Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fast Food Study: Most Trusted Nutritional Claims

Dallas, Texas based research firm, Decision Analyst, Inc., has conducted a study of which fast food restaurants' nutritional claims are most trusted by consumers.

Their conclusion: More consumers trust Subway’s nutritional claims, compared to all other popular quick service restaurants. According to Decision Analyst, Subway is the leader in consumer trust with almost one-quarter (24.2%) of consumers saying they “completely trust” its nutritional claims.

The percentage of consumers that "completely trust" the nutritional claims of other fast food restaurants are as follows: Chick-fil-a: 12.1%, Quizno's: 11.1%, Wendy's: 10.5%, KFC: 8.4%, and Taco Bell: 7.5%.

The study also found that 42% of Subway customers choose Subway because it "has a good selection of healthy items," versus only 3% of Taco Bell customers choosing Taco Bell for that reason.

Diane Brewton, Senior Vice President of the Market Intelligence Division at Decision Analyst, states the studies conclusion:
“Subway owns the nutritional claim relative to its competition, as there is a significant gap between Subway and these other popular fast food/quick-service restaurants. In fact, Subway is the only one of these restaurants with more people who ‘completely trust’ their nutritional claims than ’do not trust’ them. This finding illustrates the challenges and opportunities facing restaurants in their quest to gain greater acceptance of their health and nutrition efforts."

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Subway To Pass McDonald's Restaurant Number

Sometime in the next few months Subway will surpass McDonald's number of world-wide restaurant locations.

Subway is expected to pass 31,800 restaurants this week bringing it within 400 of McDonald's 32,158 restaurant locations.

Subway remains way behind McDonald's in revenue, though. The average US McDonald's had about $2.3 million in sales last year; the average Subway, about $445,000.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is This Subways Triangular Cheese Trick?

I can't confirm the source or the veracity of the photo below, but I willing to bet it is real.  Haven't we all wondered about those triangular cheese slices at Subway?

The sign reads:  "Cheese triangles need to be placed (image)... this will promote the need for customers to desire extra cheese, as it doesn't cover whole sandwich.  Then it shows how to place 'double cheese' and has the price for double cheese.

It really isn't a bad plan.  I've often thought that my Subway sandwich would be better with better cheese coverage, but I'm not one to pay extra for double cheese.  And it can't be called a scam; it isn't like Subway has suddenly reduced the amount of cheese they put on a sandwich.


By the way, we're certainly not the first to ponder the logic of the triangular cheese slices at subway... here's a cartoon about it at left-handed toons.  Funny stuff!

Previously we've also written about a "No free refills" sign at a Subway in New Jersey.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fast Food at Guantanamo Bay

From Wikipedia:
In 1986, Guantanamo became host to Cuba's first and only McDonald's restaurant, as well as a Subway. These fast food restaurants are on base, and not accessible to Cubans. It has been reported that prisoners cooperating with interrogations have been rewarded with Happy Meals from the McDonald's located on the mainside of the base.

In 2004, Guantanamo opened a combined KFC & A&W restaurants at the bowling alley and a Pizza Hut Express at the Windjammer Restaurant. There is also a Taco Bell, and an ice cream shop that sells Starbucks coffee. All the restaurants on the installation are franchises owned and operated by the Department of the Navy. All proceeds from these restaurants are used to support morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) activities for service personnel and their families.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quinzo's $5 Subs and S-L-O-W website

You've probably seen the new ads for Quizno's "20 subs under $5" promotion.  Like this...

I wanted to do a little more research for you and see which subs were being offered for $5 or less.  The only way to do this online is to register for a pick-up/delivery account on their website.  So I did that.  Then I started to navigate through the ordering process and started to try and find the inexpensive subs.

Before I tell you what I found, let me tell you a little about the Quizno's ordering website.  It is S-L-O-W.  Once you click a category that you want to order from (ie. Subs, Sammies, Bowls, etc) the previous category items remain there from quite awhile after the heading for your new category appears at the top, which is a bit confusing in addition to being slow.  It would certainly be quicker to pick up the phone and order that way.  And you might have to order by phone anyway... the three Quizno's closest to me did not offer online ordering for pick-up or delivery.  That seems to defeat the purpose of offering online ordering.

