Five Ways to Improve Subway

There is one McDonald’s location in Knoxville that I have vowed never to enter again.  Most of the time when we are near a McDonald’s one my kids will say, “Daddy, can we go there?”  When we are near this particular McDonald’s one of my kids will say, “That’s the McDonald’s Daddy hates.”  I don’t normally get angry at restaurants, or any other inanimate object, but on one occasion I became so enraged as to how I was treated that I rent my clothes and covered my head in ashes, Leviticus-style.  Then I went out and found an adulterer to stone.

I’ve never had the same feeling in a Subway restaurant.  For some inexplicable reason, Subway soothes me.  There is no need for Calgon to take me away–I’ll just go to Subway.  And it appears that this might be the case for many others.  Subways are normally quiet with people calmly meandering up to the counter covered with curved glass, casually ordering their sandwiches, and moving on down the line in an orderly fashion.  I was pretty sure that no one ever got angry at Subway, until the other day.  That is when I saw a man almost lose it because of what appeared to be a misunderstanding.

If he would have reacted this way because mayonnaise was added to his sandwich, I would have understood.  If I had x-ray vision, I would use it to determine if a sandwich is mayonnaise-free before taking a big bite out of it.  I’m not quite sure what his issue was, but he was vehemently angry.  I saw him grab his food, stalk over to his table, slam his seat back, plop down, and attack his sandwich using small, vicious bites in order to torture it as much as possible.  He even drank his drink angrily, gulping down large quantities and then holding the cup away from him to stare at it with disgust.

That’s when I did the only logical thing I could think of–I brainstormed about something that doesn’t matter.  As a result, here are a few ways to improve Subway:

1.  Produce a less smelly meatball.  I am convinced that the reason most people get food from Subway to go is that they don’t want to end of smelly like meatballs.  I am also beginning to think that the meatball smell may be slowly impacting our behavior.  Pavlov’s dogs heard a bell and began drooling; some people smell meatballs and become obnoxious.  Surely someone is busy researching this.

2.  Play more Kenny Rogers songs.  When I entered Subway on the day of the afore-mentioned occurrence, Kenny Rogers was singing about how you’ve got to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.  If I wasn’t in the mood for a Subway sandwich upon entering, I sure was after hearing his velveteen voice. 

3.  Hire a Jared Fogle look-a-like for every location.  I can’t think of a better way to remind people that they made a healthy choice than by giving them a living reminder of the fat guy that got skinny by eating at Subway.  Sadly, the Subway diet doesn’t work if you eat a meatball sub every day. 

4.  Make if feel more like a real, New York City subway.  Confession: I have never been on a real subway.  In spite of that, there are a few things that I think doing this would entail–a weird guy looking at you while you eat, someone peeing in a corner, a group of sullen teenagers with ear-buds in their ears texting each other instead of talking, and someone breakdancing.

5.  Make a bigger deal about employees being “sandwich artists.”  Make them all wear berets and act like divas.  Have them constantly complain about a lack of motivation.  Make all the men grow a soul patch and all the women have hair under their arms.  Give them a bonus if they make a sandwich that no one understands yet everyone loves.  

Why did I choose to brainstorm about how to improve Subway and not how to improve myself?  I have learned that the best way to improve myself is by not focusing on improving myself, but to focus on God and his glory.  As I do that, the Holy Spirit works in me to make me more like Jesus.  This sets me free from the bondage of always beating myself up for not being perfect.  While I don’t do this all of the time, I am learning to rely more and more on God and less and less on myself.

Maybe one day I’ll improve so much that I will be able to forgive the McDonald’s that I disdain and go back there again.  But I doubt it.

(What other ways could Subway be improved?  Have you ever been so aggravated by a restaurant that you refused to return?  How is God leading you to improve?  Share away!)

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30 thoughts on “Five Ways to Improve Subway

  1. Chicken & Bacon Ranch…. every.single.day.of.the.week if I could. Soooo delish.

    As far as improvement? I think in the past I thought it had to be this big, drawn out, elaborate change. God’s slowly been showing me that sometimes its the little changes; the day to day adjustments that are just as effective.

  2. This is great, Matt. Glad I’m not the only one who does stuff like this. 🙂 But if the ladies have hair under their arms, I would insist on a strict ‘no tank tops’ policy–either that or tiny dual hair nets. Not a fan of armpit hair in my Italian BMT.

    Also, I’m totally with you on the mayo. HATE, HATE, HATE it (said it 3x’s because that’s how hot the fury burns).

  3. “I have learned that the best way to improve myself is by not focusing on improving myself, but to focus on God and his glory.”

    Applause! Love. This.

    My daughter worked for Subway. She was an artist–in the sandwich making and in feather soothing. We used to get family discounts. Since she’s tight with the owners, we still often do.

    I do prefer to carry out more than eat in to avoid carrying the Subway fragrance.

  4. I hate that Subway smell. The convenience store where I stop and get my newspaper and Dr. Pepper is also a Subway. I get in and out as fast as I can when I smell those subs. Unless I am stopping to eat there.

  5. I love Subway. This past summer, I was at one of them handy to a major tourist attraction in our city. On this particuar day, the line up was quite long, and the guys behind the counter were doing what they could, as fast as they could. I wasn’t in any hurry.

    The people in front of me ordered their subs – the woman wanted hers toasted. The cheese was sprinkled on, and a bit of it landed on the paper before going into the oven. She had a coniption (sp?) about the cheese saying she’s paying for it and the guy should be more careful to put it on her sub and not the paper. Then, her hubby orders his and he wants a little cup of hot peppers to add to his after (he was sharing his footlong with their son who didn’t want any of the peppers). The guy goes out back to get one of those plastic cups, the woman heads to the cash to pay for both subs. All of a sudden, her sub goes missing – not on the counter, not in the oven (it was toasted, wrapped and placed by the cash), not near the cash – no where. The husband got annoyed and they both started yelling at the poor guys behind the counter who offered to make her another one. Nope, they weren’t having any of that. They left. Before I got to the cash, the woman came back in from the car (they were from out of province) and yelled at the guys again and wanted to know the phone number, store number, etc. so she could call and compalin about them.

    When I got to the cash, I told the guy that I hoped his evening goes much better than that (this was nearly 9pm), and he said he’d been working non-stop since 2pm that afternoon without any break. I felt so bad for them.

  6. I personally find it so odd at the things we can become enraged at as followers of Jesus Christ and allow to shape the course of our life in small and large ways. I can’t help but personally flashback in my mind to the incomprehensible beatings and disfiguring Christ endured to show what God’s love truly like. Daily, I strive for my son to always see that the love of God is above any circumstance that I may ever face in this life. I pray all the best for you as you continually seek first God’s kingdom and His will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Life’s opportunities thankfully bring us closer to Him as the only face we truly reflect is Jesus Christ.

  7. Matt, I wrote Jared Fogle an email several years ago. I told him I was a big fan, and that I really believed he and I could be best friends. And I would love to hang out at his house one day. Can you believe he never wrote me back? I have never eaten at Subway again!

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