BARRIE -- My staff and I spend (or rather spent after this) hundreds of dollars a month at Subway. At its peak, we were spending $150 a week. We're not casual consumers. My office is right above the Subway. It's convenient. Every day I would order the same thing, steak and cheese on Parmesan. Three times I ordered a "six inch". Each time the bread was stale. The third time, I'd had enough. The so-called "artist" had made a flat, stale, squishy, soggy mess and thrown it in a bag. Disgusted, I brought it back into the store and asked for a replacement. I told them I would be back, as I was running very late.
When I returned, the "manager" (in title only) was there to greet me. She proceeded to bash me, say there was nothing wrong with the ooze that was leaking all over her counter. She started bashing me for "hurting the feelings" of these so-called "artists" who were standing behind her primping themselves and acting like Cinderella's step sisters. She then proceeded to literally throw my money back at me and said they would not make another sandwich. I then left. This is where I made a dumb mistake. I called Subway to complain. They filled me full of empty promises, promised a response within three days, etc.
I went back that night, in my uniform, as I was now very hungry. There was a lineup of people ahead of me, so I just stood there quietly. This old lady working there saw me standing there and proceeded to bash me, to humiliate me, to practically yell at me, insult me then told me anyone who called head office wasn't welcome back at their store and told me that if I wanted a sub, that I'd have to "shut up, don't give us any trouble, take your food and leave." That, regrettably, is a direct quote.
I left, feeling disgraced for wanting a decent, edible sandwich. Now, before I go on, let's remember that these so-called "sandwich artists" are posting on this site, telling us how to behave, how to order, how to conduct our personal lives, how to park, what we will or won't say, how we will read, etc. We know, then, that obviously they're discontent. They're not happy with their jobs. They defend their horrible actions by blaming their moods on their customers. So it's not hard to envision what I'm typing here, bearing in mind the crabby, minimum wage puppets on the other side of the counter.
Anyway, I was promised a call. Well, as I have an office in the same building I know the landlord very well. I called him. He gave me the owner's cell phone number. I called a couple of times and got to have a pleasant monologue with the voicemail. That's as far as it ever got. A month goes by. I contact Subway and told them I'd had no response, no contact of any sort and no resolution to the problem. A very pleasant lady said I'd hear back in three days. Never happened.
So, I gave up. For months I didn't go back to that store, watching the staff change over half a dozen times in that period. In that period, my assistant would go down and get me a sub. What can I say, it's convenient. No problems to speak of. The crappy food syndrome had somehow been remedied, much to my satisfaction. Today I decided to go myself, as my assistant had the day off. It was completely uneventful. The same manager as before was there, walking out of the back as I paid the young, very friendly lady who was serving me.
"All is well" I thought. OK, who was I kidding? One of my staff went down for lunch after I did. He comes back up and says "the manager stopped me. She recognized me from working here. She told me to tell you that you're not welcome back because of an incident that happened several months ago."
I have a serious problem with this. Several, actually. First, my employee should never have been brought into this. Second, she had every opportunity to tell me directly, as she was standing right there as I paid. She sure seemed content to take my money. Third, punitive measures should not be imposed against a regular customer that was treated rudely, with disrespect, denigrated in front of numerous patrons and yet STILL desired to do business with them. They have 72 hours to come up with a resolution, or this goes to the press. Fortunately I spend a ton of money in advertising with the press, so I have no worries about them listening to me.
This is a time of recession. Terrible food and terrible service, no matter what price point, should not be rewarded. The consumer should not be punished. The business should be punished. Recessions weed out terrible companies with terrible service. Bad press exposure can escalate this. When I read these so-called "artists" moaning and groaning about how hard done by they are, I think about how much harder done by they would be if we just stopped doing business with them. No business, no money, no job.