Essentially the 'small' size of all the subs I could find on the pick-up/delivery ordering website were between $4.39 and $4.99.  There were not medium or large subs of any variety that were priced under $5.

Quizno's has been suffering since Subway started their $5 footlong promotion.

Subway offers 6" and footlong (12") subs.  Quizno's small sub is substantially shorter than 6 inches, so comparing it in size or price to a Subway sandwich isn't useful.

According to Quizno's:  "The price reductions on more than 37 Quiznos sandwiches, entrees and
other items, will be reflected on new in-store menu boards. The new
menu boards are divided into four core categories: Signature, Premium,
Everyday Value, and Flatbread Salads. Each category offers a single
price point for each size, and a simple option to create a
cost-effective combo meal."

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Michael Phelps Signs with Subway

Subway, the world's largest submarine sandwich franchise and second largest fast food franchise with 30,000 locations in 87 countries has added a new spokesperson. None other than the man with a record 14 gold medals, Michael Phelps.

Says Subway: "Subway takes pride in being a healthy and active brand - one that can be a regular part of these world class athletes' routines," states Tony Pace, Chief Marketing Officer of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust (SFAFT), which signed the contract with Phelps. "We knew Michael Phelps was a big fan of our sandwiches and we wanted to build on that with him to illustrate that Subway is a brand that can play a role in helping everyone - from elite athletes to weekend joggers - perform at their peak levels and make healthier, smarter choices about food, whatever the activity."

Says gold medalist Michael Phelps: "Subway restaurants have always given me the options that I am looking for - whether that's healthy sandwiches before a big meet or the tasty meatball sub that I treat myself with. I was ready to take my Subway fan-dom to the next level - I really think of Subway as a champion food option."

The first commercials for Subway featuring Michael Phelps will appear in early 2009.

No word on Jared's job security, but it is certainly safe to say that Michael is getting more gold than Jared for his endorsement.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Subway Passes 30,000 Restaurants Mark

Subway had set a goal of having 30,000 restaurants by 2010.  They've already made their goal...2 years early!

Their new total (as is constantly updated on their web site) is 30,017 locations in 88 countries.

They recently opened 9 new stores in a 24-hour period in Sahuarita, Ariz.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Peachtree City, Ga.; Sneads Ferry, N.C.; Gronau, Germany; Hong Kong; Durham and Windsor, Ontario; and Stockholm, Sweden.

"The stores and their franchisees represent many of the diversified aspects of the Subway chain that have enabled it to grow so successfully over the years," said Subway spokesman Les Winograd.

Subway has a diversity of restaurant concepts across the globe. For example the new Hong Kong store seats only 10 customers, the one in Germany is only 140 square feet, the North Carolina restaurant is 1,500 square feet and the Windsor, Ontario location is inside a Home Depot.

"We’re constantly discovering places to put Subway restaurants," from college campuses to hospitals, Winograd said.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Consumerist: No Free Refills at NJ Subway

A sign of the times? Just as we're trying to save money in these trying economic times, the fast food giants are trying to make enough money to cover their expenses.

But still... "No Free Refills" is a hard change to swallow.

This photo is from a Subway in New Jersey according to our pals at The Consumerist.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Subway seeks youth market

Subway has partnered with sneaker maker Vans to offer branded premiums and attract some younger consumers.

Subway Kids Paks will include either a Vans key chain, bracelet or sticker collection.

Speaking of Subway's Kids Pak, it is worth noting that that they offer a fruit snack and juice box in the Pak as an alternative to a cookie and soda. A welcomed and applauded healthy fast food alternative.

Subway also has a web site dedicated to their younger customers at www.subwaykids.com.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Jared writes a book

Jared Fogle, Subway spokesman has written a motivation memoir called, Jared the Subway Guy: Winning Through Losing; 13 Lessons for Turning Your Life Around.

from Publisher's Weekly:
Jared is one of the most recognizable advertising icons of the last decade, and one of the most successful—sales at Subway franchises skyrocketed after the debut of TV commercials describing how he lost nearly 250 pounds by eating two sandwiches a day. But while those ads focused on the feel-good angle of his accomplishment, Jared's memoir explores the frightening aspects of being at high risk for heart attack at the age of 20 and the frustration of all his previous failed attempts at dieting. He uses his experience as a framework to offer advice on achieving all sorts of personal transformations, from dieting to battling addiction.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Subway introduces Bourbon Chicken sandwich

Subway has introduced a new toasted sandwich via their Subway Dinner Theater website (a site 'hosted' by former SNL actor Jon Lovitz). The new sandwich is called the Bourbon Chicken Sandwich.

