The Truth About Working At Subway

The Truth About Working At Subway

With nearly 43,000 stores, Subway is the largest
fast food chain in the world. But what really goes on behind the cutting
board? Here’s what it’s really like to work for Subway,
according to the people who’ve served the subs. For being the world’s largest restaurant chain,
there’s surprisingly little actual cooking being done at your neighborhood Subway, despite
how fresh they want you to think their food is. It seems like if you can open a bag, you can
handle the majority of the so-called “prep work” being done in the Subway kitchens. According to one person who claims to be an
employee, the meats are pre-cooked and pre-sliced, the bread is already kneaded and portioned,
and even the lettuce comes pre-shredded for the convenience of every sandwich artist. So don’t worry about the culinary skills of
the tired looking teen behind counter. They basically just have to slap everything
together. One former employee explained this disappointing
reality in an anonymous tell-all on the GameFAQs forums, saying, “Frozen meatballs. Prepackaged sauce. Frozen chicken planks. 100% prepackaged meats. […] Frozen cookie dough. Frozen bread dough. Pre-packaged lettuce. Precooked bacon. I think that about covers it.” The employee added that this would all be
fine if Subway weren’t telling customers they could “eat fresh.” “It’s out with the old and in with the fresh.” Speaking of Subway’s “Eat fresh” slogan, even
the freshness of that bag of pre-shredded lettuce has been called into question, meaning
the people who work there may be slinging food they’d rather not eat. Some employees have revealed that in efforts
to save money, managers will sometimes keep pushing food past its expiration date. This isn’t corporate policy, so don’t assume
it’s happening at every Subway. And one employee’s story on Reddit comes to
just the sort of resolution you’d hope for. The poster explained how his former manager,
in an effort to keep food costs down, would do things like change the expiration dates
on certain items so they wouldn’t have to be thrown out. The source added, “He would also take lettuce in a pan and put
it back into the bag. He kept frozen, unbaked bread for over a year. It was so old that the yeast had died, causing
the bread to not rise. He was fired after I got fed up and blew the
whistle to the franchise owner.” But for every brave whistle-blower out there,
how many more employees are forced to use expired products? Old lettuce and deflated bread may be one
thing, but the worst ingredients that employees deal with are Subway’s selection of meats. Even when fresh from the plastic packaging,
many employees could barely deal with the odor. One employee on Reddit colorfully described
it by saying, “The packages of ham, turkey, and cold cuts
smell like bags of farts.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, let things sit
around a while and it only gets worse. Another former employee explained on a different
Reddit thread, “Avoid: Chipotle Chicken & Teriyaki Chicken
(Why? Chicken is given a two day shelf life, once
in the counter. However these two bypass this and get four
days, and can get a little stinky).” Horrifyingly, a third employee revealed even
worse practices, saying, “Chicken teriyaki SHOULD be thrown out by
the fifth day, but a lot of employees just change the date to avoid throwing it out. This means, with shift changes, varying staff
and other factors, five-day chicken could be out as long as nine days.” At some point, employees may be avoiding throwing
out that week-old chicken just so they don’t have to get close to it — hoping the next
poor guy deals with it. Working with expired vegetables and stinky
meats is, on some levels, easy to tell. But sometimes things are not so readily apparent. Subway built its brand on being a healthier
alternative in the fast food market. They have a whole menu dedicated to “Fresh
Fit” eating. “Eating healthy at a Subway restaurant is
easy! We have so many nutritious choices!” And while not exactly part of a perfect diet,
light mayo is still better than regular mayo, right? Sure, except when it’s not. One Viral Thread author and former Subway
sandwich artist revealed that they could be the exact same thing, revealing, “Most of the time, whenever the Light Mayo
bottle ran out, my manager would just tell me to fill it with regular mayonnaise… And this is pretty common in a lot of stores.” Even if one employee knows that one bottle
of mayo is a lie, what about the next shift? Or the next day? How many part-timers are unknowingly squeezing
out false hope of fewer calories? One well-known fact about Subway is that all
of those classic veggie fixings are free and you can pile them on just how you like it
— except for avocado, which, like everywhere else in the known universe, is still extra. But what you might not know is that the guidelines
for portioning these veggies can be pretty stringent, and the olive allotment is by far
the most stingy. One Redditor revealed he was trained to use
“3 olives per 6 inches,” adding, “They have all of these precise quantities,
and my mean b—- manager would give me hell on earth if I put 7 slices on a f—ing foot-long
instead of 6.” So if it seems like the employee has a light
touch with those black olives, just politely ask for more. They don’t have a personal vendetta against
you, they’re just following the rules. And they’re being watched. Be careful, though. Another Redditor simply stated, “I got fired from Subway for ‘putting too
many olives on the sandwiches.'” Try explaining that on your next job interview. No one would really expect a fast food job
