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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Subway Customers Demand Their Extra Inch

Posted by on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Thousands of people on Facebook are demanding to know why Subway's so-called "footlong" sandwiches are only eleven inches long. I'm all in favor of people holding businesses accountable, but this protest strikes me as kind of sad. Even if you get all twelve inches of a Subway sandwich, you're still eating a Subway sandwich, which means you lose at sandwiches.


Comments (52) RSS

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i'm pro-science and i vote 52
losing at sandwiches is pretty sad too :(
Posted by i'm pro-science and i vote on January 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM · Report this
It's okay, y'all. Subway is just using Craiglist inches.

Posted by TenrSinger on January 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM · Report this
#47, I bet Subway is doing a whole lot more than four times as much business between Olympia and Portland than they were 18 years ago. I'd be billing to bet that the franchisee at Exit 72 is one very happy camper right now.
Posted by Mister G on January 17, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
#40, I never eat anything other than a veggie footlong. As for the fake turkey, ham, and cheese, well, that's going to be just as true if you get a meat sandwich at, say, QFC.

#39, I only eat Subway as fast road food. And yes, on the road, it's almost always either Subway or some version of Mickey D. Why not eat a sponge? Because I don't suffer from pica. Sorry about your case, though.

#44, whether or not something looks like the picture is a matter of judgment. But when you tell people they're getting something that's a foot long and it's really 11 inches long, that's what we would call an issue of fact.
Posted by Mister G on January 17, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
@47 Are the Subway guys at exit 72 really in competition with the Subway guys at (let's say) exit 30? I would think their real competitors are the other outlets at the same exit, or maybe a few miles in each direction.
Posted by Asbel on January 17, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 47
@46 No, in a Ponzi scheme, the new marks pay to the earlier marks: lose-win (until the collapse phase.) In a franchise, new franchises compete with old franchises. It's lose-lose for the franchisees.

Which definitely seems to be Subway's business model. When I first moved here (1994), I think there was one Subway sign at the exits from I-5 between Olympia and Portland. Now there are at least four. Those original guys at exit 72 must be pissed.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on January 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this
I don't trust companies--like Subway---that push franchising so hard and so publicly. Smells like a ponzi scheme...
Posted by ryanmm on January 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM · Report this
As a working class fellow I sure do love me some subway!
Posted by _db_ on January 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM · Report this
Truth in advertising? Come on get real. When was the last time the food you ordered looked anything like the picture on the menu? Tried to withhold payment at Taco Bell until I could compare product to picture and was told by the manager to "get the %ell out".
Welcome to Life in These United States of Disarray
Posted by Valvoly Tampetti on January 17, 2013 at 8:32 AM · Report this
watchout5 43
For $5 I can get a BLT filled with veggies. It's not that I don't make my own awesome sandwich with more meat and more cheese for less money, it's that it's super easy, super fast and exactly what you need after a night of drinking. I used to get bigger sandwiches but I don't anymore, ever since dropping that point system. It seemed like a great deal for franchise guys, people had an incentive to get more expensive sandwiches because you'd get more points, and they pay corporate per sandwich. Now if you buy 20 $10 sandwiches over the course of 6 months you get no reward, so I might as well get the same $5 sandwich and if I'm really after it I can just add deli meat that won't have half the crap they add to keep their products more fresh (I eat enough of those products XD).
Posted by watchout5 on January 17, 2013 at 2:54 AM · Report this
chromie 42
I lose?! But they have banana peppers!
Posted by chromie on January 16, 2013 at 9:50 PM · Report this
sirkowski 41
I stopped going to Subway because the guy who works there full time loves his job and the sandwiches way too much. And that depressed me.
Posted by sirkowski on January 16, 2013 at 9:24 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 40
To Mister G, etc: it's not that Subway sandwiches are bad, but their ingredients are low quality compared to those that you get in a good deli.

Some delis carve turkey off of the bird itself, or cut ham off of a real ham, rather than a "ham" that was created by cramming scraps of muscle into a ham mold and binding them together with food starch. That's what Subway uses.

Read this description of their ham from their own site:
Ham: ham (cured with water), salt, dextrose, modified food starch (from corn), sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, smoke flavoring, and sodium nitrite. May contain: seasoning [potassium chloride, pork stock, sugar, yeast extract, salt, lactic acid, fructose, sunflower oil, cysteine HCL, calcium lactate, modified food starch, flavors, grill flavor (from sunflower oil), polysorbate 80, rendered pork fat, and smoke flavor]
(Read their bread ingredients, while your at it.)

At Subway, the primary taste of any of their meats is salt and and the texture is non-existent. That's not true of turkey sliced directly from the bird, for instance, or a toothy slice of real ham.

That said, I like Subway. It's a mediocre sandwich, sure, but it's a mediocre sandwich made exactly like I want it: "A few more peperoncinis, please. Um - okay - a few more, please." (The people in line behind me just love me.)

Of course, if Subway did actually use freshly carved meats, artisan breads, and non-processed cheeses, their ads would be hawking $12 footlongs.
Posted by Free Lunch on January 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM · Report this
McGee 39
How about the big problem with Subway sandwiches is that they just suck? Yeah you can get full on their food. Hell why not eat a sponge? You'll get just as full and it might taste better. You act like Subway vs. McDonald's are your only choices you fucking unremarkable droolers.

