Sunday, March 24, 2013

Does 1 Inch Make a Difference?

In today's discussion, we are switching our focus from McDonald's to Subway for our next 3 discussions. In January of 2013, an Australian man named Matt Corby had used social media sites to spread negative press about the false advertisement of Subway's $5 Footlong promotional campaign. He had posted on Subway's Facebook page a picture of a 'supposed' Footlong sub that was measured to be 11 inches. Ever since he posted that comment on their Facebook page, over 100,000 Facebook users from all around the world have posted their own comments in response to this critic's comment. The content of the comments posted vary from those switching to Subway's direct competitors (i.e. Quiznos), users posting their own pictures of the measurement of a footlong sub, and users who believe that Matt is overreacting to the whole situation.

I understand where Matt is coming from. He is spending between $5-$9 for a sub, depending on the sub he decides to purchase, and he wants to feel that he is getting his money's worth. He feels manipulated and cheated that he is not necessarily getting what he has paid for. At the same time, there are instances that Matt should consider before expressing his opinion. Matt should consider the shear volume of subs that Subway customers consume. Approximately 2.3 million subs are consumed per day in the United States. I think it's unrealistic for a store manager or employee to measure every sub that is baked. Even if the employees or manager did measure out every sub, what will they do with the subs that did not measure to be a foot long? Compost it? If this were the case, Subway's expenditures would dramatically increase due to inventory, overhead costs, and compost management fees. This would be a waste of Subway's time and money to have to worry about the size of every sub they bake. Besides, Subway is one of the largest food franchises in the world. They have to keep up with demand and in order to keep up with demand, certain characteristics will have to be sacrificed. In this case, size is the trait that is sacrificed.

Another circumstance that Matt should consider is the amount of ingredients processed into every roll. Not all breads will be made the same. There will be dough that has more or less ingredients than others. This will have an impact on the length and quality of the bread. Subway does not even make their own dough. Did you know that? Subway gets their dough from 11 bakery facilities that specialize in manufacturing subway subs. The dough is then frozen and shipped to subway restaurants, where it is thawed and ready for consumption. Whether the dough is made manually or machine processed, the dough of the bread will not come out exact every time.

We are living in an age where technology is beginning to take over the world and social media is beginning to be the source of communication for people. This just shows how one bad comment about a fast food franchise can quickly change the perceptions of many consumers in an instant. There are consumers who had drastically changed their consumption behavior due to this comment. There are also other consumers who were not influenced by the comment and still purchase Subway sandwiches. What people like Matt need to know is that Subway is a large franchise. The demand for subway sandwiches (both domestically and internationally) is very high. It's not possible for any company to effectively keep quality control over all products. So just accept what is given to you. 1 inch does not make much of a difference. That's one inch less of preservatives that a consumer consumes.


  1. I don't think it is a big deal either but I can see how people feel cheated on though. Do you know what Subway has done to deal with this crisis?

  2. Subway, at first, abandoned the campaign idea. Then once they began picking up sales again through endorsement deals to successful athletes, Subway came back to the $5 footlong promotional campaign. For me, I can understand why people would get upset for spending between $5-$9 on a footlong sub that isn't necessarily a footlong. But at the same time, it's just one inch. You can't expect all subs to be 1 inch. Subway bakeries try to make all the subs the same way with the same ingredients. But thats impossible to get all subs to be the same length. Matt needs to recognize that and abandon his ideological misconception that all subs are a footlong.

  3. Interesting post. While I agree that this guy is overreacting, I think that Subway's response was not the best either. Apparantly they just said that this is a trademark for a descriptive name and not a measurement of length. A little bit sarcastic.
    Btw, those 2.3 million subs? Did you find that from any credible source? That chacha site seems not the most reliable source.

  4. Yea I tried looking it up on other sources but they were not any better or did not have this info on other sites. But I'm not surprised its not more. They currently have 25,855 restaurants opened in the US. That number is just an approximation. Each day will vary, depending on the number of customers come to get a sub or are just wanting to purchase their alternative products such as parfaits, apple slices, chips, etc. But I believe it to be a believable number. An employee of subway commented on another blog that was asking how many subway sandwiches does the restaurant he operates sell. He mentioned that his store sells between 400-500 subs a day. So each store may sell between 51-64 subs a day. That's believable. Obviously the number will fluctuate depending on the location and population of the area the restaurant is located.