to pay the big bucks, but according to some former workers, Subway is just about as low
as it can get. As CNN reports, it’s so bad that between 2000
and 2013, the US Department of Labor initiated more than 1,100 separate investigations into
Subway franchises, leading to over 17,000 Fair Labor Standards Act violations. Subway workers ended up entitled to over $3.8
million in reimbursed wages by 2014. But even when everything is totally above
board, Subway might still not be that great as far as employee compensation goes. One employee on Odyssey lamented in 2016, “My pay will never change. No matter how long I work for Subway or how
well I do my job, my pay will never change. It will always be $7.25 unless I become a
manager then I would get $8.25.” More recent reports on Glassdoor suggest that
those numbers are still fairly accurate. This seems especially rough when you consider
that Subway habitually understaffs the restaurant as well, according the same employee, who
added, “[Usually] I’m by myself and I have a whole
list of things that I have to do on top of waiting on customers. So if you get frustrated because I am not
standing behind the bar waiting on you immediately when you walk in, I’m sorry but I’m not there
just to make your sandwiches.” That’s a big ask for minimum wage with no
real opportunity for improvement. Working in the food service industry, a shift
can have highs and lows. There will probably be more customers at noon
than around 4 in the afternoon — that’s the same with just about any fast food place. But just because it’s busier doesn’t necessarily
mean the lunch rush is the worst. The lunch customers are usually just trying
to cram a sandwich in and get back to work without a fuss. But getting stuck with the dreaded late night
weekend shift is what all employees avoid — and not just because they’d rather be
out living it up. According to Viral Thread, one employee explained, “This is when we have the drunk revelers [REV-uh-lers]
and stoners come in. And yes, of course we know when you’re stoned
– mainly because I once watched a guy eat three footlong meatball marinaras and a pack
of twelve cookies after getting a SERIOUS case of the munchies.” The employee went on to say that the main
issue with the late shift is having to clean up what feels like an endless mess. Everyone has one or two quirky eating habits
— and that’s perfectly fine! But when you spend your days assembling sandwiches
at Subway, you find fun wherever you can; even at the expense of some poor sandwich
lover’s particularities. Employees usually won’t say no to odd requests
— they’re artists after all — but you can bet they’ll gripe about it later. One former employee complained on Oola, “You may think you’re being cool and inventive
opting for four different sauces on your sandwich, but we honestly judge you for being such a
moron. Two sauces? Fine. Any more than that and it just becomes overly
sweet gloop that destroys and overpowers the sandwich.” Even a fairly mundane order can be subject
to ridicule if it’s mispronounced, like the very popular Chipotle sauce, for example. The employee explained, “Chip-ottal. Ship-oat-lay. Chip-o-lata. Ship-ottle. I don’t know what it is about this popular
sauce, but most people really don’t know how to pronounce it […] Subway should really
introduce [an] ‘If you can’t say it, you can’t order it’ [policy].” One of the great things about Subway is the
assembly line-style method of sandwich production that’s been perfected through countless hours
of repetition. Customers get their food quickly and employees
can basically work on autopilot. But when some newbie doesn’t understand how
this system works, it slows everything down and drives everyone up the walls. It ruins the groove that an employee gets
into during the rush hour slam. According to Viral Thread, a former employee
fumed, “There’s nothing worse than dealing with a
customer who has no idea what they want, and dealing with a Subway virgin is a painstaking
process. The most annoying thing is that the instructions
are clearly written on the counter!” It is not just clueless first-timers either. Another employee complained on Reddit, “There is a trend right now at my store where
people want a tuna sandwich but they want the bread and cheese toasted first. It ruins the flow of the sandwich-making process
and it slows down the line.” An assembly line only works when it flows
in, you know, a line. If everyone is jumping back and forth between
stations, it’s just chaos. Despite the fact that your meatball marinara
may taste about the same at all 43,000 stores — the frozen and pre-packaged goods help
ensure that uniformity, of course — Subway is still a franchise operation. That means most Subway locations are owned
and operated by different people. Even if two Subways are only blocks apart,
there may be two completely separate owners. And that means a total crapshoot on what the
work experience is really like. According to Oola, one former employee reflected, “I worked at a store with lovely owners who
were happy for the workers to have any footlong for lunch. However, I had a friend who worked across
town who has nightmare bosses! They weren’t allowed any lunch, were forced
to buy their uniforms from them, and were constantly watched on CCTV. It’s simply the luck of the draw.” So if your boss is holding onto stinky meat
or just unwilling to hire a second hand for the lunch rush, maybe take your sandwich skills
to the Subway across the street. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.


