Mistakes That Will Haunt Subway Forever

Mistakes That Will Haunt Subway Forever


Subway has been the home of the “footlong”
since 1965, but nothing expands as fast as Subway has without knocking a few things over. Here are a few mistakes Subway probably wishes
it could turn into a recipe for special sauce and keep secret — unfortunately, they’re
burned in our memories forever. Subway invested lot in the image of Jared
Fogle, who lost 245 pounds eating their sandwiches. At the time his ads were first broadcast,
they had a huge impact… but we all know what happened next. He took a page out of literature, and he went
to prison for it. “Again, 15 years in prison for Jared Fogel. 188 months.” But hiring him wasn’t the only mistake, because
you could argue that Subway had no way of knowing just what his deepest, darkest secrets
actually were. Their mistakes just kept coming months after
Fogle’s arrest, when the sandwich chain decided to speak up. “The company was quick to issue a statement,
saying it ended its relationship with the spokesman. And a local PR expert says Subway had no choice.” Considering the very serious accusations against
him, this just doesn’t seem like enough outrage from Subway, does it? When it came out that Fogle’s charity — which
was supposed to help obese children get healthy — didn’t get most of the donations it was
supposed to, Subway didn’t try to make things right there, either. Subway isn’t the only sandwich shop in town,
and over the years, they’ve only gotten more and more competition. Sure, when they first opened their doors,
the idea that there was a sandwich artist making your lunch right in front of you was
pretty neat. But according to Business Insider, they got
so comfortable with those products, that set-up, and that image that they forget they needed
to keep up with the times. In 2014, Subway saw a sales decline worse
than any other fast food chain. And that, analysts say, is partially because
they were suddenly positioned alongside restaurants, like Chipotle, whose food wasn’t just fresh,
but was ahead when it came to doing things like sourcing antibiotic-free meats. That wasn’t even a thing when Subway started,
but that doesn’t matter. It only matters that they failed to keep up
with their competition and offer what people want in a timely manner. It’s that sort of nonchalant attitude toward
customer desires and concerns that people will never forget. In July 2015, the same week as Fogle’s downfall,
Business Insider reported that not only did Subway have more locations than McDonald’s,
but they were hoping to take their 44,000 stores and raise that number to 100,000. And there’s a reason McDonald’s hasn’t beaten
them to it: Having that many locations can cripple a company, especially the way Subway
was going about it. Darren Tristano of Technomic told The Washington
Post, “More people have money to spend, and they’re
choosing to spend a little bit more on better concepts where they get a better product.… Subway’s strategy has only been to open more
stores, and ultimately those stores just cannibalize each other.” Restaurant Business took a closer look at
Subway’s expansion plans, and when they spoke to franchisees, they learned something heartbreaking. Operators were essentially forced into opening
multiple Subway locations almost on top of each other, because they were told that if
they didn’t do it, Subway would get someone else who would. The only way for them to try to protect what
business they had was to open more and more locations and spread that business thinner. “It’s really been a victim of its own success. It’s really saturated the market.” Let’s talk about the menu. Sweet onion chicken teriyaki. Black forest ham. Spicy Italian. Steak and cheese. Italian B.M.T. Veggie delight. Classic tuna. “This is tuna. I hate tuna, okay. I refuse to get stuck with tuna. OK? Come on.” Now, are we talking about the menu in 1989
or the menu in 2019? Business Insider says that not recognizing
evolving tastes has been one of Subway’s biggest problems. When Subway first debuted some of these sandwiches,
they were healthier than the competition. But now, customers look at many of the sauces
and lunch meats, and they’re less impressive now that we know more about how bad these
heavily processed meats are. It’s odd that Subway has made the mistake
of falling so far behind what’s cutting edge. Changing tastes is what they capitalized on
in the first place, after all. Subway kicked off their $5 footlong campaign
in 2007, and if it seems like it’s been around for much, much longer than that, it just goes
to show how connected the idea is to the brand. People loved it, and that should have been
a good thing. But it wasn’t. In 2016, Subway announced all those subs were
going to be $6, and people weren’t happy, says Grub Street, especially considering they
were the same subs that had been $5 for so long. There was a lot going on behind the scenes
of the decision, but the company’s statement on Twitter was quite brief: “We launched the $5 footlong in 2007. Since then our costs have gone up greatly,
but we try to balance that with promotions.” More drama followed two years later with the
announcement that Subway was bringing the promotion back, sort of. According to Business Insider, the deal that
came back in 2018 was a $4.99 footlong. But by September of that year, Subway backpedaled
yet again and said they weren’t going to be forcing franchisees to actually sell subs
at that price point. It became a crapshoot as to whether or not
customers could find the deal, and what better way to make the franchisees look like the
