Subway franchisees demand change in an open letter.
The giant sandwich chain — which lately has been getting mocked on social media for beef that looks like “cat food” — is now coming under attack by store operators who are demanding better-quality produce.
A recent open letter to co-owner Elisabeth DeLuca signed by more than 100 Subway operators, claims that the food served at the chain's restaurants isn't as fresh as it could be. In a new pair of interviews, franchisees allege that Subway's marketing slogan "eat fresh" is, in fact, alarmingly misleading—and that the misrepresentation is making the brand lose favor with customers.
It's known that Subway has absolute control over the procurement of supplies at stores, from ingredients to cleaning supplies and even staff uniforms.
One example that two franchises owner stated is the life cycle of the chain's lettuce. The produce is purportedly picked, processed (aka chopped up), packaged, and transported to restaurants from a distribution center. By the time it arrives at Subway, it's allegedly anywhere between 10 to 15 days old. Considering the fact that most franchisees get their permitted supply of vegetables once a week (some higher-volume stores get deliveries twice a week), that lettuce may be up to 22 days old by the time it lands on your sandwich.
Another example (told by an anonymous Subway franchise owner), is that all of the "fresh" ingredients, including other vegetables and chicken, arrive at restaurants pre-processed and laden with preservatives.
"The 'eat fresh' slogan is absolutely misleading," he tells Eat This, Not That!. "People are willing to pay extra for healthy these days, but they want an honest product."
Subway, however, maintains that its food is freshly made in a statement issued to Eat This, Not That!.
"We serve freshly made sandwiches, wraps, bowls, and salads," the company says, "and stand behind the quality and freshness of our food while complying fully with all laws on advertising."