The Real Reason Subway Is Disappearing Across The Country

When is the last time you stopped at a Subway? If it’s been a while, you might not be surprised
to learn that 2017 was not a good time for the chain that’s been banking on their “Eat
fresh” image to get customers through the door. It was only in late 2017 that franchisees
found out that business had fallen 25 percent since 2012, and stores were shutting their
doors. CNN reported that in 2016, Subway closed 359
locations, and 2017 was even worse. According to Business Insider, that year saw
Subway closing another 909 stores across the US, which accounts for about three percent
of their domestic footprint. So, it’s not entirely surprising there’s a
lot going on behind the scenes at Subway, and their problems are way more complicated
than you might think. So, why did your neighborhood Subway close? Subway built their brand on the idea of eating fresh, so if you’ve been to almost any location
in recent years, you may have been surprised to find your sub toppings looking a little
less than garden fresh. It’s not your imagination — and there’s
a business-breaking reason for that. Business Insider UK spoke to a number of Subway
franchisees and managers, and found most locations only get shipments of vegetables and produce
once a week. Particularly busy locations get fresh produce
in twice a week, but that’s still not enough. While Subway stated they worked with around
100 suppliers and family farms to make sure all their locations had the freshest produce
available, those on the front lines had other things to say, like the Pennsylvania employee
who said: “A lot of the lettuce we receive is often
near-[expiration] and is already turning brown even though the bags are vacuum sealed. The same goes for tomatoes. Often they are delivered and within a week
are mushy and rotting.” “Subway, eat fresh.” Is this chicken? One of the other things Business Insider says
is to blame for Subway’s continued struggles is scandals like the mystery-meat chicken
findings of early 2017. That’s when CBC Marketplace did DNA testing
on six different chicken sandwiches, including two Subway sandwiches. For the other fast food chains that were investigated,
McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, Wendy’s and A&W, tests showed that what they were serving was
at least 85 percent chicken, if not more. Subway? The averages of their tests showed customers
were getting between 42 and 53 percent chicken. The rest was soy, and it’s not surprising
people were pretty outraged by the deception. “Subway takes a big hit on this chicken challenge
and it’s not over yet.” Subway, on the other hand, says the tests
were wrong, and claimed they allow for only one percent or less of soy to be included
in their chicken products. Denials notwithstanding, that’s the sort of
headline that can destroy a business’s reputation. Subway launched a lawsuit against the CBC
for $210 million. “Is this chicken what I have, or is this fish?” In December 2017, The New York Post got wind of more behind-the-scenes problems for Subway:
an outright revolt from at least 400 of their franchise owners. It started when Subway corporate decided to
temporarily bring back the $5 footlong promotion in hopes of revitalizing dwindling sales. “Five dollar footlong!” Franchisees got together to petition against
the deal, saying it was only going to hurt their already suffering bottom lines. The franchisee letter sent to corporate read,
in part: “The national promotional focus over the past
five years […] has decimated [us] and left many franchisees unprofitable and even insolvent.” At the same time franchisees were revolting
against the $5 footlong, the promotion’s original creator, Stuart Frankel, spoke with Restaurant
Business on why even he thought bringing it back was a bad idea. As the owner-operator of a college campus-based
Subway, Frankel came up with the idea in 2003, but says Subway latched onto it and kept it
for way too long. Even though it allowed them to grow and push
some competitors out of the way, it did some major damage in the long run. Frankel says,
“[Once] you keep pushing a low price point in the minds of the consumer, it’s hard to
sell sandwiches for what they’re really worth.” The fight over the $5 footlong was just the tip of the iceberg, and franchisees on the
front lines of the business were seeing something much different from what corporate apparently
was, so store owners called for a change in leadership. Specifically, they wanted to see a new CEO
installed. Suzanne Greco inherited the job when her brother,
