-Subway

https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/05/business ... index.html
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by Alpha8472 »

The first article that I read on Google sensationized that Subway was eliminating customization. That seemed greatly biased.

Subway of course says that customization is still available, but the new ordering format is a drastic change. The old format was customization every step of the way. The employee asks you if you want it toasted, what kind of bread, etc. This requires much more employee labor.

I have been in line at Subway so many times when people in front of me don't know how to order. So the employee has to go through every single ingredient with the customer. It really slows down the line. There are many customers that take advantage of this and pile on every single ingredient and ask for more. This way they get huge fat sandwiches.

Subway is trying to stop this. They want people to just pick a sandwich and stay silent. This way Subway will spend less on ingredients and make more profit. Piling on the toppings hurts Subway's bottom line. Now customers will be passive as they let Subway dictate what limited toppings their sandwiches get.

The next step is to hide the ingredients in the back. Don't let customers see all of the available ingredients or else they will ask for everything on it. Workers will have less interaction with customers which will reduce the labor hours that the restaurant has to spend on. The reason why McDonald's is so fast and efficient is that their employees can create the food without having customers nag them about every ingredient.

Subway is going to the McDonald's route and it is all about saving money.
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by cjd »

Whenever I'd go to Subway the line would always take forever because of all the customization and people getting to the counter and not knowing what kind of sandwich, what bread they wanted it on, toppings, etc. And employees not understanding what some customers were saying either.

I usually would go in the afternoon after the lunch rush to avoid it all.
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by kr.abs.swy »

This is a win-win for everyone.

It will take them less time to make the standard sandwiches, so the lines will move a bit more quickly. If it takes even 15 seconds less per sandwich, that will add up in a big way if there are 7 people in front of you at lunch time.

If you are ordering online and aren't terribly picky, you can just order by number, instead of having to customize ingredients. This will make it easier to order on DoorDash.

If you're Subway, this will probably tend to reduce your food costs a bit.

And if you're someone who isn't interested in the new sandwiches, you can still customize your own sandwich, just like always.

I'm not sure why people are upset about this. No one is worse off here.
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: July 6th, 2022, 11:48 pm I haven't been to a Subway in a long time, but, how can they possibly eliminate customization?

I guess thinking back places like Quiznos weren't big on customization and Firehouse Subs also isn't big on customization. But both would customize anything any way you wanted it upon request.

Pricing on sandwiches must sure be going up. I notice the Safeway NorCal "small" sandwich is $8.99 and they are trying to get that price both in the Boar's Head and non-Boar's Head Stores. That is a complete ripoff for the terrible quality meat they offer in the non-Boar's Head Stores.
I actually walked out of a Quizno's once when they flat out refused to deviate from their menu formula and make a sandwich the way I wanted it. I actually am allergic to most condiments and prefer basic sandwiches.

Subway actually isn't too long of a wait if you can find one that is properly staffed during busy periods. However, more than once, I have walked into a Subway during lunch and found only one employee in the whole restaurant, and somebody ordering ten sandwiches at once.

The ability to custom make a sandwich (and a lack of alternative sandwich shops in some areas) that I can safely eat is one thing that keeps me going to Subway. If they eliminate that, I have no reason to go there any more.
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by Brian Lutz »

I went to the Subway website to look at these (I don't go to Subway often, generally prefer Jimmy Johns) and even if I select one of the 12 "Subway Series" sandwiches (as they are referred to) all of the standard customization options are available, although depending on the sandwich some vegetables and sauces are pre-selected. Your mileage ordering in store may vary, but at least through online ordering you can customize all you want still.

That said, a lot of the issue with Subway shops is that they trade off efficiency for customization options, and unless they can show that reducing the number of menu options will speed up their operations and allow faster customer throughput, this doesn't really do much for them. When you compare typical Subway operations to a sandwich place like Jimmy Johns or Potbelly, or places with different food but similar "build as you go" operations (examples include "Fresh Mex" places like Cafe Rio and Chipotle or build-to-order pizza places like MOD Pizza), they just don't keep up very well. In particular Jimmy Johns seems to be very fast, with two sandwich lines and two cashiers running during peak times. They seem to do well with the standardized menu, offering a good number of options with a fairly small number of ingredients, and are one of the fastest places to get lunch that I've found around here.

If I had to guess where the main bottleneck in the process is for Subway, it would be in the toasting step. A lot of other places that do this use conveyor ovens and have someone at the output side to retrieve toasted items and finish the order. Most Subways don't have room for one of these so there's extra steps in opening the oven door, putting the sandwich in, pressing buttons on the control panel, then opening the door and removing the sandwich after toasting, and often it's the same person doing the post-toasting steps as the pre-toasting steps, so the end result is slow service. I know a lot of customers like the toasted subs so removing it would be controversial, but I think it would be a net improvement for them if they did. It probably also doesn't help much if the person who made the sandwich is also the cashier, but that's more of a staffing issue on the restaurant side than anything.
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Re: Subway Eliminates Customization and Switches To 12 Sandwiches

Post by storewanderer »

Given Subways seem often poorly trained, I am wondering if having 12 pre-set sandwich options is too many for the employee to remember how to make efficiently. Maybe since all they do all day is make sandwiches, it won't be as much of an issue after a few days.

When I order sandwiches at Safeway and order one of the pre-advertised sandwiches I notice the employee always has to get a prep card out to figure out how to make the sandwich. It has been like this now for 20+ years ever since they started a sandwich program with pre-advertised sandwiches. I guess they typically aren't making sandwiches all day so maybe that is part of why they need the prep card every time.
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