This is what they deserve. The public is speaking. The reviews are clear. If you don't learn from history, you're doomed to repeat it. Subways rating on this site is tanking. We, as consumers need to stand up and say "we're not rewarding your absolutely crap sandwiches and even worse service anymore. By the way, Quiznos, as I found out after this incident, absolutely spanks your product silly.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- I've been an employee of Subway for nearly 5 months now. I'm young but have been in the industry of customer service for nearly 4 years and have never battled more outrageous customers in my entire experience. To start, I'd just like to remind our valued customers the we, behind the counter, are human beings like you.
We work because we have to, to make a living. You might assume that all we do is make sandwiches all day which shouldn't be that hard. In all honesty we work our butts off. Have a little respect for that when placing your order. Do you know what it's like to have 15 customers in line, 2 people on the clock and not enough bread baked? It gets pretty stressful around there.
Here are some tips on how to make your Subway experience a little more enjoyable. Step one: Decide how many subs you'll be ordering. In my case, it's easier to get all of the breads cut before I start making the actual sub. Our secret goal is to help you build your sandwiches all at once because we want you out as quickly as possible (Thanks! Come again! :D)
Step two: If you haven't decided yet and still need time to browse our menu please step aside and let the person behind you order. This makes everything run a bit smoother. Step three: Finally decided? Oh! But your phone is ringing, I bet it's important! Listen, Subway is the sort of restaurant that requires full customer and employee attention. I can't help you if you're in mid-conversation with Peter the pool boy. Hang up the phones, people!
Step four: Take advantage of the many signs stuck to the glass of our meat and vegetable unit. Those signs have everything you need to know written on them complete with pictures! i.e. bread, cheese, veggies etc. Step five: Please understand that there is a very large sheet of glass standing between us, so speak up. Step six: When requesting your veggies, don't just point. We're looking at two different angles so even though you think you're pointing at onions. It looks to me like you're pointing at black olives. Be verbal about it.
Step seven: If you'd like "the works" on your sandwich please note that the Hot and Mild peppers are not included so you need to ask for them. This is also explained on that little convenient sign stuck to the glass that I mentioned earlier. Step eight: No, I don't know what sauce would taste good on your sandwich. Different strokes for different folks!
Step nine: When you get to the big bad register please keep your cool when charged for your double meat and double cheese. The costs of these items are usually explained as soon as you asked for them at the beginning of the line. And finally, step ten: Remember, you're asking someone you don't know to make your food so my advice to you is to be courteous to that person. Don't bite the hand that feeds you! Hope this helps!
WISCONSIN -- I KNOW THIS IS LONG, BUT PLEASE READ IT ANYWAY. YOU JUST MIGHT BE ENTERTAINED. I will choose to remain anonymous, though I will share that I am a Subway employee. I am also an American citizen so I know what it's like to go into a fast food restaurant and receive less than desirable service. This type of service would include making a mistake with my order, over charging me, or leaving some type of foreign object (i.e. hair, fingers etc.) in my food. It makes no difference to me if the employee is wearing his or her whole uniform (apron, visor...), is cleanly shaven, or is even artificially polite to me as most employees are instructed to be.
I hardly ever have the ability to even force a smile while I'm at work, but that doesn't impact the quality of food that I provide for my customers. This site is filled with complaints from customers about how bad the service is at these restaurants. Many times the employees act that way so you leave. Believe me, we don't get paid on commission, so ask yourself how happy we are when a line is so long it stretches out the back door. I have heard many complaints from customers before and I'm left rather uninterested. I do, however, have a couple insightful complaints of my own as an employee.
Customers talking on their cell phones while ordering is certainly the most aggravating. This is so rude. I couldn't imagine doing this while I was ordering at a fast food place. Put the phone down. Come on. You specific people know who you are that always seem to be doing it. Just stop with the phone and don't be rude to me when you order.
Customers who think they are better than me because I work at Subway is another bothersome topic. I am a full time college student studying civil engineering. I also happen to work at Subway. This job has given me a big wake up call in judging people by their job. I don't know their situation and neither do you. People who work at fast food places aren't always stupid. Many times they are, but not in every case.