bad guy and leave customers with no choice but to just give up trying? It left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. There are a few things that customers expect
of a massive fast food chain: That they’re going to get what they order, and that they
can go into any location and get a consistent product. When a lawsuit filed against Subway in 2013
hit headlines, customers realized the sandwich chain wasn’t living up to either of those
things. The lawsuit claimed footlong subs were 11
inches or less. According to Fox News, Subway originally settled
the case with a promise that they were going to make an extra effort to produce a uniform
product, something it should have been doing in the first place. But that wasn’t the end of the case, and the
Competitive Enterprise Institute got involved with an odd protest: They said the case benefited
no one, except the attorneys that stood to make a shocking $520,000 for suing the sandwich
chain. That got the case thrown out. There was more to it — Forbes reported that
the majority of Subway sandwiches were, in fact, 12 inches long and that the dough used
in every roll was exactly the same, it just baked a little bit differently. But no one remembers that part, do they? They only remember that Subway got sued for
ripping off the customer. It’s easy to argue that everything offends
someone these days, but sometimes an ad campaign just misses the mark so badly, all that’s
left for a company to do is apologize and promise to learn from their mistakes. Subway’s bad at that. Take one of their ads that showed up in the
fall of 2014, when Jezebel reported that the chain was trying to make, quote, “costume
season” into an actual thing. What were they talking about? In a nutshell, Subway thought it was a brilliant
idea to tell women they needed to visit the sandwich chain so they could stay or get thin
in time for Halloween “Halloween’s coming. You gotta stay in shape for all the costumes.” And it’s only gotten worse. In 2018, they ran an anti-McDonald’s ad complete
with the Golden Arches and a narrator that flatlines after saying “burger” a bunch of
times. Business Insider reported that consumers deemed
the ad incredibly annoying, and complained that “…for anyone who has actually dealt with
what a flatline means, [it’s] highly disturbing.” Subway’s social media apologized, often in
a painfully condescending way, while their chief advertising officer stood by the ads
and claimed they were, quote, “encouraged by the responses.” Do you have any emotional connection to McDonald’s,
probably one that goes back to childhood? Do you think of going there for birthday parties,
hoping for a certain toy in a Happy Meal, or begging your parents to stop for McNuggets
on the way home? Of course you do, and that’s because McDonald’s
made a huge effort to connect with kids on an emotional level, so they would remain adult
customers. Forbes says it’s one of the most important
lessons anyone can learn from McDonald’s. Now, do you have the same kind of connection
with Subway? Of course not. According to AdAge, an emotional connection
with customers is what Subway has always been missing. It wasn’t until 2018 that Chief Advertising
Officer Chris Carroll decided that maybe it was time to try and reach customers on that
emotional level. It took them a long time to catch on to what
chains like McDonald’s and Burger King had always known, and it may be too little, too
late. When Bloomberg looked at exactly what was
going wrong with Subway, they pointed out a fatal flaw in their marketing: They were
targeting a market that wasn’t actually there. Look at it this way. Subway is affordable but their subs are adequate
at best. When they started, that was fine. They were feeding people who didn’t have a
lot of cash with a halfway decent meal at a decent price. But now that there’s more competition, a few
things have happened. There are people with more money to spend
on lunch, and they’re going to go somewhere with better options than Subway. Then, there are people that still don’t have
a lot of cash to spend on lunch, but do you know what they’re doing? They’re spending less money to buy the ingredients
and making their sandwiches at home, because sandwiches aren’t something that need a ton
of time, prep, or specialized equipment. And those sandwiches? They’re far better than what Subway can offer. The fact that the chain staked everything
on a section of the market that’s disappearing is a major issue. In today’s fast-paced world, the half hour
or hour we have for lunch is crucial. It’s not just for lunch, it’s for errands,
too. Grabbing some food is secondary, and that’s
where the drive-thru comes in. Why would you go and stand in line to order
when you can swing through a drive-thru and quickly be on your way to get something important
done? This is where Subway needs to catch up, and
fast. As of 2017, only about 10 percent of their
locations have drive-thrus. Though you’d think that ordering your custom
sub from your car would prove difficult, customers apparently love the convenience, and thanks
to touchscreen kiosks, they still have total control over whether or not their sandwich
gets onions, pickles, or mayo. But with less than 2,500 stores offering the
super-fast ordering option, is it enough? Probably not, because convenience is king,
and once you have to park, get out of your car, and go inside, it’s just not fast food
anymore. As for the customers? They’ll go elsewhere. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
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100 Comments