Subway founder Fred DeLuca, passed away in 2015 after a battle with leukemia. Anonymous franchisees claim that part of the
problem is that anyone with a viewpoint contrary to Greco’s will be on the outs at corporate. Meanwhile, one franchisee summed up their
situation like this: “I wish we had an advocate. This was my retirement, and now, well, it’s
over.” Tracking the downfall of Subway is surprisingly complicated, and Restaurant Business Online
says growing market competition is playing a huge part in taking business away from Subway. When they first entered the restaurant market,
Subway didn’t have that much in the way of large-scale competitors. Quiznos was the other big kid on the block,
and they made their name on their toasted subs. “We love you subs! Subs are a dollar off. When bring a coupon” It was easy enough for Subway to adjust — they just added the option for customers to have
their rolls toasted — but other chains have since flooded the market. At the same time Subway’s profits have tanked,
competitors Jimmy John’s, Potbelly, Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike’s amassed some serious
growth in 2016, accounting for $540 million combined — while Subway not only lost money,
but started closing stores. Since Subway has been content with the status
quo, that’s allowed competitors to step up and start stomping them out. The last thing anyone needed was another sub
shop. They needed a better one.” But it isn’t just other restaurants that are
becoming competition for Subway, it’s the number of their own franchises. Mark Shearer is an attorney who has represented
a number of franchise owners in lawsuits against Subway corporate, and he told Business Insider:
“This level of dysfunction has risen to the level of being flat-out evil.” Shearer says corporate is less concerned with
giving their franchisees a chance to grow than they are with collecting the franchise
fees from new owners. Stores open right on top of each other, corporate
collects the fees, and the stores are left to scramble for business. Even worse, any complaints directed to corporate,
about corporate, have led to what Shearer described as “Mafia-style” techniques employed
to sabotage stores. Franchisees could have their licenses revoked
over the most minor of reasons, he says, and describes franchise owners as:
“[Always] in a state of extreme fear. […] They fear reprisal for telling their
stories.” Subway, of course, says none of that is true. As a whole, people are becoming more aware of what’s in fast food. It seems like Subway, with their “Eat fresh”
motto, should be on the top of the heap as far as healthy goes, but there’s not much
that’s farther from the truth. Part of that is reflected in the fact they
were surprisingly slow to make some serious changes to their menu and ingredients. While other chains like Panera Bread and McDonald’s
announced a long time ago they were going to be phasing out artificial ingredients,
Subway only hopped on that bandwagon in 2015. And given that announcement only came a year
after an online petition condemned them for using an ingredient in their bread that was
also used in the production of yoga mats, well, that’s not good publicity for anyone. Their menu has stayed the same for a long,
long time. And the Huffington Post says the fact that
they were slow to develop a breakfast menu, and that they shy away from anything too experimental
means that the 21st century has been moving on without them. “Fresh has a different meaning than it had
20 years ago.” The face of Subway “Let’s call this what it is. This is about using wealth, status, and secrecy
to to illegally exploit children.” When Jared Fogle became the face of Subway,
it seemed like a good idea. He was the perfect poster child for their
healthy eating claims, and according to the Los Angeles Times, Subway profits rose 20
percent after his first commercials went national, and dropped 10 percent after his contract
expired in 2005. Then, Fogle found himself in court on serious
criminal charges with minors — charges to which he pleaded guilty. Subway’s profits were already headed in a
downward direction. While it’s impossible to say how many people
decided to take their lunchtime business elsewhere after Fogle’s arrest, it’s safe to say it’s
definitely been a major factor for some people. Subway has since publicly ended their association
with Fogle, but whether or not it was enough, who knows? Thanks for watching! Click the Mashed icon to subscribe to our
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100 thoughts on “The Real Reason Subway Is Disappearing Across The Country