As for specific weird smelling Subways. 15th and Harrison for one. 8th and Howell, that weird basement one in Westlake mall off 4th. Shit there's many of them. They smell like their phony bread and bleach combined.
Posted by McGee on January 16, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this
@28 and 29, dimensional lumber is not sold as described either... a 2x4 is not two inches by four inches.
Posted by scootertwo on January 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM · Report this
#36, as long as it's good enough and good enough for you, what's wrong with fast food? That it's fast? That it's cheap? That it's pedestrian? That it's not hip?
Posted by Mister G on January 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM · Report this
raku 36
So bizarre that people still think eating fast food is an OK thing to do.
Posted by raku on January 16, 2013 at 5:56 PM · Report this
Have to agree with Joe. You can get a terrific $14 sandwich at Skillet or Other Coast, if that's what you're looking for. For a decent, inexpensive lunch you can do a lot worse than Subway.
Posted by bigyaz on January 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM · Report this
Simone 34
I'm with #29, if they say it is a foot long the it should be 12" long.
Posted by Simone on January 16, 2013 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Subway is fast food. Why compare it to Salumi? Compare it to Jack or McDonalds. Then it is pretty good, because you can tailor something reasonably healthy.

Also, some young athletes, especially baseball teams, especially travelling baseball teams, live on Subway, because no matter where you go, there is one somewhere, where you can customize some reasonably healthy food that fits your nutritional needs of the moment
Posted by cracked on January 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
#30, that doesn't surprise me at all. The average senior corporate executive is a white male between the ages of 45 and 65, with an intractable weight problem and a rabid interest in golf. But the veggie footlongs are filling and low-cal.
Posted by Mister G on January 16, 2013 at 5:15 PM · Report this
I think their bread baking smells like canned mushrooms and is horrifying. However, if I'm forced to eat crappy fastfood subway is pretty good.
Posted by aaaaargh on January 16, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 30
My brother was up for a big job at Subway corporate headquarters. He almost had it, and it fell through.

One thing, is that over the years Bro turned into a "big man". So, I politely suggested (not that I'm some kind of Adonis) a trip to the gym, thinking that Subway, with all its health conscious publicity would not want a C-level exec who was overweight.

So get this...he said the top guys there were all over 50, bald and huge...a bunch of porkers. I was floored. So all day and night you have these pro boxers and ballers touting the slimming aspects of Subway hoagies and behind the scenes everyone looks like James Coco before the SlimFast [obscure reference for the true fan].
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on January 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
#28, if they say it's a foot long, it ought to be a foot long.
Posted by Mister G on January 16, 2013 at 4:21 PM · Report this
You're buying a sandwich, not lumber. If you don't think its worth your money just go buy your sandwich elsewhere.

Posted by giffy on January 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 27
A guy eats 23 deep-fried spring rolls in 2 minutes and has the gall to criticize subway?

Fuck this hipster post.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 16, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
biffp 26
Falafel is another Seattle mess. You can't buy it at Costco and sell it in a pita.
Posted by biffp on January 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 25
oh, and for the record, try the falafel sandwich at 43rd & University, it's yummy. Only $4 and vegan friendly.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 16, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 24
Obviously our new Attorney General needs to take a class action on this.

Truth in advertising has consequences in this state.

We're not the South.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 16, 2013 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Maybe the hive mind doesn't like Subway because they're not a boutique. They've gotten too big, so they must be bad.
Posted by Mister G on January 16, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
#15, it's not like I'm the Subway p.r. guy or anything. They're more fuel than food, but when I want it fast (usually on the road) but I'd rather not ingest a thousand or more calories, I'll sometimes find a Subway and get a foot-long veggie sandwich without cheese. It's 460 calories.

On one really long road trip, I actually lost weight by eating at Subway a lot. It was the first time I ever went on the road without gaining weight, so it made them my road fuel stop of choice. Hell of a lot better than a quarter pounder w/cheese, large fries, and a diet Coke, at 1,020 calories. More filling too. McD's and BK are weirdly unsatisfying; you're hungry almost immediately. Not so with Subway. You eat a footlong veggie sandwich, and you're full for a few hours.

#16, I've never noticed their bread smelling bad. I'll keep it in mind next time I take a road trip and hit a Subway.
Posted by Mister G on January 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
chinaski 21
@8 there are a few decent holes in the wall. Georges on Madison aint bad when you're in the first hill area.
Posted by chinaski on January 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 20
Best chain sandwich? Deli counter at QFC. No more expensive than Subway, twice as much food, very high quality. Either the premade (Mt. Hood comes with peperoncini and tapenade) or built-to-order (hummus is an available spread) are a far better deal.
Posted by kk in seattle on January 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
I'm not going to argue that Subway's sandwiches are good - but they're fairly reliable, and they're cheap, and so they're something I rely on when pulling off the highway during long road trips (when the competing options tend to be Burger King, Arby's, and the like). It's not a ringing endorsement, but it's not nothing.
Posted by Warren Terra on January 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
care bear 18
@4 I hate it when that happens. Is it a faux pas to ask a bartender to fill your pint glass all the way?
Posted by care bear on January 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 17
Did you ever get a straight explanation on the weirdly antiseptic smell that greets you at the door of every Subway? It always reminds me vaguely of a hospital room, which is not appetizing. It's the same smell on both coasts, so whatever it is, it's part of their brand.