  1. McDonalds is disgusting, Subway is a much healthier option. In my area, there are 3 Subways 3 Mcdonalds all within 4-mile radius.

  2. Don't forget about that stale ass smell that lingers and permeates any Subway location. There was a local Subway shop that opened up in 1989, and was there for 25 years before they went out of business. The newspaper ran a story saying that the building owner was having a hard time locating a new renter for that location because they all complained about the horrible stench.

  3. The people who feign outrage are uniquely left-wing. That's their culture. Please stop crediting people who complain about stupid things. Nobody really collectively gets upset over being told they could lose weight and be healthy by eating at a specific restaurant except fat insecure women too lazy to do anything about it but still expect everything handed to them. I don't know of a single person who would see a commercial with a flat line that instantly got offended and made it an issue. Who the hell are these people? Virtue signaling POS.

    Victim and outrage culture needs to die.

  4. In California, I can not help but notice that just about every Subway franchises are operated by, hire or owned by East Indians or Pakistanis which for me is “no bueno!!!” When I see Indians or Pakistanis operating a restaurant, I just keep walking…

  5. A sandwich that is so big it must be eaten with a knife & fork is not a sandwich.
    It is still an awesome meal.

  6. Subway is now mostly found in truck stops, travel plazas on toll roads, and gas stations, providing hungry travelers a forced meal option when nothing else is to be had.

  7. it cost me 42$ for 2 foot longs 2 chips and 2 small drinks in downtown……..i could of made my own sandwiches for 2$

  8. Jimmy Johns is the BEST! I’m from Canada and we only have a Jimmy Johns in Toronto, 4 hours from where I live. I visit Indiana a few times a year to see my friends and Jimmy Johns as well as IHOP are my top two restaurants there. Sorry Subway, you suck.

  9. The biggest thing that's hurting Subway is their apparent overwhelming desire to sell franchises to Middle Eastern immigrants. It doesn't feel "American". It's like walking into Dairy Queen. You feel like you're in Calcutta. They are not used to American politeness. They bulldog you through your order, skimp on meats that are already of substandard quality, and dose on veggies like growing season was horrible. About the only thing Subway does right is the bread.

  10. Subway is one of those rarely have to be in the mood for places. Their lack of menu varieties IS what turned me away from them.

  11. My mom found a rat baked into her Subway bread. She is a fucking idiot for not sueing. The fact that there's no lawsuit makes her story sound so made up to me.

  12. OMG having to walk into a store to get something what a travesty lol I don't think it is subway that was the problem it was people today just being wayyyy different and lets face it lazy for the most part if anything the downfall to subway is just the overall fast foody ness of the grinders when you can go to Jersey Mikes and get a amazing grinder and on top of it its more expensive but when paying to get a great product its not that big of a deal. I still like Subway every now and then and really don't get all the hate they get besides there being wayyyy too many of them but the same goes for dunkin donuts and when it comes to starbucks I would rather drink water from a gas station bathroom sink then buy anything at that place, they are awful and what they did recently just furthers my thinking of them. I have never stepped foot in one and I never will I hate everything that starbucks is about. Now that is one place I would love to see just go bankrupt and disappear but I am not that lucky and they get a ton of business for some reason…

  13. I miss Mr Sub. (none in my area) Waaaay better than Subway. The subs taste so processed, so many chemicals. Mr Sub tasted like bread. Plus when you asked for extra toppings, they would GIVE you extra toppings.

  14. subway look at fooood when you go in looks old and kids that work there text on there phone instead of take your order??????????? old bread shit service ????? good luck

  15. Why doens't subway just have a menu that you can simply order from instead of having to tell the employee "okay next mayo, ok now a little bit of lettuce, ok now some pickles."
    What if you had to do this at McDonalds imagine.

  16. I like their new $3.99 promo with a 6 inch, baked fries or hash browns and soda or water. The 6 inch sub is different for every day of the week.

  17. Am I the only person who’s actually had good experiences with subway and like it a lot? (Except for subway smell, which is a thing)

  18. I always hated being on lunch and waiting in line and one person making sandwiches and cashing out. They are always hiring because they pay minimum wage and part time hours .Subway you need help !!

  19. I've eaten here for over 25 years, I have an idea what to do to make the sandwich taste good. They definitely insult customers intelligence

  20. The quality I think has went down since the 80s at Subway. It doesnt taste the same. I'll go to Jersey Mikes way before Subway

  21. In Sweden they do not offer butter, do they in the US?My standard Sandwich have at least Butter, ham and loads of cheese in it.Offer butter and i and several friends will buy. Can't be that hard?
    I rather go to the gas station on the otherside of the road and get it the way i want to (okq8) atm.

  22. I tried to pay for a subway order with a $100. Dollar bill. I was told " we don't take $100 bills " and they wanted me to go down to a grocery store and break the bill. I walked out and never went back. Screw subway.
    I have been thinking about going to a bunch of subways with a $100 and placing $30 dollar orders and leaving them with subs they will trash.