The Bourbon Chicken sandwich is a "fresh Toasted sandwich of all white meat chicken strips, glazed with a non-alcoholic, Bourbon Street-inspired sauce that perfectly complements the chicken, all topped by your favorite vegetables, and placed on your choice of freshly baked, gourmet breads."

Since Subway does publish nutrition data for their sandwiches (unlike Quizno's!), I'll share them here. The 258 gram 6" Bourbon Chicken has 350 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat 1.5 grams saturated fat, no trans fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 1020 mg sodium, 54 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 16 grams sugars, 25 grams protein.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Self-serve the new quick-serve?

Industry trends towards self-service at fast food restaurants may soon force the industry to reconsider the moniker 'quick-service restaurant' and replace it with 'self-service restaurant.' More and more plans are becoming apparent within the industry that seem to indicate this transition. We reported here on the self-service kiosk at a KFC/Taco Bell in North Carolina last month and on the introduction of the self-serv kiosks in November. Subway and Arby's have also experimented with self-service.

A National Restaurant Association representative said self-service "will lets consumers feel more in control because they're getting exactly what they ordered. Businesses can deploy the staff elsewhere and refocus on speeding up order delivery." But we're not really expected to believe that this trend won't cut into employment rolls are we? As for the consumer, I can see where it would be an improvement with regard to the reliability factor.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Counting Subways in Manhattan

Subway restaurants now outnumber subway stations in Manhattan. The 129 subway stations that took decades to build have been surpassed in quantity (131) in a much shorter time (since 1990 to be precise).

Subway restaurants the world over feature images of the original NY IRT construction as part of the restaurants' decoration.

With 468 subway stations in all of New York, the restaurant has a way to go to beat the train citywide.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Quiznos introduces bread bowls

As I've said before, Quiznos is reticent to reveal their foods' nutrition data and with the introduction of soup-filled bread bowls we might be able to see why! As to the bread bowls, I can't beat this copy from USA Today:
If there's one sign in 2006 that the low-carb fad is officially dead, it might be this: The bread bowl is about to make a comeback.

Quiznos Sub, the trendy sandwich chain best known for its toasted subs, this week will introduce nationally three varieties of Toasted Gourmet Bread Bowls. They can be had not only with soup or chili, but also stuffed with rings of toasted cheese and chunks of roast chicken or beef.

Bread is something "that anyone on Atkins avoids like the plague," says Sherri Daye Scott, editor of QSR, a fast-food industry trade publication. "It must be the end of low-carb."

And, perhaps, the start of a who'd-a-thunk-it fast-food trend. Quiznos says it's the first national fast-food chain to sell bread bowls. The move is an attempt to inch closer to more upscale Panera Bread, the "fast-casual" chain that says it sells one in five soup orders in a bread bowl. It also might help Quiznos distinguish itself from Subway, which now sells hot subs.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Subway's new resolution

Subway is kicking off a new promotion called "Fresh Resolutions" on January 2. On their countdown site, Subway spokesman Jared describes the promotion as a way to help you achieve a "healthier lifestyle" for a "healthy new you" in the new year. He also mentions a 'fresh resolutions hot-line;' could this be a dieting helpline?

Subway will introduce an instant win scratch-off game as part of "Fresh Resolutions" with prizes including pool tables, elliptical trainers, bicycles, camcorders, snowboards, video iPods, and gift certificates for iTunes, Blockbuster and sporting goods.

Each entrant will receive a two week Bally Total Fitness guest membership. You could also win a month of daily motivational phone calls from Jared himself! No offense Jared, but I hope they offer an alternate prize for that one!


Friday, December 23, 2005

Fast food's 'holiday' references

The controversy over "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" seems to have really heated up this year. I actually got invited to a "I'll call it a Christmas Party if I Want To" party! thrown by someone who said they're sick of all the "religious correctness." Many people are being careful not to offend; many of the 'Christmas' cards I got this year did not mention Christmas at all. And of course there's been boycotts against many retailers who've been accused by Christian groups of not including specific Christmas references in their stores, websites, and holiday marketing.

