10 Things You Didn’t Know About Quiznos

This toasted sub pioneer was founded by a professional chef

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Quiznos

In the fast food sandwich chain pantheon, Quiznos has long taken a backseat to Subway, which has many, many more locations. But fans of Quiznos will tell you that they wouldn’t even consider eating at a different sandwich shop. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Quiznos. 

It Was Founded by a Professional Chef

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As opposed to the founders of most other chain restaurants, who were generally professional entrepreneurs or amateur cooks, Jimmy Lambatos was a professional chef, running the kitchen at an outpost of now-closed chain Colorado Mine Co. Steakhouse. He developed the recipes for all of Quiznos’ breads, soups, and dressings.

It Started the Toasted Sandwich Trend

Before Quiznos, the concept of a hot and toasted sandwich was still relatively unheard of. Today, just about every sandwich shop has a small oven. 

Wendy’s Tried to Open Quiznos Franchises in Australia, but Failed

Photo Modified: Flickr / Calgary Reviews / CC BY 4.0

In 2002, Wendy’s purchased the rights to open Quiznos franchises in Australia and later New Zealand. But after selling franchise rights through 2006 it became apparent that no actual locations would be opening because of a legal snafu, and the franchise owners ended up losing a lot of money.

A Then-Unknown Jim Parsons Starred in a 2003 Commercial

Photo Modified: Shutterstock / YouTube / Quiznos

Starting with a spot in the 2002 Super Bowl, Quiznos launched a multi-year ad blitz. One of its 2003 commercials, which you might remember, starred a man who had been “raised by wolves.” That man? A then-unknown Jim Parsons, star of The Big Bang Theory

It Broadcast One of the First ‘Viral’ Commercials

Photo Modified: Shutterstock / YouTube / Quizno’s®

Joel Veitch of Rathergood.com was at the vanguard of the viral video movement in the early 2000s when he launched a couple videos featuring the bizarre-looking “Spongmonkeys” singing a silly song. In a bit of forward thinking, Quiznos adopted the Spongmonkeys for their own commercials, geared toward millennials before the term had even been coined. While the ads were bizarre and certainly memorable, they left a lot of older viewers scratching their heads. 

It Has Been Faced More Lawsuits Than Many Other Bigger Chains

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Lawsuits have plagued Quiznos over the years, many from their own franchisees. In 2009, for example, 10,000 franchisees and franchise partners filed a class action lawsuit accusing the company of selling too many franchise rights, and Schaden of requiring franchisees to purchase all of their supplies from the company at inflated prices. The chain settled in 2010 to the tune of $206 million, but not before one franchise owner committed suicide in a Quiznos bathroom. According to one research firm, they’ve faced more lawsuits than much larger chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Subway

You Can Get Coupons by Joining the Q-Club

Want Quiznos coupons? Join their Q-Club to get $2 off your next purchase and printable coupons emailed to you. 

It Runs a ‘Curated Entertainment’ Site Called Toasty.tv

For some reason, the chain runs Toasty.tv, which it describes as “the latest in music, film, art, and entertainment — all with that special Quiznos awesomesauce.” Spoof videos include Startourage: The Foursome Awakens and House of Thrones, and the website is also the home base of their live music initiative, Toasty on Tour.

The Lobster and Seafood Salad Contains 51 Percent Lobster

Of all their menu items, the lobster and seafood salad is probably the most mysterious, especially because Quiznos refuses to publish its ingredients, only going so far as to say (in fine print in its commercials) that it’s 51 percent lobster and 49 percent whitefish. While there are reportedly real chunks of lobster in it, there’s also quite a large dose of mayonnaise.  

Its Unhealthiest Sandwich Is the Large Italian Meatball

If you’re throwing your diet to the wind, opt for a large Italian meatball sub, with “double mozzarella” and marinara sauce. It contains 1,530 calories, 81 grams of fat, 28 grams of saturated fat, 175 milligrams of cholesterol, and 3,580 milligrams of sodium.