  23. Bullshit subway was probably covering up that jarrod was a pedophile till someone squeled. May he burn in hell and get footlonged by satain

  24. fuggen SLO-MOTION food ads.
    Ever since i quit eating at Subway, i quit getting the shits. there's a subway 200 yards away down the frontage road. i don't go there. i'd rather have a shark sandwich.

  25. How do you make this video and not include Subway getting rid of the U-Cut on their subs which allowed all the toppings and meat to stay safely in the sub and not fall out?

  26. Jared Fogle is a total perv. He is Jewish, just like Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Pee-Wee Herman, and all the rest of them.

  27. Not sure how you can fuck up Jared's one job: Eat sandwitches and don't do anything inhumane. That bastard deserves to have his entire life ruined and dumped on. The fool wants to get out of prison asap, when it's a horrible idea. He'll get ridiculed, threatened and possibly be killed by other people.

  28. I remember my favorite sandwich when I was a kid I loved me a plain old salami, cheese and some mayo! I’m craving it rn

  29. I started eating Subway back when they used to slice the bread by taking a “notch” out of the top instead of just slicing it in halves. Those who remember will know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I would always get their meatball sub. It was good, it was cheap (1980’s prices). I miss the “old” Subway.

  30. TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE for cold cuts. $9.50 for a steak sub – No Way! I can get a high quality sandwich at Panera Bread for the same price.

  31. I'm so old I remember when the most expensive thing at Subway cost $5. Seafood & crab footlong or salad. Remember when Subway made salads?

    I stopped going to Subway for a few reasons. 1. No more wedge cut. 2. The way they operated their "Sub club" card. They used a rubber stamp on the card, one stamp per 6 inch (two per footlong), and then when I had enough for a free sandwich they refused to honor it because the stamps were impossible to read. It's your stamp! 3. Price for product. They skimped on all the toppings, e.g. only four slices of tomato on a footlong sub. When I asked for more they all but refused. 4. Poor customer service. I knew exactly what I wanted. Me: "Footlong meatball on whole wheat." Sandwich maker: "What bread?" Me: whole wheat." Sandwich maker: "six inch or footlong?" Me: "Footlong." Sandwich maker: "What kind of sandwich?" Me: "Meatball." I literally just told them all of this! Not the only example, but the one that sticks in my mind having happened on multiple occasions.

  32. You can say whatever you want about subways menu and how “it’s stuck in the 80s” but every still eats the shit

  33. I used to have an emotional connection to subway because me and my dad used to eat sandwiches but after the whole Jared incident we switched to jimmy johns

  34. When Subway came out, Blimpie's was still prettying prevalent. I still prefer Blimpie's because the meat is sliced right before your eyes; Subway's presliced meats and cheeses is still a turn-off. How long has that pile o' ham been sitting in that aluminum tray,,.?

  35. 7:15 – my emotional connection to McDonalds is that they pander to Blacks, starting with the 70's, and are thus uncomfortable, dangerous locations.

  36. I miss the original bread. You used to smell it cooking if you just drove by. There was an anti "chemical" in our foods campaign that took it out.

  37. The whole "under foot long" thing has been around since Roman times. The Romans solved it by inventing the Bakers Dozen. Basically adding an additional roll when selling a dozen rolls to ensure that they weren't under weight. Why can't Subway do this? Just add an inch to the baking mould. Probably wouldn't even need any additional dough.

  38. Mike's jersey subs is way better, save your money and go to Mike's they actually slice fresh meat and cheese infront of you and they have way better/healthier sauces

  39. Sub Station 2 is better. they sliced the meats right before your eyes. also, Jimmy John's makes a delicious cheesesteak sub.

  40. My biggest issue with subway is the unsanitary way they handle their food. Recently tried their new ciabatta subs and I loved the flavor, but my stomach didn’t as I learned a couple hours later. This happens at a constant rate that I’m not willing to go back there; I know there are some that keep things clean but I just can’t trust any random subway.

  41. Subway should just start making 12 inch burgers and crispy chicken sandwiches.

    People just don't enjoy subway sandwiches as often as they do burger and fries.

    McDonald's also has things that people go to get everyday. For like a year I would get an ice coffee nearly every day from McDonald's.

  42. Subway is absolutely disgusting. It’s just as unhealthy as all the other fast food joints and unfortunately they’re massively present in truck stops. I’d rather die than eat their crap food.

  43. Subway is absolute garbage. Got seriously food poisoned at one of those.The meat sits out in these trays. Is it spoiled? Well, it was in my experience! Some snot assed kid in a bad mood is throwing it around who had his hands god knows where before I walked in. I will NEVER set foot in one of those pig slop shacks again.

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