Pointing at the glass while telling me which vegetables you want. Oh my god. I know where each one is. I have been there since I was 15. I got it under control. Stop pointing and getting greasy finger prints on the glass. Making messes at the tables. I have cleaned up messes at tables that I would have had to work hard to make when I was 3 years old. These messes are often made by adults. I know I am a loser that works at Subway, but couldn't you have some respect for me and at least try to pick up after yourself a little bit?
Not being ready to order while there is a long line. This is a big one guys. The menu lists all of the items for sale and their corresponding prices. It's not that hard. And if the decision really needs more pondering, step back and let the other people go first. I have been to many fast food places and it seems to me Subway customers are among the worst behaved of all.
This letter in no way is representative of all Subway customers. I have a bunch of regulars that come in and are always nice to me. Not surprisingly, they are never guilty of any of my 5 complaints. Most customers are just fine, but there are plenty who fit the negative description to the "T." Since I was a young boy, my parents taught me the importance of personal responsibility and respect for others. If even I, a lowly Subway employee can adhere to these simple rules of life, can't you customers do the same?
Go out and thank your sandwich artist today. Tell him or her how much he or she means to you. Don't make them think they fit into the common category of fast food employee. Be ready to order, hang up your phone, keep your paws off the glass, don't act as though you are superior to me, especially since I already have more education than most of you, and clean up your crap at the tables. We are all people. Let's all treat each other with respect. And let's attempt to earn respect from others through honesty, hard work, responsibility, and compassion. Eat Fresh everyone!
, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I frequented the Subway location at 11000 Roosevelt Blvd. in Philadelphia PA (next to Target) quite a bit only because of its proximity to me and have witnessed some very disturbing practices. For one, this Indian lady that works there (I believe it is the owner, unfortunately she does not wear a name tag) is so rude, practices bad hygiene and rips off her customers. You will know who she is because I have only noticed 3 people work there, a young guy who is way cool, a younger girl, and then this middle aged Indian woman I am complaining about.
I observed this woman make a sandwich for the person in front of me, she laid her plastic gloves on the counter and once she was done ringing her up, she re-wore the gloves. She then proceeds to open the oven before she makes my sandwich. Yuck! How many times did she re-wear those gloves? How many items did she touch, money, credit cards, unsanitary items before she made my sandwich? A new pair of gloves should be worn just prior to making a sandwich if you are both the sandwich maker and the cashier.
The re-wearing of gloves when handling the sandwich making and money, is a clear indication about how little importance is paid to sanitary practices when they cut up their vegetables. You may end up with e-coli or some other kind of infection. I personally have experienced a stomach ache twice after having a sandwich from this Subway location.
On another occasion, just yesterday 6/11/08, the same woman asked if she could help me. I ordered a 6-inch roast beef sandwich. I usually order double meat, but decided to go easy this time. I saw her put down 3, half pieces of roast beef and this was considered a serving. I asked her about it and she said "Well sometimes the slices come big and sometimes the slices come small."
So basically if the slices are 1/2 pieces you will not be given the adequate amount of sandwich meat to equal 3 regular size slices. This is a complete and total rip-off. I then asked her for double meat and she, out of the goodness of her heart, decided to add one extra piece of roast beef.
So all and all, I actually received 3 1/2 slices, less than a serving of double meat. I paid for a serving of double meat and it is not what I got. During this same trip, there was a lady in front of me that was unsure what sandwich to order, well this same woman looks over at the cashier and laughs, obviously making fun of this customer.
On a different trip to this Subway between 6/03/08 and 6/06/08, this same woman had just about finished making the sandwiches for the 2 young ladies in front of me. When the customer asks her if she could get mustard on her sandwich the woman appeared annoyed and had to walk to the back room to get it. I would consider the mustard to be a very popular condiment and should be side to side with their other condiments and sauces.