  1. Been working at subway since my freshman year of high school, this is so freaking accurate… from stinky meats, to keeping old products on the line and changing their expression label, I even saw a lady that bakes bread drop the whole thing of bread on the floor and pick it back up and put it on the bread cabin 😂

  2. This isn't how it was. I worked at three different Subways back in the early 90's. They were always bigger stores. I got hired for a bit more than minimum wage and at two stores I got raises in two of those stores within three months. Meats were frozen. We got fresh vegetables every day and when we got hit hard at lunch we'd get another delivery. We cut lettuce and everything else within a few hours of it going on sandwiches. More than any restaurant I worked at as a kid Subway was serious about deli and refrigerator temps. Bread dough was frozen. We got it delivered weekly along with cookies. I had one manager who would let bread go an extra hour or two but if you were coming in at 2AM and got a spongy footlong you didn't have a lot of room to bitch, it was still the freshest bread you were getting after a bar close. Subway really fed me. I got two footlongs in an 8 hour shift, more than a teenager could eat comfortably and despite frozen meat and dough it was by-far the most nutritious food I ate in my teens.

  3. Im working at Subway right now and alot of this isn't true for at least my subway yes some meat is frozen and so is the bread but all the vegetables are very fresh and prepped in the back. In fact the veggies aren't allowed to be served if they have freezer burn or are cut too thin. And the meats are not allowed to be served the next day if it was out the day before. We also are made to write dates on all pans to ensure we know how old things are. Cleaning the pans are also taken very seriously. At least in my store.

  4. I used to work at Subway and let me tell you, everything in this video and MORE.

    Where to start, where to start… My manager/owner was bad at her job. She didn't train people, and I never got training except for cleaning for TWO MONTHS. I barely knew how to make any sandwiches by my third month, but when she took a two month vacation back to her home country, my coworkers actually stuck their necks out for me and trained me. I was 16, and it was my first job, so I was unaware of a lot of code violations and ridiculous shit going on there, but let me tell you, as time went on, I could not ignore it. This bitch seriously must bribe the health inspector because in the sink where we wash our dishes there is BLACK MOLD growing in and around it. The toilets were also lined with it, and she expected me to clean the bathroom without gloves. I almost did it too, afraid to be fired, when my coworker let my naive ass know that that was an OSHA violation. My manager was pretty stingy too, but making sandwiches was where I got back at her. Olives? By the handful. Dressing??? If you want, I'll actually drown your sub. Extra meat/cheese/guac? Oops, never got trained on the register so obviously I'm not gonna charge for something I didn't know existed. I actually quit there at one point and then, stupidly, came back because she promised if I did, she would train me. Never fucking happened.

