New Subway Concept Ruins a Perfectly Good Sandwich

subway cafesI love Subway. I love it because it's cheap. I love it because it's consistent. And most of all, I love it because it's a quick grab for whenever I'm on the go.

But alas, Corporate America has to go and think about how they can change up a classic. In March, Subway made some serious headway and earned its title as the world's largest fast food chain. And now, they're test driving a whole new approach at a few locations in Virginia.

I'll give you a few hints: Comfy chairs, coffee, and pastries. Is Subway trying to be Starbucks!?


Say hello to the Subway Cafes!

Fueled by Subway's rapid growth, a Subway franchisee in Virginia launched a test cafe. And now, there are 15+ cafe-like locations, and the company hopes to add 10 more by the end of the year.

So what's in a Subway Cafe? Well, the design is a cross between the classic Subway sandwich shop and a coffee bar. The cafes run a little larger than the average store and boast a variety of baked goods, coffee, chairs, hot and cold espresso drinks, and frozen blended beverages. Can you imagine? A turkey foot-long followed by a nice carby croissant?

On the grind side -- we all know that good coffee is hard to come by. The good news is that Subway plans on using Seattle's Best products. I like. Good for the sandwich, but a Subaccino (clever, I know -- I made that one up on my own) just doesn't have the same ring to it as my Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts favorites.

And as for aesthetics, the cafes would also feature wood-paneled walls or brick, along with cozy armchairs and, oooh, even a fireplace! So now it sounds to me like Subway's brainchild is like the offspring of Starbucks and Panera. Sort of like a Cosi! Minus the delicious flatbread samples, of course.

As it is, I think Subway has a good thing going on. A general assembly line gets me in and out of the store in a quick amount of time, and the menu is diverse enough where I feel like I can mix it up often, without feeling too intimidated by an overwhelming selection. Essentially, they have a niche. They work well within their niche. And I think they should stick to it. Forcing a cafe into the mix, where Subway spokesman Les Winograd says employees would need specific training to operate, just seems excessive to me.

And most importantly, if my $5 foot-long becomes more than $5 because of this new, cool atmosphere, I'll be MISERABLE. Thanks, but no thanks.

What do you think about Subway trying out this cafe concept?

Image via Timo Heuer/Flickr

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