Subway deals with criticism over 1-inch short footlong sandwiches
BY AP Wire Service
Sunday, January 20, 2013
1/20/13 at 4:09 AM
NEW YORK (AP) - What's in an inch? Apparently, enough missing meat, cheese and tomatoes to cause an uproar.
Subway, the world's largest fast-food chain with 37,000 locations, is facing criticism after an Australian man posted a picture on the company's Facebook page of one of its famous footlong sandwiches next to a tape measure that seems to show the sub is just 11 inches.
More than 100,000 people have "liked" or commented on the photo, which has the caption "Subway pls respond." Lookalike pictures have popped up elsewhere on Facebook. And The New York Post conducted an investigation that found four out of seven footlong sandwiches were shy of the 12 inches that makes a foot.
By Thursday afternoon, the picture was no longer visible on Subway's Facebook page, which has 19.8 million fans. A spokesman for Subway, which is based in Milford, Conn., said Subway did not remove the posting. Subway also said that the length of its sandwiches may vary slightly when its bread, which is baked at each Subway location, is not made to the chain's exact specifications.
"We are reinforcing our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure our offerings are always consistent no matter which Subway restaurant you visit," Subway said in an emailed statement.
The photograph - and the backlash - illustrates a challenge companies face with the growth of social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Before, someone in in rural Australia would not be able to cause such a stir. But the power of social media means that negative posts about a company can spread from small towns to locations around the world in seconds.
"People look for the gap between what companies say and what they give, and when they find the gap - be it a mile or an inch - they can now raise a flag and say, 'Hey look at this, I caught you,' " said Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates in New York.
Subway has offered footlong sandwiches since it opened in 1965. A customer can order any sandwich as a footlong. The chain started offering 6-inch versions of the sub in 1977. It introduced a $5 footlong promotion in 2008 as the U.S. fell into the recession, which became a popular seller and continues to be offered today.
Original Print Headline: Subway criticized for 1-inch short footlong
Subway, the world's largest fast food chain, is facing criticism after an Australian man posted a picture on the company's Facebook page Wednesday of one of its famous sandwiches next to a tape measure that seems to shows it's not as long as promised. Associated Press file