14 Things You Didn’t Know About Subway Gallery

The world’s largest fast-food chain is still full of surprises

14 Things You Didn’t Know About Subway

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.

Its Founder Was Only 17

Founder Fred DeLuca created Subway in 1965, when he was 17 years old, with a $1,000 loan from a family friend named Peter Buck. he passed away in 2015 at age 67.

The BMT Was Named After a New York Subway Line

The BMT Was Named After a New York Subway Line

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.

The Veggie Patty is Mostly Soy and Mushrooms

There's a vegetable-based patty available regionally, and it's is actually made mostly of soy, mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, carrots, green and red bell peppers, black olives, brown rice, and soy sauce. 

The "Subway Smell" is Still a Mystery

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. 

Sandwich Possibilities Are Basically Endless

Sandwich Possibilities Are Basically Endless

There are about 37 million possible sandwich combinations.

It's The World's Biggest Restaurant Chain

Subway is currently the largest chain in the world by number of units (with about 45,000 stores in more than 100 countries), and has even surpassed McDonald’s.

Jared's Sandwiches Were Pretty Bland

Jared's Sandwiches Were Pretty Bland


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.

It Sells an Insane Amount of Food

Subway serves nearly 2,800 salads and sandwiches per minute. 

There's a Secret Menu

Subway has secret menu items, or at least combinations you can create that are super-creative, like a chicken cordon bleu sub, breakfast taco flatbread, tuna melt, and grilled cheese with tomato. 

It Opened Inside an Under-Construction Skyscraper

It Opened Inside an Under-Construction Skyscraper

When 1 World Trade Center was being built back in 2010, Subway opened a restaurant for workers who were involved in rebuilding the tower. The shop opened in a movable pod and rose up along with the building as it grew.

There's a Southern California Special

In Southern California, Subway has a Rainy Deal Special, where customers receive a free 6-inch sub and hot soup with the purchase of a sub and 32-ounce drink if it's raining out.

There are Several Insider "Hacks"

There are Several Insider "Hacks"

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."

They Cater

They Cater

Subway does catering, with offerings including platters of sandwiches and cookies, giant three-foot subs (which serve 10-12, and giant six-food subs, which serve 20 to 25.

It's in an Open Feud About Its Chicken

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!

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