Newest Review: ... is an extra 90p. There is a selection of drinks, cookies and crisps all priced on the board. Overall Subway is great for those who l... more
Subway - Sub standard sandwich
Member Name: PaigeTurner
Advantages: Convenient food on the go
Disadvantages: Poor customer service and complicated ordering process.
Subway makes huge promises about saving the environment, has signed up to work with the government to help trim the nation's waistlines and has proven worldwide popularity through its opening of thousands of franchises. But what did I think?
History of Subway
American restaurant franchise Subway began when 17-year-old Fred Deluca made sandwiches in a small store front sandwich shop in 1965. The unique selling point was the sandwiches were made from fresh and in front of the customer rather than being pre-made and the customer could choose from a variety of ingredients.
Subway is now one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with 36,463 restaurants in 99 countries.
Subway's motto is "Eat Fresh, Live Green". According to its website it is committed to providing a wide range of great tasting, healthier food choices whilst reducing the world's environmental footprint, and creating a positive influence in the communities they serve.
They say they ensure their food meets the highest quality and safety standards. And Subway is now a partner of the Department of Health's Responsibility Deals and have endorsed all three government pledges of calorie labelling, salt reduction and removal of trans fats.
Not only can you check out the calorie content of a Sub before you order but nutritional posters with detailed breakdowns of the content of each Sub are available online or in store.
Subway's main product is the submarine sandwich or 'Sub' as they like to call it. A customer can either order a six inch Sub or a foot long Sib depending on their appetite.
There are a range of fillings available. In the standard Sub range you can have such fillings as Steak and Cheese, Meatball Marinara, Italian BMT or Tuna.
They do a range of Breakfast Subs and a Low Fat range including Beef, Chicken, Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki or Veggie Delite.
Subway has branched out to offer salads and wraps as well as treats including doughnuts, cookies and crisps. Drinks include fizzy drinks, tea, coffee and Capri Sun fruit juice.
They have a Kids' Pak consisting of a mini Sub, drink and treat and a Sides and Snacks menu including green side salad, melted cheese nachos and cheese toasties.
You can order a Subway Platter of a range of Subs and cookies in advance and some stores even offer Halal meat alternatives but you have to check the website to see which ones.
Subs cost between £ 2.50 and £4 but Subway frequently do meal deals consisting of a Sub and a drink for £3 or £4 depending on which Sub you choose.
Subcards are loyalty cards which allow customers to collect points towards a free Sub.
The Ordering Process
Ordering a Sub involves a string of different stages. Initially you choose the Sub you would like and whether you would like a six inch or foot long roll. The sales assistant - or team member as they are called - will then ask what type of bread you would like - this includes varieties such as Italian, wheat and seeded.
The team member will usually ask if you want the bread fresh or toasted. This involves a blast in the microwave, or not. The team member will then load up the Sub with you chosen filling and then ask you if you want cheese. They will ask if you want salad next and you can select as many salad items from the counter as you like.
Finally, the team member will ask you if you want sauce - these include mayonnaise, sweet chilli, chipotle or mustard.
Team members are trained to spot new Subway customers and should talk you through the ordering process and help you out with your bread or sauce choices if you are unsure.
One team member may take you through the whole process or, in larger stores, there may be a team member to each station i.e., bread, salad, till point etc.
When I walked through the door of my local Subway it was the first time I had ever tried out this particular brand of sandwich. Before I even began I felt a little daunted about the complex ordering process I had heard about and hoped there would be a friendly sales assistant - sorry, I mean team member - to help me through the process.
When I got there it was ten to twelve so just before the lunchtime rush. There were three team members behind the counter who all appeared busy replenishing the sandwich filling containers behind the counter.
None of them looked up to acknowledge my presence. I had a look around and noticed the floor would have benefited from a good mop and chairs and stools had not been pushed back in under tables, so the whole impression was rather untidy and neglected. There were no other customers in the store.
I had a look at the menu boards. There were a number with different prices at the top, saying they could be part of a £3 or £4 meal deal. The nutritional poster was on the the wall but the print was so small it would have taken a real healthy eating freak to take the time to study it.
The good thing about the menu boards was there were pictures of each of the Subs with their names written underneath so you had some idea what you were purchasing.
I decided to have one called a Chicken Temptation as you can't go wrong with chicken - can you? About three minutes after I had entered the store one of the team members finally looked up in my direction. An awkward moment followed when she just stared at me rather blankly before finally saying "What would you like?" with no smile, no enthusiasm, no nothing. I put in my order for a six inch Chicken Temptation. She asked what bread I would like and I asked what they had got. She pointed at a sign on the counter and said it's all on there. Not the helpful guidance through the ordering process I had been looking for.
I wasn't certain which bread would go with my choice of filling ds took a stab in the dark and chose wheat. I agreed for it to be toasted and to have cheese on it. I felt a little concerned when she took the first few slices off the top of the cheese container and threw them under the counter before taking a few more out to put in my sandwich. It appeared she had deemed those top few slices inedible. What did that say about the rest of the cheese and all the other ingredients for that matter?
Without a word she then passed my Sub along to another team member who gave it another blast in the microwave. This new team member - who I must mention had her long hair loose around her face and a pair of huge dangling ear-rings on which I'm sure must have been some kind of food hygiene breach - then asked me if I wanted salad. I selected lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Then she asked if I wanted sauce. Again I had no idea which sauce would best suit my chosen sandwich filling and I decided there wasn't any point asking following my experience asking about the bread, so I said no to sauce.
I wasn't shown my Sub before it was wrapped up. My purchase was rung through the till, I paid and then left. No one bid me good-bye.
When I unwrapped the Sub I was disappointed. It didn't look anything like the picture, bursting full of filling. A bit of lettuce was poking out of the side but otherwise you wouldn't have a clue about its contents. The bread was soggy apart from the corners which were unpleasantly hard and crispy.
The filling turned out to be a chicken fillet wrapped in bread crumbs and was tasty enough but there was an unpleasant buttery after taste which ruined the overall flavour - I'm guessing that could have been the melted cheese.
I paid just over £3.50 for my Sub and for that money I could get a decent sandwich elsewhere. And that is exactly where I will be going next time I need lunch out and about - anywhere but Subway.
I realise a large majority of people must have had positive Subway experiences as that is why it has been so successful but for me it wasn't the case. The customer service was very poor, bordering on rude to be honest. I was obviously a first time customer but I was given none of the extra assistance they talk of. I could almost have forgiven this if the sandwich had been any good but it was only just palatable and the amount of filling was a let down. And I don't even want to think about what could have been wrong with that cheese.
Summary: Subway is a huge success the world over but I won't be returning to my local branch.