  1. Yeah over priced for crap on bread and a bad case of the 💩 after your done eating the cheapest meat on them

  2. The real reason is they can't find and keep reliable employees. The US has created a culture of government dependency. Without wich the economy would collapse! The working poor and middle class have no priority. Why struggle with trying to make ends meet or pay for a health plan? You can have peace of mind with everything paid for under welfare programs and have a nice side business in the black market for meds. Got candy? Buy all you want with SNAP!

  3. I got tired of arguing about what comes on my sandwich. One SW kept trying to make my footlong with 3 pieces of ham, 3 pieces bacon, and 3 pieces of turkey, when it's supposed to have 4 of each ( a six inch had two of each). All of them try and screw you on coupons. I had a "buy a 6 inch sub and get any 6 inch sub for equal or less price" I bought a 6 inch Subway club with extra meat, cheese, and bacon and wanted another just like it. They tried to charge me for the extra meat, cheese, and bacon on the second sub too, saying only the base sub was free. That ain't what the coupon says, anywhere. Subway can suck my nuts, hope the sorry bastards go bankrupt.

  4. My parents and I used to eat subway. They are gross, nasty, it's not tasty at all. Togos or quizno's is way better, I haven't tried the rest of fast food sub shops, but subway is one of the worst fast food restaurants ever.

  5. Subway’s downfall was when people from India took over and then became stingy with the toppings. I remember about 15 years ago going in and asking for extra tomatoes for my sandwich that I got without cheese and it was just vegetables. The girl from India gave me a hard time. I said “forget it” and walked out and never looked back.

  6. After our experience at a Marshall, MN subway located in Walmart, we quit going to Subway. That idiot girl named Jordon has no clue how to ring up the bill. We were overcharged and we'll never be back.

  7. Subway sucks. Their bread tastes like styrofoam. The five dollar hoagies was the only thing that brought customers in. If you want a hoagie, go to a pizza shop. Jimmy John's ain't bad, but it's all cold, and the owner is a douchebag. Firehouse has hot hoagies, but they're steamed, not baked. I can't judge Jersey Mike's, I never ate there. And Chipotle doesn't sell sandwiches, they sell burritos and bowls. Did I miss any? Oh, Quisno's. I ate there once, years ago. It was ok, far as I remember. There aren't any around my area. There's one called Jerry's pizza & subs, it't horrible. Just find a real pizza shop, not a chain, and you'll likely get better quality food.

  8. Man I'm glad I stopped going to subways years ago. …I didn't know they use an ingredient in their food that makes yoga mats! !!!!!…..don't blame them mostly. …u blame the government for letting theses corporations/ businesses put anything in their food to sell us!!!!!!

  9. They got stingy with the ingredients, the bread wasn't as fresh and the customer service was always pretty bad. Jimmy John's was it for me the moment I discovered them!

  10. there was 2 subway stores in Maidstone England, both now closed but said they were looking for 1 big store.
    i didn't go much on their hygiene, ( staff handling food)tables were not clean.

  11. I had subway every day in college since it Was included in my meal plan. I havent had subway since I graduated. I would rather have Firehouse Sub's, Pot Belly, Jersey Mikes, WaWa

  12. Subways around here in MI get robbed all the time…even had press label someone "the Subway bandit", ended up being a guy from my old high school hooked on meth.
    Love this world!!!

  13. Fuck Subway. You want fresh, buy your own bread at a bakery, your own vegetables at a whole foods market, and your meats from the grocery deli, go home and make your own sub. Case closed.

  14. Well stop hiring junkies and overweight disgruntled workers that provide less than a "fresh" appearance for the company .

  15. wow where are these people going to Subway the subways in my area are great never experiencing been eating there for years and none of them close down in our area there are three in the our area within 15 to 30 minutes of each other so I do think they're doing pretty well in this area but they are not cutting corners and have nasty food so that might be the case

  16. Subway is going well in my country and I eat there a lot. There are actually four Subway in my home town and I live in Sweden.

  17. Most people I know complain Subway is tasteless. They rely too heavily on sauces for flavor. Due to the rise in veganism, now would be a good time for Subway to offer a number of vegan choices.

  18. Subway sucks and the managers are corrupt !!! CLOSE ALL SUBWAYS DOWN !!!!! 👎👎👎😖😖😖😡😡😡

  19. This is not the only reason. Subway as a corporation is failing its franchisees big time! Entire livelihoods have been ruined.
    Google the New York Times article titled:
    Subway Got Too Big. Franchisees Paid a Price.

  20. I was the only one in my circle of family and friends that did not like Subway i thought they wer overpriced very cheaply made and they never tasted as good as some I've had never understood why nooneelse could see i knew it was a matter of time. In short they Suck.thank you for this video.

