Subway or Jimmy John’s (Food Series – Part 2 of 4)

 This post was the result of a big reflection that I did on myself over the last 2 days.  I tried to problematize my very systematic decision-making model.  Basically, if I’m unhappy with the way things are, my first reaction is to voice my concern, then when I don’t see change happen I dismiss situation and avoid it completely.  I will withhold my education related insights, in hopes that readers will comment on how they see this analogy working for or against education, but don’t worry, I’ll post my own ideas in a comment after I read the thoughts of others.  I am purposely leaving this open-ended.

In this case, I have been in a 10 year boycott of Subway restaurants.  It all started with my dissatisfaction over the amount of bread in a Subway sandwich.  There was just too much bread!  But I would still eat Subway because it was popular destination for dinner with my friends.  However, after three bad experiences with the cleanliness and service at three different Subways, I wrote them off.  I wrote into Subway to let them know the problems I had experienced, and in return I received coupons…  Not really the change I hoped to see.

Soon after starting the boycott of Subway I found Jimmy John’s and never looked back.  Jimmy John’s has a great product, great service, and always leaves me feeling satisfied.  So, today I did something that really challenged my values and did a taste test.  My mom is a big believer in challenging our perceptions about food and I have seen how trying something that you don’t think you’ll like is sometimes a great opportunity for growth.  I figured that after 10 years I should give Subway a chance.  Below you will find my results in a chart.  I must say that although this is in no way a scientific experiment, and I am heavily biased, I tried to have an open mind.  I chose a Subway and Jimmy John’s that were located just a few feet away from each other, meaning that they serve similar clients.  I also chose items that appealed to my preferences and dietary lifestyle (as a vegetarian), but that are very different, because the restaurants do not offer items that are similar enough to compare.  Here it goes:

Location Tate St, Greensboro, NC Tate St., Greensboro, NC
Service Time 4 minutes 4 minutes
Service Experience 2 employees 

  • Did not greet me
  • Took order
  • Asked if I wanted chips/drink
  • Told me to have a nice night
4 employees 

  • ALL employees greeted me as soon as I walked in, and seemed genuinely interested in how I was
  • Took order and checked preferences on sandwich
  • Asked if I wanted chips/drink
  • Told me to have a nice night with a smile
Menu Item ordered Veggie Patty 

  • 12″
  • Wheat bread
  • Veggie patty
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Mustard
  • Low-fat mayo
Vegetarian 

  • 8”
  • French bread
  • Cucumbers
  • Avocado spread
  • Mayo
  • Lettuce

*Usually there are alfalfa sprouts but they were not available due to salmonella scare

Price $5.93 ($0.49/inch) $5.12 ($0.64/inch)
Reflections after taste test
  • Not much taste
  • Too much bread
  • Liked the veggie patty on it’s own
  • Would not order again
  • Great flavor
  • Missed the sprouts
  • Would definitely order again
Overall Reaction I think I was justified in my decision to avoid Subway.  The changes that I wished I had seen have not happened.  The service wasn’t bad, but did not impress in any way. The experience and flavor were worth the extra money.  This restaurant raises the bar for sandwich shops in its taste, service, and the lasting impression that Jimmy John’s made in my first visit (10 years ago).
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One Response to Subway or Jimmy John’s (Food Series – Part 2 of 4)

  1. Jennifer says:

    I too prefer Jimmy Johns although I never grew a distaste for Subway. Once Jimmy Johns came to the Southeast I made the switch and, though I will still eat at Sunway occasionally, I consider myself a JJ loyal. People at work even refer to “Jimmy John” as my boyfriend because he delivers so much. I think my affinity for Jimmy Johns is the approach they take at every location to working. It’s a fun place to be and the employees seem to enjoy themselves as well. The wall art is fun, the names of the subs are fun, it’s just an enjoyable atmosphere; whether it’s a lunch trip or 2 in the morning once everything has shut down (yes, speaking from experience). This is all, of course, on top of their cleanliness and product quality. Customer satisfaction really seems to be one of their top concerns ns it shows. Even though I just had it yesterday this discussion makes me think I’ll get it tomorrow as well!

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