  5. This is super funny I’m a manager at subway and to be honest this is just bad management. We get inspection monthly and spontaneously we do not know when we will get inspection and everything should be up to standard

  6. I work at Subway and we would NEVER serve expired food OR old stale bread. I realize there are some anomalies out there but I can tell you the Subway's that I work at have a conscience, and we pride ourselves on serving healthy safe food. And yes the meat comes to us pre-packaged but it is sliced and prepared and packaged at a factory that belongs to Subway. We also record temperatures multiple times throughout the day food safety is our main focus as well as a clean store.

  7. That is untrue all the meats have a two-day shelf life. Period. Never has it been a 4 day policy or even a 5-day policy. For the most part we prep as we go. We prep as we need it.

  8. I myself worked at subway I was a closer and an opener. I made $9.25 for almost 2 years. I worked over time all the time yet my check was still $500. I did so much yet never got even a penny more. The food is pushed for days and I almost got fired for throwing it away. Don’t eat the lettuce or tomatoes even cucumbers just don’t eat subway.

  9. Everything in this is absolutely what I experienced working at Subway, but the MOST accurate and relatable thing was the fact that they always under-hire people. When I was the new employee, never had a job before in my life, on my third day (before I really knew what all the combinations and orders were) all of my coworkers ditched and left me all by myself. Thankfully, someone showed me how to close the store just the day before, so at least I could do that right. It was the worst experience I'd ever had, and it was really hard not to close the store early after I was slammed by an angry family who insulted me for being slow. I quit a few weeks later

  10. Well since eat fresh hasn’t been subways motto in years and this video came out in March. The makers of this video aren’t very smart. Also teriyaki and chipotle chicken get 2 day shelf life just like all other chickens. If employees don’t throw out food when it expires they get fired 🤦🏼‍♂️ god bloggers are annoying sometimes

  11. Also it just sounds like some horrible employees that aren’t doing the right thing which sounds like every job… ever…

  12. I’ve worked at both Jimmy Johns and Subway and the difference is UNREAL. At jimmy johns, we went in at 5am to slice entire turkeys/hams/salamis/cheeses into sandwich sized slices. At subway every single thing is prepackaged and the bread and the meats/veggies in the bain are used day after day whereas jimmy johns throws away EVERYTHING at the end of the night and only keeps the leftover bread to sell for 50 cents. If you ever have the choice, JJ’s is the way to go

  13. Basically accurate our subways broken a lot more health code laws and labor laws yesterday I did 12 hour shift with no breaks I hard to work alone for a bit to and I'm 15

  14. Former employee. It's all true. Especially the part about pushing past expiration dates. It was part of 7-8am shift tasks.

  15. At my subway. We kept changing the sauce expired dates. Sauces have a set date it has to be used by, even the open bags waiting to go in bottles. We had months out of date alot. And with the out of date marianna sauce they just threw in the meatball sauce.

  16. I worked at subway for 8 months and I hated everyday of it. On my first day, I accidentally dropped bread in the trash can and I was wondering where to put the bad bread, my manager picked it out and put it back in the pan and I knew I was in for a bad ride

  17. Everything is in a fridge it freezer in the back you open it and thaw it put it in a metal box and serve it

  18. They always putting on the salad first then then the meat!

    It's always bread, cheese is that double…??just toasts to hide non freshness, what meat. Ohh was that single sir?? what? Then salad..sauce??! What's drinks and crisps?? Did I just get a meal deal?? I should have asked for double bread! And a sauce in a pot for dipping..

    There sauces, you weak try their honey mustard to dominos one, my days.. aldi vs whole foods (I like Aldi's)

    Trust I got some cheese like 2/3toasted… Just dripping with oil.. the guy pouring the excess oil into the bin.. we don't have oil as a topping in the UK, so want oil get extra cheese toasted!!

  19. i will never eat chicken breast from subway, just because i know what it smells like when you open the bag hahah

  20. this is 100% accurate, I worked for subway for about a month before I couldnt take it anymore, I memorized the sandwich portioning relatively easily after a few shifts but the management was AWFUL the head manager at my store never felt the need to introduce himself to me even once in person, let alone the owners. The place was owned by (i heard) a man and a woman, the man would work in the mornings and leave then go home and watch the cameras and listen to the microphone he stuck up in the ceiling tiles! he'd text us if he heard or saw us doing ANYTHING he didnt like. I was paid 8.25 (the minimum wage in my state) and I was not allowed a time to eat or sit down durring my 7 hour shifts (which is illegal under my states laws if you're under 18 which I was) I was able to get a 6 inch sandwich half off durring my shift but only durring my shift, no discounts outside of working time and I had to eat said sandwich bite by bite while doing other things. I immediately started looking for a new job as soon as I asked one of the other employees what that stick in the ceiling was. Absolutely apauling work environment.

