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BizBeat: Shrunken subs or frivolously filed lawsuits?

BizBeat: Shrunken subs or frivolously filed lawsuits?

March 17th, 2013 in News

Some customers are upset after measuring Subway's footlong sandwiches and finding they aren't all 12 inches long. But the three we measured in Jefferson City were right on target (even though our tape measurement doesn't look flush at this photo's angle).

Photo by Gerry Tritz

Top legal minds are hard at work solving one of the most pressing questions of the day: Are Subway's footlong sandwiches really 12 inches long?

As many of you know by now, Subway is facing a lawsuit over the size of their sandwiches. They're not footlongs, as claimed in the ads, the suit says.

The defendants were previously rabid fans who have been eating dozens of subs a year. But they turned on the world's largest (by number of locations) fast-food franchise, saying they've been duped all these years.

One of the plaintiffs, Jason Leslie, a 32-year-old used car dealer in Marlboro, N.J., told the New York Post: "They advertise in all these commercials, "Footlong, Footlong, Footlong,' and now I feel like an idiot. I can't believe I fell for that trick."


Subway's defense is that they use dough measured by weight, and that the shape of the dough and the rising of the dough results in lengths that can vary a bit.

So I did what any investigative fast-food journalist would do: I bought a trio of Subway sandwiches to feast on. I'm not waiting for a judge's ruling. I have a tape measure.

So as you can see in Exhibit No. 1 (accompanying photograph), the sandwiches in question are indeed 12 inches. (The left end of the sandwich and tape measure did line up, even though that isn't clear by the angle of the photo.)

Even if the subs do suffer from a little shrinkage, so what? That quarter-pounder that you eat? It's not a quarter pound after they fry the fat out of it. At least at Subway, the meat and cheese is precut, so you always get the expected amount.

The verdict: Subway sandwiches haven't shrunk like the head of a frightened turtle pulling back into its shell. As the self-appointed judge in the court of public opinion, this court rules in favor of footlongs.

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See also:

Subway: Eat less?