Subway – Eat “Less”

This rant is almost a year late; but what the heck?  It takes me awhile to get a grasp on things.

Subway sandwiches are at the top of my list on fast food selection.  People may argue but c’mon, it looks like a lunch mom would make (hearty bread, cold cut meat slices, cheeses, vegetables, mayo, etc.) and if mom made you a lunch you know it was good for you.  Thankfully, I don’t eat fast foods for my lunch every day, but when the need arises, there’s a 90% chance I will “play it safe” and get the healthy choice, Subway. 

This rant has more to do with what big companies do to their loyal customers and get away with it.  Let’s face this fact; companies are in business to make money.  They make you feel loyal and you want to buy from them, but those same companies are interested in only two things; making more money, and not getting sued.  Subway is no exception.  They wooed us to believe we will get thinner by eating healthy Subway sandwiches.  They put the ingredients on display for you to pick and choose from to build your personalized, custom-made, succulent slice of lunch time heaven.  Their napkins proudly display the drastically reduced caloric contents of their basic sandwiches compared to the evil Big Mac and Whopper.  (Be sure to read the fine print!).  Their slogan is “Eat Fresh”!  As if that greasie slab of beef has no chance of being eaten fresh.  Therefore, we (not everyone) gladly throw Subway our dollars.

Companies for years have hid behind the Marshal Field-born slogan, “The customer is always right.” when in actuality they mean, “Take it or leave it!”  Companies value the customer’s dollar so much that sometimes they don’t mind having the customer jump through a few hoops in order to get those mere pennies from them.  Making customer’s wait their turn in long lines (which is probably a good thing), short-term warranties, cheaper-made products, discounts with obscure fine print, outrageous shipping and handling costs, and the often rude front-line sales force they allow to stand before the mighty… the mightily passive customer.  Thank God for those bold, brass-balled buyers who smell a rat and demand to speak to a meek, spineless manager in order to get that product or service they bring their hard earned currency to exchange!

Back to my rant; Due to circumstances beyond any human’s control, miserable weather where Subway gets their produce (New Zealand?) has caused a nationwide shortage to the chain’s supply of green peppers, cucumbers, and black olives.  There was this small but obvious sign on the sneeze glass barrier; “Due to critical supplies… we need to temporarily reduce the use of these items on sandwiches… thank you for your understanding… we apologize for any inconvenience… yadda yadda yadda.”  It is at this moment, when the hungry lunchtime visitor compeletes the order that they make a concession to the company.  In an act of empathy, the customer accepts the known fact that Mother Nature cannot be predicted not controlled.  Mom Nature is ruthless, strong, and powerful.  She doesn’t care about Subway’s commitment to a sandwich loaded with produce wholesomeness.  She will knock out any supply chain of goods she sees fit.  And we bow our humble heads and take it.  No questions asked.

And Subway expects us to do just that.  Accept this unfortunate circumstance, BUT Subway continues to take the same dollar from you unapologetically.  No where on that sign did I read that Subway regrets that there is 10-20% fewer veggies on your lunch and therefore we reduced our prices to suit.  Despite the shortage of product, they still collect the full compensation.  Why haven’t I heard an outpouring of complaints?  Where are those strong consumer advocates?  Who is the customer’s champion on this?  Oh the humanity!

The way I see it; if there is a rubber shortage, and production of tires is way down at the Goodyear plant… will Ford sell you a Taurus with three tires, charge you full price, and smile at you as you get towed from the lot?

The real question is; will you smile back?


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