The Sneaky Way Subway Measures Its Footlong Subs

From The Blog

Have you ever wondered if that Subway footlong sub you just bit into is actually a full 12 inches? Well, buckle up, because the truth about how Subway measures its iconic sandwiches is about to be revealed. Brace yourself for a tale of deception, lawsuits, and a whole lot of bread.

1. The Footlong Fraud

It all started in 2013 when a vigilant customer posted a photo of his Subway footlong sub next to a tape measure, revealing that it was actually only 11 inches long. This sparked a social media frenzy, with countless customers measuring their own subs and sharing their findings online.

Subway initially tried to brush off the controversy, claiming that “Footlong” was just a trademarked name and not an actual measurement. But customers weren’t buying it. They felt deceived and cheated out of that extra inch of sandwich they were promised.

The outrage grew, and soon enough, lawsuits were filed against Subway for false advertising. Angry customers demanded justice for their missing inch of sub, and Subway found itself in a pickle.

2. The Great Bread Bake-Off

In an attempt to prove that their footlong subs were indeed 12 inches, Subway launched an investigation into their bread-baking process. They measured loaves of bread at various stages of production, trying to pinpoint where that pesky missing inch was disappearing.

But the results were inconclusive. Subway claimed that the variation in bread length was due to the baking process and that it was impossible to guarantee a perfect 12-inch loaf every time. They even went so far as to say that the “proofing process may vary slightly each time in the restaurant.”

Customers were not amused. They felt that Subway was making excuses and not taking responsibility for their false advertising. The lawsuits continued, and Subway’s reputation took a hit.

3. The Tape Measure Takeover

Facing mounting pressure from angry customers and looming legal action, Subway finally caved. In 2015, they announced a proposed settlement that would require all Subway franchisees to measure their bread to ensure that footlong subs were actually 12 inches long.

This meant that Subway employees would now have to add “bread measurer” to their job description. They would be armed with tape measures and tasked with ensuring that every loaf of bread met the 12-inch standard.

But even with this new measuring system in place, Subway still couldn’t guarantee that every sub would be exactly 12 inches. They admitted that due to the variability in food production and the baking process, some subs might still come up short.

4. The Subway Shrinkage

Despite Subway’s efforts to ensure that their footlong subs were actually 12 inches, customers continued to report receiving undersized sandwiches. Some even conducted their own experiments, ordering subs at multiple Subway locations and measuring them to see if they stood up to the footlong claim.

The results were alarming. Subs were found to be as short as 11 inches, with some even measuring in at a measly 10.5 inches. It seemed that no matter how hard Subway tried, they just couldn’t get their bread to cooperate.

Customers were outraged, feeling like they were being cheated out of their hard-earned money. Some even calculated that if they bought a footlong sub every day for a year, they would be shortchanged by over $100 due to the missing inches.

5. The Subway Settlement

In the end, Subway agreed to settle the lawsuits and pay out a hefty sum to the plaintiffs. But for many customers, the damage was already done. They had lost trust in Subway and felt betrayed by the company’s false advertising.

Subway tried to save face by implementing stricter measuring protocols and pledging to be more transparent about their sandwich sizes. But for many, it was too little too late.

The footlong fiasco had taken its toll, and Subway’s reputation was forever tarnished. No amount of measuring or settling could erase the feeling of being duped by a brand they once trusted.

6. The Footlong Fallout

The impact of the footlong controversy on Subway was significant. Sales dropped as customers lost faith in the brand, and franchisees struggled to keep their businesses afloat.

Subway scrambled to repair its image, launching new marketing campaigns and introducing new menu items to try to win back customers. But the damage had been done, and many people simply couldn’t forget the betrayal they felt over those missing inches.

7. The Lesson Learned

In the end, the Subway footlong scandal serves as a cautionary tale for businesses everywhere. It’s a reminder that honesty and transparency are crucial when it comes to advertising and customer relations.

Customers expect to get what they pay for, and when a company falls short of those expectations, the backlash can be severe. Subway learned this lesson the hard way, and it’s one that other businesses would do well to heed.

So, the next time you bite into a Subway footlong sub, take a moment to appreciate the journey it took to get to your plate. And if it comes up a little short, just remember it’s not about the size of the sub, it’s about the size of the scandal.

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Hey there! I'm Jamie Anderson. Born and raised in the heart of New York City, I've always had this crazy love for food and the stories behind it. I like to share everything from those "Aha!" cooking moments to deeper dives into what's really happening in the food world. Whether you're here for a trip down culinary memory lane, some kitchen hacks, or just curious about your favorite eateries, I hope you find something delightful!

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