What could go wrong with a triple portion of grilled cheese?

By Mike Pomranz
May 07, 2021
Advertisement

From a consumer standpoint, Subway probably saw it as a slam dunk: This week, the chain announced its new Fresh Melts, upping the footlong ante by adding "a triple portion of cheese that is grilled to perfection" for "an extra cheesy, gooey and grilled sandwich." Not only that, but Subway touts that any footlong can be prepared Fresh Melt-style for just $1—meaning tons of melted cheese is always just a buck away. What's better than that?

Well, the North American Association of Subway Franchisees (NAASF) apparently believes anything would be better than that. According to the site Restaurant Business, the NAASP has essentially condemned the sandwiches calling them unsafe.

Subway USA
Credit: tupungato/Getty Images

In a "franchise warning notice" sent to members and obtained by Restaurant Business, the association reportedly wrote that they "cannot endorse this promotion under these circumstances," citing two major concerns: one, making them can pose a burn risk to employees, and two, they can supposedly damage franchisees' toasters. The NAASF also reportedly stated that the sandwiches are operationally complex—which is fast food slang for "you want us to do what, dude?!"

"We are hopeful that [Subway's Franchise World Headquarters] will confront these issues immediately and allow us the opportunity to stand with them and endorse this promotion," the notice was quoted as saying. "In the meantime, weigh out the above concerns and stand strong with the decision you make as a franchisee investor."

Reached for comment about the controversy, Subway stated, "The safety of our franchisees and their restaurant employees is a top priority for us. In addition to providing extensive training materials, a standard protocol is to thoroughly test all new products and innovations and make operational and equipment adjustments as needed, ensuring that our franchisees and hard-working sandwich artists are able to safely and consistently execute a quality meal that guests expect. "

But one of the biggest stumbling blocks appears to be that the NAASF feels like their pleas weren't being heard by the bigwigs at Subway. "The majority of the significant issues to this point have either been ignored or met with 'we are working on it' as responses," the notice purportedly states. Apparently, some problems can't be solved with tons of melted cheese. Who knew?