When the young lady finished paying for her sandwich, she asked the woman if she could heat it up in the microwave for 10 seconds. The women asked "Why?" Why else would you want a sandwich in the microwave? Anyway, she said she had to wait, and proceeded to ring the following guys order instead. Now, he only had 2 sandwiches, but it took her a while to ring him up, she was most definitely stalling.
The young lady thought that she had placed her sandwich in the microwave and was concerned that it had been in there a while. Her friend finally said to this woman, if she could please remove her sandwich from the microwave, that it was probably burned by now. The young lady was upset and understandably so. At that point, this woman stopped what she was doing, removed a vat of what appeared to be cucumbers from the microwave and finally placed her sandwich in the microwave.
When these young ladies left, she made a comment about them to the customer she was ringing up. Poor customer service, disgusting hygiene, disrespectful towards customers, rip-offs. This is what this location, Subway on 11000 Roosevelt Blvd. Philadelphia, PA next to Target offers. Please be warned! I will never go back.
I don't know what it is but I have had bad experiences at the other two Subway locations. At any rate, please take your business elsewhere, to another Subway location that is worthy of your business or other sandwich shops such as Quiznos. I have been to Quiznos many times and have never experienced any problems.
People like this should be banned from owning a Subway franchise! We should boycott this place. I warn you against going to this location, but if you do, be vigilant when dealing with this woman. The more people that experience what I am complaining about, the more voices there will be and something will finally be done. Mind you, I am not writing this because I have a personal vendetta against this Subway location, but when you receive the same consistent, reprehensible treatment time and time again, it is time to spread the word.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND -- Every time our family goes to Subway, we would always have problems with the service or the food, whether it was burnt bread, the complete opposite of what we ordered, bad employee tempers, or even SCAMS. A while back when we went, they tried pestering us to eat the burnt bread since they "spent so much time and put so much effort into it."
We would politely ask for a new one, because there was no way that we would pay for burnt food. The employee serving us got mad and started to raise his voice. He claims that he was very busy that there was a long line behind us, but when I looked back, there was no one in that line except for us... He started to yell louder and louder and we had to go out of the store since he looked like he was about to throw punches. Another time was when we wanted to order everything EXCEPT for the spicy toppings, since we weren't used to it. They said okay, and started to put EVERYTHING on it, including the spicy toppings, and made a big fuss over it.
One time, we were short on cash, and we didn't really have enough money. The employee didn't tell us the price, since he didn't type it into the cashier machine yet. All he said was that our order costs more than $18, and we only had $15. He said that "it's alright. We'll just take the money. Thank you, good-bye." It was strange that he would be nice and give us $3 off. We were in a rush and we thought we were lucky, that is, until we got home. We recalculated and it turns out that the meal was supposed to cost under $13, a price that we could afford. The amount of money that we lost, the $2 or so, did not matter much, but the employee lied to us about the price.
A few days ago, on Saturday, May 4, 2013, we were once again in a rush since it was near closing time. The food was expensive in Baltimore, and we weren't used to being there. We went in Subway and they ran out of basically everything. We still took our orders, and the employees were somewhat nice. They just didn't understand us and did the subs their own way.
There was nothing left for me to order, except for teriyaki, and when it came out of the oven, they asked what toppings I would like. I said that I wanted "everything EXCEPT spicy," and they interrupted me and ignored me by talking with the other employees. When they were finished talking to each other, all they put on the sub was tomatoes that were not ripened as I had hoped.
They also asked me about any dressing I liked. Whenever I wanted to ask them nicely about adding more of the toppings, they would act like they were not paying attention, being too busy making my sub. I did not lose my temper or mind unlike some of the previous employees; I am very patient. Anyway, they already stored all the dressings away so I asked what kind of dressing they had.
Once again, they did NOT even reply, and they started to put a variety of dressings on my sub. When they were done, I asked what dressings they were, because I was pretty sure I didn't order any dressings on my sub yet. They said it was "Teriyaki Dressing" and that it was actually called "Sweet Onion Dressing." I wanted to complain that I didn't ask them to put sweet onion dressing on my food, since I did not like sweet onions at all, or even sweet onions on teriyaki.
