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Peppercorn904's avatar

Why is it a Subway (sub shop) rule that you cannot give your order in the form of a note to the employee making your sub?

Asked by Peppercorn904 (16points) June 4th, 2015

I just got back from Subway (sandwich shop), where I picked up a couple of subs for my neighbor. He had typed out a short description on what he wanted on the subs. I started reading it to the Subway employee and then I just handed it to her, stating that it might be easier if she just read it. Shen then told me that she couldn’t take the note. I asked why and she said it was against regulations but she wouldn’t (couldn’t?) tell me why.

While she was making my order, I thought about this and concluded that maybe they can’t be having things passed back and forth over the tubs of open food toppings, so I asked her if that was why, and could she have taken the note if we were standing over the register (no food there). She still said no.

Please know that I was very courteous to her. I was just very curious as to why that would be a rule.
I mean, we pass money back and forth…

Any ideas?

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17 Answers

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I would reckon they do not trust their sandwich makers reading skills, as if they would miss make the sandwich not reading the note correctly even if types. Or as you say, it passes over the food, or that there might be something on the note and them handling it would contaminate food. They are afraid something illegal might ensue from having notes passed that no one can hear or see but the two dealing with the note. I can even see it being just their lawyers trying to head off something they don’t really know to head off. It could be a myriad of reasons

stanleybmanly's avatar

You folks just lack the necessary business cynicism involved with protecting the bottom line. Consider the following note: I’d like ham & swiss on rye with twice the meat and 3 times as much cheese as the normal dose. I’ll give you a big tip.”

josie's avatar

Seems like a small issue.
If it annoys you, get your sub at one of the hundred other dirty sub shops in every town in America.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

No idea. What if the person ordering couldn’t speak for some reason? The only thing I can think of is hygiene. The note could have germs on it perhaps! Write to Subway and ask them. It may not be a Subway rule but a rule imposed by the franchisee in that store.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

We can speculate on reasons why this rule was given, but it won’t answer the question. If I were you, I’d contact the manager of the shop and inquire. There could be a valid reason. Then again, it could be a misunderstanding on the part of the employee.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@stanleybmanly to which the answer could be ” we could do the twice and thrice portions at double the cost and we’ll settle for the smaller tip and keep our jobs, thanks.”

ZEPHYRA's avatar

As regards the note, besides what all our friends above have mentioned, it could be that some handwriting is impossible to read. Also imagine the mistakes and confusion of having people coming in with notes being handed back and forth and getting orders mixed up. There may be staff members with reading problems and generally it would cause chaos and confusion. A whole lot of notes lying around everywhere.

jca's avatar

If you find the answer, please let us know. Thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

One thing I pictured in my mind is a bank robbery where the thief hand the teller a note letting them know he has a gun and he is demanding all the money. I actually know of more than one store that has been held up for cash register cash. Maybe they are afraid it will scare people? My theory doesn’t really make sense though, because we patrons don’t know the rule. Maybe it’s for speed and efficiency? It’s usually faster to listen to someone and record the order than to copy it from a piece of paper. Unless the person is difficult to understand.

Seems like a stupid policy. What if someone is mute.

jca's avatar

When I do large orders for work or personal reasons, I like to type out and print up a document so it’s clear for the counter person and there are no misunderstandings.

When doing catering order for work, I always type out what we want so there is no confusion. I then fax it to the deli or catering place. They like it and we like it because there’s no dispute “You didn’t say that” or hearing problems. They also like it for billing time – it’s clear what we wanted. Sometimes they throw in free stuff so that’s clear too, what we asked for and what was given as a “bonus.”

JLeslie's avatar

It sounds like this wasn’t a catering order, just a walk up

I think it’s a stupid rule, I’m not trying to defend it.

rojo's avatar

Like others had said, possible fear of contamination, threats or, if there is a security camera, fear that they have no way to know what the communication between the employee and the customer.

I wouldn’t be angry with the employee chances are that she had no idea as to why she couldn’t do it, only that it was company policy. Chances are she was not informed as to why it was so.

JLeslie's avatar

Contamination makes zero sense if the person is a cashier. If they just take orders and prepare food then it does makes sense.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: Yes, I understand this wasn’t a catering order the OP is referring to.

jca's avatar

I was just discussing why it’s easier (or should be easier) when things are in writing rather than being verbalized. I always say that’s why I love email.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I agree with you that writing is less ambiguous.

rojo's avatar

We were in a Subway this weekend and the card reader was not working properly with my wifes’ credit card, when she asked if he wanted to try it he said that he was not allowed to touch the cards. So, maybe it is a policy that they not handle anything from a customer.

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