No matter where you go, it always seems like a Subway isn’t far away, beckoning you with its unique and semi-bizarre smell, its seasonal offerings, and its guarantee that whatever you order will taste exactly the same as it did the last time you ordered it, whether it was in Mexico City; Braga, Portugal; or Peoria, Ill. And while we might think that we’ve learned all there is to know about the world’s most ubiquitous fast-food chain, there are many things you’d be surprised to learn about the company.
In keeping with the "subway" theme, the BMT sandwich was named after the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation, one of the original New York subway lines. Today, we know it as "Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest," with pepperoni, salami, and ham; and in New York, the BMT is now the J, Z, L, M, N, R, Q, and W trains.
All Subways smell the same. Apparently, this is because all Subways use the same bread. They are sent to all franchises frozen and the shops thaw them out before baking them behind the counter. It is hinted that the caramelization smell of the sugar has something to do with the distinct smell, but it’s still a mystery what makes this particular bread smell so unique.
The first sandwich that now-imprisoned former pitchman Jared Fogle ever ordered was a 6-inch turkey sub without cheese and mayo. He would eat that and a full-length veggie sub for dinner, with a bag of baked chips and a diet soda. The key was no oil, cheese, or mayo. Ironically, he gained most of the lost weight back in prison, and now makes sandwiches for his fellow inmates.
Subway serves nearly 2,800 salads and sandwiches per minute.
You can customize the way your sandwich is cut and prepared. If you say "old cut," the sandwich maker digs into the sandwich as opposed to slicing it. You could also ask for the "wing effect," which means part of the meat will hang out from the sandwich, creating a "wing."
In March 2017, an investigative report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation found that only 50 percent of Subway's "chicken" was in fact chicken, with the ramaining half being soy-based fillers and other additives. Subway rebutted the claim, asserting that “Our chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain one percent or less of soy protein.... We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients.” The chain then sued the CBC for $282 million ($210 million USD) in a defamation lawsuit and conducted its own lab tests to prove them wrong.
The CBC, however, stood by its investigation, digging in its heels and saying that it used a “legitimate lab” to test the chicken and gave the sandwich chain several weeks to respond before running with the story. The CBC said that it has since tested and retested the chicken and the results were the same; Subway once again countered by testing the same products as the CBC, and the soy content was found to be less than one percent. This is up there with some pretty notorious moments in fast food history!