My parents told me that it was fine and how I should not complain. I decided not to complain, since the employee was very happy and smiling. After I paid for my sub, I started to eat it and it tasted very awful. It was sweet, but it tasted weird. I started to feel sick and my parents tried it and they hated it as well. That night, we had major stomachache and we felt very sick.
I don't know how the management could be so poor in the customer service and the food. I do not plan ongoing to Subway anymore. I have been very patient all this time, but the service and food did not improve, but instead, it is getting worse every-time we visit.
As I sat inside the lobby of our local Subway this afternoon eating lunch, I happened to look down at the napkin and tray liner. Both items list the amount of calories and fat contained in each of their "Fresh Fit" sub sandwiches. They have eight sandwiches listed. I usually alternate between two or three of them in order to change things up, and to keep my taste buds from being stuck in a rut.
The basis of my complaint began when I then looked at the $5 footlong special that Subway is infamous for in their commercials, ads, and jingles. Only two out of the eight subs on the Fresh Fit menu are also $5 footlong specials. The other six healthy subs range from $5.75 to $7.00! The majority of the $5 footlong specials are also the ones that are considerably higher in calories and fat content. The other subs include: Meatball, Pizza Sub, Cold Cut, Spicy Italian, and the BLT.
So it makes me wonder why in the world a company that pretends to care about their customer's health, by gearing all their advertising towards a healthy lifestyle, would make the fattening and unhealthy foods cheaper than the healthy food that is good for you?
Fear not...they are not alone in this finger pointing criticism. Notice all the other fast food establishments, i.e. McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc...all have their $.99 value menu boards chalked full of heart cloggers. But I can excuse those other restaurants from this complaint, because they never came across as trying to be the poster child for healthy eating. But that is exactly what Subway tries to portray. So if they want to promote "Eat Fresh" and lose weight, ala Jared, then they should make the $5 footlong specials coincide with the Fresh Fit menu items. That only stands to reason.
By not doing so, that only leads me to believe that they are no different than any other company out there...they're just in it to make a buck, the best way they know how. You want to talk about taking the "Subway Challenge"...here's my challenge for Subway...make all your Fresh Fit subs $5 footlongs! There's a challenge for ya'! Your wallet is at the forefront of their mind, and your health is just an afterthought. Don't let any amount of cheap ads, catchy jingles, or weight loss spokesperson try and convince you otherwise.
THOMASVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I believe the location's address is: 1122 Randolph Street, Thomasville, NC 27360 (336) 475-6060. It is right by a Waffle House (where we almost went to eat instead) and in the same strip mall as a Radioshack. A grocery store is also next door to this Subway. I am writing because I feel it absolutely necessary to let you know about the horrific way an employee was being treated by another employee. It was so bad, my husband and I had to speak up and tell this man to stop. We told him we'd never come back to this location because of him.
He came to work at the same time we arrived at the restaurant. His demeanor was very condescending and arrogant right from the beginning. He worked very slow and kept smirking at us and the other employee. As we were halfway through placing our order, he started verbally and emotionally abusing his female coworker. We could tell the woman was scared of him. He kept swearing at her and calling her a piece of ** among other things. I do not know his name because he was not wearing a name tag.
When I asked to talk to the manager, he at first said he was. My husband and I proceeded to tell him that was not okay to talk to someone like that and that he needs to stop and that we would not be returning to this location because of him. He then said she was the manager and that he owned the store. I highly doubt it because of his extreme unprofessionalism and the fact that he didn't know that the store took American Express when we went to pay and said it would be very expensive for us if it worked.
During most of our confrontation with him, the woman employee was in the back, out of sight. I was extremely concerned for her safety and even considered involving the police. I would have stayed for a while to make sure she was going to be okay and talk with her, but we were running behind and needed to get going. I fear for that woman once we left because no one else was in the store after us, just the two of them.