  21. Had a trial over 3 days at subway… one of staff dropped lots of chicken on floor then just put it back in tub and served it. The kitchens are manky and flies always on the fold out front cause they too lazy to pull down the glass protecter

  22. Have you seen the type of People that are Touching your food !🤢
    Most of them look as if they don't wash very often !😬

  23. Come to Atlantic city and find out what a real sub is. Subway IS GARBAGE!. it's ignorant food for ignorant people.

  24. Subway was also closing down stores in America so they can reopen them overseas in countries such as Mexico, Sweden, Japan, and others. I don’t know how true this is but I would believe it with Mexico since they absolutely love subway for some reason.

  25. Subway Takeaways Might be in trouble in America but where I live in Bloxwich Walsall in the West Midlands in the UK the story is totally different as the shops are always packed

  26. The problem is simple, the McDonald's phenomenon. When you have saturated the market, McDonald's are located on every corner, at some point they are everywhere. The only way to grow the number of franchisees is to cannibalize from the other franchisees. Every revolution dies when you destroy your children.

  27. I still like Subway and I eat there at least once a week. It's affordable and healthy alternative to other fast food restaurants [I 'm diabetic]

  28. They went up on price and down on quality. They now use the cheapest meats. The last one I went in had nasty employees and flies circling the smelly toppings. I walked out and never been back. I mean plastic gloves aren't sanitary if you never change them. Walking around touching everything in the store and making multiple sandwiches without changing gloves. You have a big box of plastic gloves so no shortage. It also doesn't help to have a creepy pedophile as spokesman.

  29. that is what subway does its franchises, nasty company. Worth reading

  30. Jared made his money in college to buy his Subway sandwiches by renting out his porn collection. You forgot to mention that Subway sells crap. I prefer my local sandwich shop or Togo's

  31. I've eaten at subway only 5 times in my life and that is only because it was the only place open early when I was late for work or I was so hungry that I said fuck it!

  32. My own sandwiches taste better. Also, Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike's are the BOMB! They make Subway look pathetic in comparison. Also, shitty customer service doesn't help. Got one of the worst customer service experiences of all time at the franchise at the Stillwell Ave transit hub in NYC.

  33. I always got stale ass bread which ruined the damn sandwich and one time the lettuce smelled horrible. Been about 2 years since I last went and unless theres a change never again.

  34. Half ass sandwiches…now it's even worse with Indians running establishments…one slice of meat,piece of bread and a shitty attitude to go along with it.

  35. I`m always seeing subway commercials on tv and they never show an east indian person and yet the vast majority of subway owners are east indian…and they are super cheap.  Your lucky if you gety $1 of product on an $8 sub.

  36. subway seems to be closing a lot around Australia and less than 300 have closed in 2 years

  37. people stopped going (myself included) when it was discovered that subway was funneling money into pedophile jared's hush-money fund.

  38. I would very much like Hollywood to do a biopic on Jared Fogle, the former Subway spokesperson and now convicted felon, roly-poly-boy-toy and daily punching bag for any number of his fellow inmates at the federal penitentiary in Englewood, Colorado.

    Perhaps it could be a musical. One of the numbers could be called "Smaller Pants," and two different versions could both open and close the production. In the beginning, Jared sings "I wanna get into smaller pants," in reference to his desire to lose weight by eating only veggie subs. At the end prior to his arrest, as he's flying around the country molesting children, he could sing the same line, but it would of course have a far more sinister meaning.

    Another number could involve a couple of parents going to the authorities to report that their pre-adolescent son has been victimized by Fogle. The song could be titled "He Went to Jared."

    You see, I'm a dead ringer for Fogle. We're talking "separated at birth" identical. Up until November, 2015 I had a fairly steady part time gig posing as him and entertaining at kids' birthday parties. For a reasonable fee, I'd provide the entertainment (balloon animals and showing the kids the former pants with a 48 inch waistline that "Jared" used to have to wear before he started eating Subway veggies subs everyday) and the food (a Subway platter). Needless to say, my tax returns for the past few years have shown a fairly significant reduction in income. My last gig was just after Thanksgiving in 2015. The people who had booked me had paid a deposit in advance, so they went ahead and had me come out with my balloons and five foot cold cut with six toppings on Italian herb bread. I ended up getting mauled by their German Shepherd who had been watching CNN a week or so earlier.


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