I haven’t heard of those at all, so I’ll assume they’re regional. I’m in the midwest, and the three best chains are Erbert & Gerbert’s, Jimmy John’s, and Which Wich. E&G has some of the most interesting and unique subs, JJ’s is closest to Subway but way better, and WW is closest to the old Quizzno’s style.
There was a time they were good. Then in the mid-90s corporate clamped down and standardized all the menus nationwide. Before that local franchises could make specialty and regional subs. My favorite sub disappeared off the menu, and within a year my other favorite got discontinued by corporate because it didn’t sell well enough nationwide despite being a top selling sub in the region. I’ve eaten there maybe a dozen times since, and it’s always a letdown.
I’m also in the Midwest. Jimmy John’s is also good. Fantastic, even. I just don’t eat them anymore, in protest of the owner/founder. Also, my wife never liked them to begin with, which also limited my consumption for a while.
This may have depended on where you were. In my local Subway’s, I don’t recall any special regional subs. The only way to reliably distinguish between turkey, ham, and beef was to check the color. Somewhere around the mid-late ‘90s, I thought they actually improved. Not great, but in the edible range.
My theory on Subway keeps vacillating between it is a scam to separate unsophisticated people out of franchise fees, and that most of their corporate problems stem from an inability to get good owner / operators.
As someone on the outside looking in, it seems like the vast majority of Subway franchises are owned by the GM of the store. Someone who this is often their first time owning a business, someone who doesn’t completely understand how franchising works, someone who wanted to own their own business and control the destiny of their own store… but bought a franchise that makes all the decisions for them. And a lot of time, they don’t have the experience or training to be a GM of a business, let alone an owner. (And Subway does not seem to provide that experience or training.)
Part of this is on the Franchise owners. But a good part of it is that Subway does a lousy job screening and training their franchise owners. Other fast food franchises require millions in liquid assets, years of making sure that the franchise owner and franchise are a good fit, and extensive training, including getting experience in other locations.
It seems like the entry way to a Subway is scraping together $60K or so. Not exactly pocket change, but… a nice SUV, or a business… and the training seems to consist of a catalog.
Honestly, I’m amazed that we don’t see more former Subways that are local sub joints. The owners seem to think that they know more about running a Subway than Subway does; and I’m amazed that they don’t put their money where their mouth is more often.
The other big problem is the economics of the Subway. A Subway restaurant just doesn’t clear that much money. It’s just not that profitable. From what I can tell, most of the profit from the restaurant is based on working there; if you pay a competent GM manager to operate the store for you, you would need multiple stores to maintain a middle class lifestyle. This means that it’s not professional high end fast food GMs, it’s not professional franchising companies. (Which is good because it provides opportunities for people who find it hard to find other middle class jobs; but it is very much a sink or swim, and even the people who swim don’t get rich.)
(I won’t get into the oversaturation of the market caused by Subway not providing large enough “protection” areas for their franchisees. They simply put have too many Subways too close together.)
What a bunch of crap. Employees are burning themselves because they didn’t watch the training video. Because if they did watch the training video they would know they are supposed to take grinders out of oven with tongs not their hands. But as usual people are stupid.
Haven’t been to Subway since I found out about Schlotzky’s.
Their ingredients are somewhat similar, but their bread is far better.
Welcome to BoingBoing, COMRADE!
Maybe blaming the burn-ees isn’t exclusively on them?
What’s so dangerous about the sandwiches, again? They can get hot?
I worked at Subway in 1996-1998. We had two kinds of bread, one kind of cheese, and rolls of little stamps to give out so people could earn free sandwiches.
It was still dangerous. And I can’t imagine this new sandwich being any worse. First, we had to cut the bread in a U-gouge shape, meaning the knife changed directions a lot more and you were more likely to slip and cut yourself.
Second, the bread has to be proofed, then baked, and both require warm/hot machines. You had to be careful moving the trays of bread around or you’d get burned.
Third, the meatballs and steak and cheese came in big bags that had to be microwaved to a certain temperature. Again, it was quite easy to burn yourself on the steam from those bags.
Fourth - and most unique - I was working by myself at close one night and it got really busy. In my haste to heat up a sandwich, I put the food in the microwave with my left hand, and accidentally slammed the door with my right hand before my left hand was completely out. The door had two hooks on it to make sure the door latched when in use, and one of the hooks slammed into my vein, causing me to lose all feeling in my left hand and causing blood to pool under the surface of my skin. The whole wrist turned purple and I couldn’t move that arm, so I had to finish closing with one hand.
My point is this: if the complaint is truly that “these sandwiches can damage the toaster oven” then they’re not that dangerous. I can totally see why a franchisee wouldn’t want to get new equipment to make the new sandwiches, but the “danger” factor seems overblown.
But what do I know?
“The Fresh Melts were launched just last mont and come in three different varieties: Tuna, Ham, and Steak. All feature triple the amount of cheese and are served toasted.”
…in case you were wondering what the sandwich actually is…
The asshole founder is no longer involved. It was sold to the same people that own Arby’s.
So the makers of the sandwiches are getting melted cheese on their hands and that hurts. I’m sorry I’m having a hard time feeling bad here. Usually they use a tray to get the sandwiches in and out at the Subways I’ve been to.
You have simultaneously made my day while potentially making future unhappy days for my wife. Because I’m gonna start bringing some JJ’s home.
Just had to say it.
They are known as “The Breadwich” in these parts, and are not consumed.
we’ve got a “Togos” around the corner, so desperation “I really don’t feel like cooking” evenings sometimes get solved with a hot pastrami (that actually has significant meat in it, unlike Subway).
Somewhat regional, but not really. Penn Station is in 15 states, centered on Ohio. Jersey Mike’s is in three countries with the strongest presence in the northeast US.
Rolling out a product can’t rely on some magical idealized employee, but the employees that will actually be dealing with it. If it is causing problems in small scale roll outs, those problems will only get larger not smaller. One employee calling off for a day because of a burn, even if it results in no monetary losses can cause enough problems to offset a pretty large amount of sales.
I still think that the U-Gouge cut was the superior cut method for subs without heavy salad content — especially the meatball sub.
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