We have never had this kind of ordeal happen to us at any restaurant. I do not have anything against Subway. My problem is with the employee. He did not say anything else to the woman employee after we confronted him. She seemed to be tearing up when she left the counter to go in the back. This man is a bully and a complete jerk. It was evident in his demeanor right from the beginning.
He drove an older red car that has European style license plate on the front bumper and a metal license plate sized picture of a country with their country's colors. It seems to start with an 'E' and the colors were red, green and one other color, possibly white (?) attached to the bumper as well. My husband thought his accent seemed to be Spanish, I thought it seemed more 'Slovic'. I only mention these things because I have no other way to identify him. He was average male build with medium dark completion and brown/black hair.
I will be sending this report to as many corporate places as I can so that something is done. That man is dangerous without a doubt and the employees need to be protected from him. I sincerely hope and expect something to be done about him. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing about how this was handled.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI -- This is going to be another long one, written by another Subway employee who agrees with the previous review. However, I will be mending the previous review just a bit and adding my own complaints against the customers. Know what you're ordering. There are several signs up and available for the customer's education at the beginning of the line at every Subway. I say "every Subway" because every Subway is exactly the same, aside from minor differences. Y'know those panels that show are menu and the order they are in?
The same in California as they are here in Missouri (except for the optional one). Anyway, the prime example in this complain is cheese. At my location there are five cheeses. White American, Provolone, Pepperjack, Shredded Monterey Cheddar and Mozzarella. We do not have Swiss, and all of our cheeses are white. There is also a sign, conveniently blocking the cheeses that show what kind we have. Do not say "the white cheese", or "provel" (Provolone and Provel are different, believe me. Provel was created in St. Louis).
Lists. Holy crap, don't bring in a list of sandwiches in the middle of a lunch or dinner rush. That's completely rude to the people working and the other customers behind you. If I have to make you nine footlongs, and there are nine people behind you with one footlong order a piece, then it's taking me twice as long to get the customers out of the store and get on with the rest of my job. If you need that many sandwiches, call in early. We will be more than happy to make the sandwiches during a slow time that while we're getting swamped.
Call-ins. Like I said above, call in during slow times. Y'know, not lunch or dinner time, and give me your order. We don't mind, really. However, don't expect us to answer the phone when we have a line to the door and write down your entire order, try to make it around the other employees, and have it ready in ten minutes - it's not going to happen.
Keep your kids in line! We are employees of Subway, most of which get paid minimum wage and don't want to babysit! I literally had a mother watch her children tear apart the soda area, and throw straws at me. I refused her service, had a complain filed against me, lied about, and she was given free stuff. I was a given a free write-up. Thanks!
Don't get mad at me for anything out of my control. The commercials and advertisements clearly state that "Premium and Double-stacked Subs are not included in the $5 Footlongs," yet people still get mad when I tell them (at the meat section) that they are excluded. My fault? Not at all. Blame Subway. It's not as if I'm waiting until they pay in order to tell them this information. I tell them before they order the sandwich, so hold your anger in or you will be treated like you're stupid - I promise.
We do things according to Subway standards or else we get fired. True, each employee has their own little thing they do (for me, I put more than six olives on every sandwich). Why? Because most of us understand and know that customers want things a little different. If you expect me to put a handful of green peppers on your sandwich, I'm not going to.
Only six are supposed to be on a footlong. If you request more, I will put more on there. Coupons! Believe it, or not, but Subway puts coupons out and doesn't tell the franchise owners. I'm a manager, I know this. We have coupons on the computer, but most of the time we have to wing it and do price-overrides or corrections. It may take a little longer, but I promise you, we are doing everything in our power to provide the best service possible.
Don't come in after close. Ugh! If we close at the nine, then that's it. Don't come in and expect to be treated nicely or even served. I have turned down customers for coming in late. The hours are clearly posted and we have a GIANT neon light in our window proclaiming our open status. Also, don't get mad at us if the door is long. Knocking will not get you anywhere. Oh! And if we do open the door when you knock because it's locked don't ask if we're open - it's pretty obvious.
