Thursday, December 18, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;39.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-12-18 04:28:27
Sunday, February 17, 2013

Long and short of it: How do Subway footlong subs measure up in Nashua, Hudson?

Subway takes the word Footlong seriously. So seriously, in fact, they trademarked the word and threaten to sue virtually any hot dog stand that claims to sell a foot-long wiener.

So, when you walk into a Subway and ask for a Footlong sub, you should have some serious expectations that your sub measures up. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

Subway takes the word Footlong seriously. So seriously, in fact, they trademarked the word and threaten to sue virtually any hot dog stand that claims to sell a foot-long wiener.

So, when you walk into a Subway and ask for a Footlong sub, you should have some serious expectations that your sub measures up.

Amid national reports that lawsuits have been filed against Subway for selling subs less than 1 foot long, The Telegraph decided to do a little consumer test.

With $30 in petty cash in hand, we went out to five local restaurants and ordered the identical $5 sub – a Footlong “cold cut combo” on Italian bread with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise – and we brought our ruler with us.

Just for fun, we decided to weigh the subs on a food scale to examine another consistency factor – weight.

Here’s how the restaurants fared:

77 Lowell Road, Hudson

We were greeted with “Welcome to Subway!” With the memorized list of ingredients, it was off to line up and put in the order. First the bread, then the meat, a wad of paper-wrapped baloney, ham and salami. Then it was veggie time, and we topped it off with a little mayo and mustard. There was no time for cookies or drinks, we had a job the do.

Measured right in the restaurant, the vitals on this sub came out fine: 12 inches long, 1.3 pounds. Off to stop No. 2.

Subway, 291 Main St.

It was another warm welcome at Main Street in Nashua. The sandwich maker donned a pair of plastic gloves and quickly assembled our sandwich, just as before. It was wrapped in paper, then slid inside a plastic bag along with a padding of napkins.

This sub came in at: 12 inches and 1.2 pounds.

483 Amherst St., Nashua

On Amherst Street, greetings from the Subway employees quickly turned to questions about the motives of the visit because we entered the restaurant with ruler in hand. We went about our business and ordered our Footlong. The girl behind the counter said she had to call the corporate office. A call to somewhere was made, and we were asked to leave the establishment.

The sub, measured in the parking lot, came in about an inch shorter and a tad lighter. The stats: 11 inches and 1.1 pounds.

112 D.W. Highway, Nashua

Our investigation continued with more cordial results at stop No. 4 on Daniel Webster Highway, probably due to the fact that the ruler remained outside.

As with the other Subway locations, the bread was pulled from a tall metal box and then went on its merry way down the food assembly line. It looked just like its Subway brothers and sisters, but this one was a little on the small side.

Out in the parking lot, the sub measured: 11.5 inches and 1.2 pounds.

254 Lowell Road, Hudson

The last Subway location, also unaware of the investigation, was inside the Wal-Mart on Lowell Road, back in Hudson.

The anticipation of a tie-breaker was enough to make the ordering process seem lengthy, but it was no longer than any of the others.

We took the sub outside and pulled out the ruler. The results: 12 inches on the nose. The weight? Well, in the spirit of full disclosure, we ate this one before it hit the scale.

One Subway customer, Dan Smith of Nashua, had already heard about the footlong controversy and expected the sub shop to live up to its advertising.

“If you say something, you ought to mean it. If they say ‘footlong’ it should be a foot,” he said.

When asked what he would do if his sub was noticeably less than 12 inches, Smith said, “I would ask them for a new sub, or to change the price. I wouldn’t sue them over it.”

We contacted Subway to get the answer to the foot-long riddle first-hand: Why don’t all Footlongs measure up?

Subway officials said those missing fractions of an inch add up to human error and the baking process.

“The length of the bread baked in the restaurant cannot be assured each time as the proofing process may vary slightly each time in the restaurant.”

And since the Subway promotion FebruANY is upon us, which means the number of $5 footlongs is at its annual apex, customers should be aware that a mere $5 doesn’t ensure a 12-inch sub.

“With regards to the size of the bread and calling it a footlong, ‘SUBWAY FOOTLONG’ is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length,” company officials said in a statement.

One man in Chicago and two in New Jersey don’t agree and are suing Subway for millions of dollars, alleging a “pattern of fraudulent, deceptive and otherwise improper advertising, sales and marketing practices.”

Our little test revealed not all Footlongs are exactly 1-foot-long, and their weight varied a little by location. Still, the subs are a decent deal and they tasted pretty good.