With this in mind, I decided to take a look at some fast food restaurants' web sites today, with Christmas only a day and a half away, and see what sort of 'holiday' references I might find.

The following sites had no mention of the holiday season whatsoever: Burger King, Carls Jr., Chick-fil-a, Church's Chicken, Del Taco, In-N-Out, KFC, Long John Silver's, McDonald's, Panera, and Taco Bell.

One thing about that list really surprised me. I was surprised that Chick-fil-a didn't have a "Merry Christmas" on their site, since they promote themselves as a Christian company every week by keeping their restaurants closed on Sunday.

I didn't see Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza mentioned specifically anywhere, but here are some holiday references I did find:

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Subway sorry for any offense to Kansas

Joe and Karen Davis stopped in for a bite at a Subway in Reedsport, Oregon back in October. They apparently had no complaints about the food, but a sign in the window announcing a salmon sandwich apparently did.

The sign read: "Another reason you're lucky not to live in Kansas."

You see, Joe and Karen are from Topeka, Kansas. They complained to Subway, and today Subway apologized to anyone in Kansas who might have gone abroad, seen the sign, and been offended.

"We are fortunate to have friends in the franchisees we have in Kansas and would not do anything to offend them," their statement said.

The sign has been pulled from all Subway locations serving the salmon sandwich. (Kansas, by the way, was not one of them.) [AP]

Some Kansas Subway franchisees are also complaining that the marketing gaff is costing them money. [KC Star]


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fast food coffee upgrades

The Starbucks induced coffee craze being what it is, I'm surprised fast food restaurants didn't respond a long time ago, but the upgrade to better fast food coffee is fairly recent.

The most recent is Burger King with last week's introduction of BK Joe — brewed 100% from premium arabica beans. Sold in decaf, regular and "turbo strength" (extra caffeine), the coffee will be in all of Burger King's more than 7,000 U.S. stores by the end of November.

Other coffee upgrades:
  • McDonald's tested a premium roast and plans a national rollout soon.
  • Chick-fil-A added a Cafe Blends line this summer.
  • Subway is trying gourmet java in some stores to lure morning traffic.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sandwich Wars: Quiznos vs. Subway

Consumers are noticing what restaurant industry analysts have seen for years. By making toasted sandwiches a hot item, Denver-based Quiznos has become the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the country, trailing only Subway as the nation's No. 2 sandwich shop – not counting hamburgers.

After the upstart in the sandwich market hit the $1 billion sales mark last year, Subway took notice and launched is own brand of toasted sandwiches.

But industry analysts say Subway and Quiznos are locked in an unusual competition. Like McDonald's and Burger King, they compete for the same market. But the sandwich purveyors also share a common goal: luring customers away from the burger joints.

[more from the AP]


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Australia's fast food growth

According to a BIS Schrapnel report, the number of fast food restaurants in Australia has grown by 25% in the last 4 years. The 123.2 per cent growth in new Subway outlets compared with 2.1 per cent growth for McDonald's showed consumers were voting with their waistlines, the report's co-author Jan Roach said. But in terms of sales turnover, McDonald's still leads the way, followed by KFC. [Herald Sun | The Age]

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Subway drops Sub Club promotion

Counterfeiters have brought the free sub promotion, that Subway has had since the 80's, to an end. Sub Club cards with eight stamps (from previous sub purchases) were redeemable for a free sub. But now that an abundance of counterfeit cards have been surfacing, Subway has decided to cancel the promotion. [Newsday]


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Farmworkers seek fast food changes

After a 4 year boycott, a farmworkers group has convinced Taco Bell to agree to a penny-a-pound increase on tomatoes and a code of conduct that will help to penalize suppliers that abuse workers. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, mostly Guatemalan or Mexican, is the group responsible for the concession. They hope to convince the rest of the fast food industry to follow suit. They have sent letters to McDonald's, Subway and Burger King executives. [CIW News & AP]

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Subway aims for teens

Subway restaurants has hired Alloy Marketing to help them develop an advertising strategy that will attract teens to the chain's 23,269 restaurants. Subway has until now focused primarily on the 18-40 year old market. The new promotional campaign is expected to begin later this year. --CT Post