Last, don't lie. We keep track of any messed-up orders and know when people are due for a sandwich (which is rare because Subway mandates that no free food should be given out under any circumstances regardless of severity and that the custom must contact the owner in order to receive a coupon which can then be redeemed at the same store of service). I had a guy come in about a month ago, order four footlong feasts and try to get them free.
One of my employees called me and I was forced to come up and explain to the guy that I was the only male manager on duty on Saturday between the hours of 8 A.M. and 4 P.M. (He tried to tell me he called in about it at noon, when we don't answer the phone, and talked to a male manager - me). He asked me if I was calling him a liar and I said yes. I gave him the corporate complaint hotline number and never received a complaint from him.
The point is, nobody wants to work at Subway, and we are in fact human beings. I understand it is frustrating to be treated poorly, but really... we also feel the same way. We don't like being treated like trash, the same as you. So, get over it, come in, order and leave so that we can do our jobs.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- Subway's slogan is "Eat Fresh" -- but order the Grilled Chicken Breast and Baby Spinach Salad, and you'll get defrosted, precooked chicken strips that have been mechanically branded at a factory to look like they're hot off the grill. Which isn't quite the same thing.
Americans love grilled chicken, a low-fat protein source recommended by everyone from Atkins to the American Heart Association. But fast-food restaurants shun actual grilling like the plague. Rather than install expensive equipment and pay for a dedicated chef, most chains outsource the cooking to giant processors such as Tyson, Pilgrim's Pride, and Keystone Foods.
And the brave new world of industrial grilling is a wee bit different from firing up the Weber in your backyard. First, naturally low-fat, low-sodium chicken breasts are submerged in a giant "tumble marinator" and saturated with a hearty brew of salt, oil, sugar, chemicals, and fat. Burger King's Tendergrill fillet contains added chicken fat and more than 30 other items. McDonald's Grilled Chicken fillet has up to 20% "solution" by weight. The chicken in Panera Bread's Chicken Salad Sandwich includes beef extract, for extra chicken-y goodness.
In a typical factory, the fattened-up breasts are dumped onto a conveyor belt moving at about nine inches per second, where a crack squad of sous chefs lovingly positions each breast on its own patch of real estate. This process, known in the trade as "spreading," is the sole personal touch on a 100-foot-or-so automated cooking line. Next, the evenly spread breasts roll under a press and into a long stainless-steel "impingement oven," which bakes the chicken with jets of hot air. Convection cooking, as opposed to actual grilling over an open flame, provides the highest "yield," retaining the marinade and maximizing the weight of the final product.
To create the "appearance that the product may have been cooked on a backyard grill, "the newly baked chicken fillets are often branded with char marks," explains Jan **, director of marketing at FMC FoodTech, a manufacturer of industrial cooking equipment. The company's CM-40 II Charmarker uses red-hot branding wheels to burn grill marks onto the surface of chicken breasts as they emerge from the oven. FMC's Charmarker can work a lot faster than a short-order cook, grill-marking a row of breasts in about a second, before they hit the freezer. (A Subway spokesman says the char-marking "enhance[s] the appearance and appeal of the product.")
Char-marking is a big business. Pilgrim's Pride runs 45 lines in 10 factories to produce 2 billion pounds of cooked chicken per year. Asked whether it char-marks for fast-food chains, vice president of marketing Dan ** says, "They don't really like us to name names, but we do 9 of the top 10, all except McDonald's."
In fact, the only chain we could find that actually grills chicken in the restaurant is Chick-fil-A, whose Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich is the rare fast-food offering that approaches the nutritional benefits of home-grilled chicken breasts. As for the rest, well, it's not exactly diet food. But it does look terrific.
NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA -- The manager Stephanie has no business as a manager. She is not professional in the way she treats her customers. While I was in the store dining room I was a witness to her constant rudeness to customers. All she wanted to do was hurry and get the customer out the door so she could go to the back where no one could see her.