  21. They donot pay enough and work 60 hours week get pay 40 hours and for 20 hours u get cash cuz they donot want to pay overtime !

  22. The lettuce thing isn’t true. Once something is expired, it’s gone. The sauce thing: I’m that customer. I have a line of 4-5 sauces on my sandwiches. I’d put on as many sauces as I want if I’m making one during my own shift so it’s not a hassle/burden for another employee. But when I go to other subways when I’m not working, I’ll ask for about 2-3 sauces, one line of it. And yes, when people pronounce Chipotle, Chi pol teh, it’s Fing annoying.

  23. The subway store I work at uses light mayo for both light mayonnaise and "regular" mayonnaise. My manager tells us that the normal mayo is only used for tuna lmao 👀

  24. I work at subway, one minnesota. Subway has a formula that you are supposed to follow, that means 4 olives on a foot.. do you know how many people want to slap the shit out of you when you put 4 olives on a footlong, and you can't put more on unless they ask for it. The meat is disgusting, it really does smell like a "bag of farts". you also have two people running everything, two teenagers even, we have to prep, clean lobby, wash dishes, take out trash, take out recycling, make sandwhichs, ring sales and so much more.

  25. I used to work there and it was horrible😵worst job…pays minimum,they use and abuse you…you do EVERYTHING and only management gets full-time!they even tried to give me a key to close the store and I asked if they'd give me a raise or higher position and they said NO ….don't work there #sorrynotsorry

  26. I work at Subway and 1: 100% correct 2: not at the one I work at, it's a big no-no 3: correct, they do in fact smell bad, chicken is only 2 days where I work 4: 50-50 chance, it sometimes gets mixed up (they look very similar) and they don't bother changing it after it's prepped 5: yes olives are the gold if Subway, but if someone asks for more we have to give it 6: yes assistant managers only make $11 an hour, we get raises but no more then that 7: YES YES YES YES, we have more to do in the back, our job is more then just standing up front and wait for someone to come in 8: 50-50 chance 9: yes we make fun of the customer when the leave 10: yes it's annoying but that's the job so it's not THAT big of a deal 11: mine is 50-50 we get a free 6 inch with every shift as long as all the cleaning for the week gets done, we done always get a break it depends how busy we are and who you work with, the camera's are watched every now and then but not like a hawk~

  27. I’m a subway employee I love my job lol it’s fun we are definitely we are definitely the cleanest one around our area as soon as we see someone discoloring or if it expires we toss it and replace it!

  28. I love how they said at the beginning, 'one person who claimed to be an employee'
    As a current Subway employee I can tell you we have monthly inspectors that will give the manager hell if she used expired ingredients. Most of these stories are once in a franchise type thing. And of course there is no pay raises, this is a beginners job, you aren't supposed to spend your entire life working at Subway, although my place does have 2 people who have been with the company over a decade.

  29. Accurate as hell I pulled a 12 hour shift yesterday just so the store could get cleaned for a corporate visit I'm putting my 2 weeks notice Monday and going to another job and it'll be a cold day in hell before I step foot into one again.