Uh, can you point toward a specific Seattle Subway that smells like a hospital washing station? Because all I ever smell in a Subway is bread. I'm actually thinking now, though, that if I was a wealthy eccentric with a shop I ran for fun rather than livelihood I would have it randomly douse the entryway with unusual but not completely unpleasant odors for no reason but to confuse people.

Sundays: dog odor
Mondays: coffee
Tuesdays: car grease/auto shop
Wednesdays: random anti-septic odors
Thursdays: bananas
Fridays: fresh paint
Saturdays: low tide
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on January 16, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
@12 I find the smell that emanates from their kitchens very disturbing. It smells like formaldehyde is one of the key ingredients in their bread. I'm not alone.…
They are the Yankee Candle Factory of outdoor odor pollution.

Posted by dirge on January 16, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
@12: I've been trying to figure it out, too. Sure, it's not anywhere nearly as good as Salumi or Tat's or Tub's, but it's miles better than the McDonalds' (what's the proper apostrophe placement for pluralizing "McDonald's?") and Burger Kings that it's replacing.
Posted by doceb on January 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
mkyorai 14
@8 Did you ever get a straight explanation on the weirdly antiseptic smell that greets you at the door of every Subway? It always reminds me vaguely of a hospital room, which is not appetizing. It's the same smell on both coasts, so whatever it is, it's part of their brand. But it in no way encourages me to want to eat their food.
Posted by mkyorai on January 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Dougsf 13
John Stossel must be reeling he didn't break this story.
Posted by Dougsf on January 16, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
So Paul, since you are part of the hive mind, apart from calling their 11 inches a foot, what's the problem that Seattle "progressives" have with Subway? Not gourmet enough? Not expensive enough? They make 'em too quick, and you can get them too many places?
Posted by Mister G on January 16, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 11
@9, You missed the pun.
Posted by kitschnsync on January 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 10
Product cutbacks are common in food retail these days. Have you ever measured out a quart of yogurt purchased in a store? I used to, because I used to buy an entire quart and divided it up in smaller containers to pack in my lunch. A "quart" from any major manufacturer is actually 3 and a half cups. They'll also do things like put fewer pickles in a jar or beets in a can. Some of the less dishonest companies will quietly change the packaging size from 8 ounces to 6 ounces or a pound to 12 ounces without lowering the price.

Long story short, I have no problem with this protest.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 16, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
mkyorai 9
@4 petard. Hoist by their own petard. I don't know what a batard is.
Posted by mkyorai on January 16, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 8
Even if you get all twelve inches of a Subway sandwich, you're still eating a Subway sandwich, which means you lose at sandwiches.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, big talk there, sandwich tough guy. Yes, there are better sandwiches, of which Seattle sadly has an extreme deficit of--where are the damn Jewish delis with the pastrami, huh? The best I've found so far is Roxy's in Fremont--but Subway is a hell of a lot better than any other chain place. Quiznos? Crap. Sub Shop? ok.

I grew up 3-4 miles from Subway HQ, in the main test bed (I guess that's what they call it) where Weird and Unorthodox sandwiches were first field tested routinely. While you all were whining about your Subway Club being dull, we were eating Greek feta gyros, every combination and manner of cooked and dressed chicken you can think of, hell... fish Subways (skip these).

Don't you disrespect the one national fast food franchise chain that isn't completely evil. They're the only one I can eat at and not feel totally dirty. Or bloated.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on January 16, 2013 at 2:25 PM · Report this
ArtBasketSara 7
Dick's burgers!

But seriously... I feel so betrayed! I mean, it always tasted like 12 inches...

And yes, that is what I just said.
Posted by ArtBasketSara on January 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 6
It is kinda pathetic...for Subway and their customers.

And if you are eating a footlong sandwich...well losing that inch of carbs is only helping you in the end
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on January 16, 2013 at 2:22 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 5
This is your second sandwich-related post of the day, Paul. You'd better eat something before it turns into a trifecta.
Posted by kitschnsync on January 16, 2013 at 2:19 PM · Report this
How do you feel when the bar gives you a 13 oz 'pint'?

Shouldn't units of measurement mean something? If Subway doesn't get smacked for this, they'll just keep shrinking their products. Should people be forced bring tape measures with them to lunch, just to keep the companies semi-honest?

Subway has gone to court to prevent other companies from describing their 12-inch long sandwiches as 'footlongs', so they've established what they think footlong is supposed to mean. Hoisted by their own batard.
Posted by dirge on January 16, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
treacle 3
Shrinkage. duh.
Posted by treacle on January 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Fnarf 2
That's what she said.
Posted by Fnarf on January 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 1
Well, if Subway customers don't stand up and demand truth in advertising, who will?
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this

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