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We let sandwich prices get out of control (part 1) | Medium Rare

Five. Five dollar. Five dollar footlong.
Those Subway commercials took the country by storm, but what we didn’t understand–at least not at the moment–was just how important this pricing strategy was for the future of all sandwiches. This wasn’t a simple gimmick. This wasn’t just a ploy for Subway to boost their annual sales. No, Subway was drawing a line in the sand(wich) and we proceeded to stomp all over the Italian herb and cheese.

What Subway was trying to do with the $5 footlong was like a bicyclist pedaling to the front of the competition and setting the pace for everyone else. At first, this $5 price tag immediately put both the local delis and other sandwich chains in a pickle. These places were already flirting with $8.99 and $9.99 price tags, trying to quietly break through the $10 sandwich barrier. But now that everyone in the country was walking around humming the Subway $5 footlong song, these places had no choice but to meet these new customer expectations and lower their prices at least under $8. It was a pricing struggle that Quiznos has still never fully recovered from.

Those first few months, Subway’s approval rating was soaring through the roof. I feel like I saw two Subway restaurants going up every day in my hometown. They’d show up in Wal*Marts, gas stations, I think one of my friends opened a franchise out of his living room. We may never see anything like it again when Subway was simultaneously known as the healthiest choice AND the least expensive.

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We let sandwich prices get out of control (part 1) | Medium Rare.

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