During the Great Recession, the $5 footlong was like manna from heaven for a cash-strapped populace hungry for a belly-busting meal that wouldn’t wilt their savings faster than fresh spinach on a hot, toasted sandwich. But now with the economy roaring back, Americans spending more on eating out than on groceries for the first time ever, and yet another trend of eating healthy, our most popular sub sandwich shop is hurting bad.
According to Business Insider, the world’s largest restaurant chain lost over 900 locations in the U.S. this year. With over 25,000 stores in the U.S., that may not seem like a huge blow to the company, but Business Insider believes that this is just the tip of the iceberg lettuce for the franchise-run sandwich empire.
Subway outpaced McDonald’s to become the biggest restaurant chain in the U.S. in 2002, according to Fox News. In 2011, it beat out Mickey D’s in the global arena, according to the Florida Times-Union.
But now restaurant-goers are seeking out fresher, healthier options, Business Insider says. That’s an interesting claim considering that fresh ingredients and healthy choices are the soul of Subway’s “Live Fresh, Eat Fresh” dogma.
But American diners are apparently not looking to Subway for improving their lives anymore. The fast-food chain receives a lot of poor reviews on consumer complaint sites — but not nearly as many as Taco Bell, McDonald’s, or Pizza Hut — and gets a lot of competition from younger nationwide sandwich chains that try to have a cleaner, classier image.
Having their popular weight loss spokesman Jared Fogle get jailed on child pornography and abuse charges in 2015 probably didn’t help either.
Subway is also struggling with “oversaturation and internal conflict.” According to one unnamed franchisee, a full one-third of Subway stores aren’t even turning a profit. If that claim isn’t baloney, then that’s a bad stack of cold cut combo there.
Perhaps the sandwich juggernaut has gone stale, or as franchise consultant Joel Libava says, “The brand is tired. The employees even look tired.”
What do you think of this? In other news, and suspected ISIS terrorist who reportedly wanted to “inflict mass casualties” at an American landmark on Christmas Day has been arrested.