  30. Yeah!!!! Working for subway sucks! It’s not that WE want to make your sandwiches all shitty but we are being watched:/ I quit when I got shit from customers and my manager

  31. Your whole body smells like subway bread should also be mentioned.. All the above things mentioned are true but they follow a strict food prep procedure and if followed than it's ok to eat

  32. I work at subway and my owner and manager is SUPER OCD. All our stuff gets thrown out a day before expiration. We throw out our bread the day after we cook them so we are always making new bread. We also just put on veggies without portioning them. I know every subway is different but I'm glad these subways arent near me lol blessed to work at a good subway (I make 12.75 also) 👏🏼 I've also got someone who couldn't pronounce "savory ceaser" he said "Sa-Voi" ceaser

  33. The subway i work out literally runs through 6 containers of teryaki on Mondays theres no way they last longer than 5 days

  34. yea i work at subway, and the slogan really shouldnt be eat fresh. but if you think anything at any fast food chain is fresh ur stupid

  35. At my subway we threw away sooo much food so nothing was reused past the expiration date… especially the bread

  36. Look subway is good I can do every little thing in time with good management and organization but the only thing that threw me off was that costumers became more and more rude for no reason I had nightmares for months every since night I would dream that I was at work and when I woke up guess what I was going to work… at subway my mental health was at risk work there for a year love the job but you have to have a lot of patience and be strong 💪

    I’m good now…. I don’t work anymore my mental health is fine but i do believe everyone such work in at fast food restaurant at least once in their lives so they learned to treat workers like actual people and understand that they get tired just like everyone else

  37. We didnt get free sandwiches. We get 60% discount on 6 inch subs only. Also no military discounts….. I need a new job.

  38. This is pretty accurate I was just working at one a month ago and my manager gave us our hrs for the week then changed the schedule at like 11 p.m. and send it to everybody I didn't even get to see it before my shift had started🙄

  39. I work at subway and I agree with this all. We have nothing fresh. when people ask me how fresh it is or questions about how it’s cooked or what’s in the meats, I have to tel them “idk it comes out of a bag”. And I absolutely hateeeee the smell of the ham. It’s absolutely disgusting…. my manager gets so mad at us when we have to give a certain amount veggies but it’s also Bc there are assholes who take about enough veggies for two foot longs. Another thing, my manager is such an asshole and when we make her mad, she takes away our hours without telling us. Also if we get written up, they take our pay away and force us to work minimum wage for how every long and not the amount we were originally signed on to. So like if I get written up I’m make $7.25 instead of the $8.50 I was hired on for, for like 2 weeks.

  40. After learning about that Jared guy i dont wanna go to Subway again. Eat Fresh i bet that creep came up with that slogan. How about a 6 or 12 year old…. oops i mean a 12 inch sammich and a 6 inch sub of the day.

  41. In the subway in my country we get the veggies whole and have to clean and slice each and every one of them though…. 😭

  42. Any Subway that uses prep longer than the expectancy is owned privately. At my first Subway I worked at was owned privately and my manager would do that. The one I work for now is owned by a company that operates a lot of other Subways and other similar places. Also, the olives are .50 ounces for a foot long and .25 ounces for a six inch. And the starting pay is at least $7.25 at all but a lot have changed to $7.50


  44. Got all down dont forget the ebt people rude ass fuck I been there for 3 1/2 years all this still happens so please bare with us understaffed employees

  45. I hadn't eaten from this place in so long…how coincidental I come across this vid aftee eating there today??!🤦‍♀️

  46. Unless you have one customer a week I dont see how the chicken could sit for 9 days?. I worked there through university and our store was busy and sometimes had hourly turn over of food so it could never sit there more than a day or two max. The portions are strict thought. All deli items (jalapenos, olives and pickles) were 3 each for 6 inch and 6 for 12 inch.

  47. I’ll be addressing things as I watch the video. The part pertaining to the chicken teriyaki isn’t true for the store I work at. We put out new chicken everyday

  48. I want to add that employees are really pushed into overtime. I have never ever finished on time. Sure it's fine, 30 minutes extra or even an hour. But I at least have to stay 3 hours passed the end of my shift every day because there's so much things to do. And that is unbearable when you have to do two shifts in a day because you can go up to 12 hours of work.

  49. 8:35 i work at subway in canada and LMAO YAH no one can say chipotle it’s funny but also working there’s is constantly busy with prepping food why wouldn’t we get pre packaged meats? so does every other fast food place because we don’t kill chickens and cook them in the back

  50. When I go to subway I ask for so much pickles and banana peppers I get ham turkey pepperoni bacon lot of pickles lot of banana peppers black olives black pepper and olive oil

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