Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

McDonalds is #2 -- because Subway is #1


Chris Amirault
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yep, it happened:

Subway had 33,749 sites across the globe at the end of last year, compared with 32,737 for McDonald's. ...

McDonald's said it was still growing but was committed to "being better, not just bigger".

We're #2. We try harder.

The end of an era. Care to comment?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably more a reflection of Subway's business model than its quality. Franchisees don't pick a company based on the quality of the food. They look at the business issues.

I wonder if Subway has a lower cost of entry...or is less picky than McDs in its choice of site and owner. I've seen plenty of Subways close, but I've not seen that with McD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably more a reflection of Subway's business model than its quality. Franchisees don't pick a company based on the quality of the food. They look at the business issues.

I wonder if Subway has a lower cost of entry...or is less picky than McDs in its choice of site and owner. I've seen plenty of Subways close, but I've not seen that with McD.

Speaking as a consumer, it's not at all hard for me to see Subway surpass McDonald's in terms of the perception of the quality of the food. Subway hit on what would become a trend by turning away from burgers and fries, (i.e. Quizno's, Qdoba), and going with sandwiches which, for the most part, are perceived as "healthier." The advertising campaigns that one could lose weight while still eating "fast food" certainly were a boost to their business. It seems as though McD's was slow to get on the bandwagon with revising their menu and scuffing away the beef fat for the fries.

While I will forever crave a Big Mac, I'd choose Subway twice over McD's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually Chris, it's we fry harder. And they fry more, a lot more. McD's is still number one in unit and total sales and that's what business is all about.

My sense is, in car racing terms, McDonald's is the Formula One and Subway, the soap box racer. For McD's, bigger investment, bigger return, better track record, more complex operation, corporate multi-unit vs individual unit management, and broader customer base.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I will forever crave a Big Mac, I'd choose Subway twice over McD's

Man, I crave 'em too. But it's like a curse - every two or three months I really, really want a big mac, so I go and pick a couple up for lunch. Then I eat them and feel like I know why I only crave them every few months.

But I never crave subway, so I never go, despite the fact that it doesn't give me the rumble belly that McD's does ...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if Subway has a lower cost of entry...or is less picky than McDs in its choice of site and owner. I've seen plenty of Subways close, but I've not seen that with McD.

Subway can handle much smaller stores than McD's can. McD's needs the frier, the grill/griddle/whatever, the ice cream machine, and the serving counter. Subway just needs the fixin's counter, a toaster and the shelf of bread. Less space required means they can be less picky about location, means, absolutely, lower cost of entry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Subway has enjoyed lots of traction over seas.

Courtesy of David Lebowitz-

Nevertheless, les sandwichs and crêpes are considered acceptable food for mobile snacking. So much so that even Subway has invaded France with over 234 shops opening up. It leaves Americans scratching their heads, but I think the novelty of a sandwich made to order, right in front of you, has a certain appeal if that’s not something you’re used to. And yes, they will toasté your sandwich à la demande. Although I prefer the traditional jambon beurre from a regular bakery because I’m becoming more stubborn in my old age, or perhaps because I live in France and it’s rubbing off on me.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Subway's genius is precisely this updated "have it your way" -- and watch while it happens -- experience.

Agreed. And the bread smells so good!

Seriously? Personally I find the smell of the bread nauseating; so much so, that I have to cross the road or hold my breath if I'm going past a Subway.

Each to their own, I suppose.

Itinerant winemaker

Follow me on Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The aroma of freshly baked goods is like the seductive call of the Siren.

Yes, this.

From the article with my emphasis:

In recent years, US-based Subway has made a major push into international markets with its successful franchised business model, which emphasises small, low-cost outlets.

That's one of the keys to Subway's success. They can go in just about anywhere.

There's a busy liquor store down the street from where my mom lives. It added a Subway counter inside (I'd say it was about 10 by 10 space...a lot of the depth taken up by the bread ovens). Everytime I walk into the store I start salivating because of the aroma of the bread. The Subway counter always has a line waiting to order.

A little bit of real estate and an easily made product has success written all over it.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The odors from Subway, and even worse, Quizno's are not at all nice. They don't even smell food-like to me. I can't imagine what it is that makes the smell.

Odd that some like it and others are repulsed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is amazing how fast they have been popping up. Subways in gas stations, Subways in convenience stores, Subways in truck stops, Subways in Wal-Marts, etc. I can think of about a dozen Subways I see in my everyday travels and only 2 of them are stand-alone stores. And one of those is in the parking lot of a convenience store.

They must have a very good selling proposition to convince all these businesses to lease them space, or buy a mini-franchise, or whatever is their magic formula.

I agree the smell of their baking bread is rather odd. Quite artificial and nothing like any other bakery I've encountered.

I will admit to patronizing Subway far more often than any other fast food chain. It's not terrible and it certainly can be a healthier option. One frustrating aspect is how inconsistent they are from store to store with the amount of toppings they'll put on the sub. I want a good-sized salad on there. Everything but the pickled sweet peppers. Some places load it up while others give you scant, tiny morsels of veg.

Edited by pennbrew (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One frustrating aspect is how inconsistent they are from store to store with the amount of toppings they'll put on the sub. I want a good-sized salad on there. Everything but the pickled sweet peppers. Some places load it up while others give you scant, tiny morsels of veg.

That is a wonderful way to put it! I am the same. I know a lot of people like lots of meat, but I like a little bit of turkey or tuna and a lot of lettuce and veggies for crunch!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One frustrating aspect is how inconsistent they are from store to store with the amount of toppings they'll put on the sub. I want a good-sized salad on there. Everything but the pickled sweet peppers. Some places load it up while others give you scant, tiny morsels of veg.

That is a wonderful way to put it! I am the same. I know a lot of people like lots of meat, but I like a little bit of turkey or tuna and a lot of lettuce and veggies for crunch!

Why not just ask the person to put more on...or say "I like a lot of lettuce." Of course its going to vary from person to person...did you want them to use a measuring cup for lettuce and onions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you could fit half a dozen Subways inside the average McDonald's. Gross revenue also probably follows a similar ratio.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, I crave 'em too. But it's like a curse - every two or three months I really, really want a big mac, so I go and pick a couple up for lunch. Then I eat them and feel like I know why I only crave them every few months.

I used to get that way about Burger King Whoppers--every now and then I'd have a craving, then I would eat one, and regret it. Like I knew that somehow, some part of my brain was playing a trick on me. It's probably been about ten years now since my last one.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...