Subway slams World Sandwich Day cancellation reports

By Nick Hall | 04 Nov 2019 View comments

Franchise giant Subway has celebrated World Sandwich Day once again, however the iconic campaign was marred by media speculation and reports of franchisee unrest.

The news came after Subway, which traditionally offers a ‘buy one, get one free’ promotion for the day restructured its offer. Previously, franchisees were required to provide the free sandwiches with the chain waiving royalties for the day, however this year, franchisees reportedly had enough.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Subway franchisees pleaded with the chain to cease the giveaway, suggesting the promotion had a crippling impact on their profitability.

In response, Subway reportedly pulled the ‘buy one, get one free’ offer, instead focusing on the ‘good deed feed’ approach.

For every sub sold on the day, Subway donated 50c to Foodbank Australia, an initiative which last year saw the chain donate more than 34,000 meals to in-need Australians.

Media reports

Several media outlets suggested that the event had been cancelled, a statement that the company described as ‘simply untrue’.

Speaking with Inside Franchise Business, a spokesperson for Subway confirmed that event went ahead as planned with absolutely no cancellation.

“Subway’s 2019 World Sandwich Day invited guests to visit Subway for a “good deed feed”.  By buying their favourite sub on Friday 1 November, not only were guests able to enjoy their own great feed, but they also supported Aussies in need,” the spokesperson said.

The company reiterated that event was an opportunity for Subway, its franchisees and the wider community to show their support for those in-need, as opposed to a free promotional activity.

“World Sandwich Day is an annual national community campaign and a way that Subway gives back to the Australian communities that support our locally-owned restaurants year-round.  Rather than providing both a free meal for guests and a meal to charity, Subway chose to invest all efforts into raising funds for Foodbank,” the spokesperson said.

Subway concerns

It’s been a difficult year for the global franchise icon. Media reports and speculation has swelled, with underpayment concerns and store closures making headlines.

In October, the Fair Work Ombudsman revealed it had recovered $81,638.82 in unpaid wages for 167 current and former Subway employees.

The result came after investigators audited a number of Subway franchised outlets, revealing that 18 out of the 22 restaurants failed to comply with workplace laws.

Despite the ongoing concerns, the Subway spokesperson said the brand was more committed than ever to its franchisees, suggesting the World Sandwich Day event was an opportunity for customers to view the changes in person.

“World Sandwich Day is a great way to invite Australians to take a fresh look at the exciting changes we’re making Subway, while at the same time supporting franchise owner profitability and local communities,” the spokesperson said.

“Subway remains committed to franchise owner profitability and serving up great-quality fresh food to Australians – every day of the year.­”