Subway plans to add automatic slicers to all 22,000 of its restaurants in an attempt to improve business — and be more competitive with rivals such as Quiznos. The slicers are the sandwich-maker's biggest equipment addition since it added toasters more than two decades ago.
Rather than using meat that is pre-sliced at a plant and then shipped to each store, Subway plans to instead slice meat in the mornings and afternoons in its stores. Meat can be sliced again as needed and unused meat can be used again the next day. The slicers are automatic; employees press a button and the machine does the work. Subway employees aren't sure how they feel about the change, with the topic garnering over 100 comments on a Reddit thread, but many workers aren't thrilled. Reddit contributor HopefulBirthday shared an experience with the machine.
Other Reddit commenters say Subway is doing everything it can to stay in competition with another rival, Jersey Mike's. "They want to be Jersey Mike's so bad," Reddit member raspadoman said. Other users also commented on the Jersey Mike's connection.
Most commenters seem to think this means more work for Subway employees for minimal return. As everythingisalright
says, "I come to subway for my cold cut trio. I’m not operating under the illusion that my cold cuts are fresh. I don’t freaking care honestly. All this is going to do is put the nail in the coffin for the poor workers who are already overwhelmed."
Subway’s meats are currently sliced at a central facility and shipped to the restaurants. The hope is that the change will lower food costs because whole meat is cheaper than sliced meat — and whole meat is more readily available. But there's still the question of how it affects employees. "Three of my seven stores have been participating in the test on the slicers for the past six months. "They sound awful, but I promise they aren't that bad," says Altruistic-Height397, some of whose stores have been testing the slicers for six months. "My stores grew to love them."
But axia_1214 has another take: "My area got them last year and it wasn’t that bad at all until they forced us to not make any deli meats ahead. Now we’re forced to slice meats “fresh” for customers while there’s a long line."