Subway cancels free sandwich promo
Subway has cancelled its popular buy-one-get-one-free World Sandwich Day promotion today, reportedly after pleas from already struggling franchisees about the impact on their bottom line.
In previous years, franchisees were required to provide free sandwiches and in return Subway waived their royalties for the day and provided some supplier discounts, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Subway's country director for Australia and New Zealand, Chris Churchmichael, announced the cancellation this year, saying in a notice obtained by the newspaper that the company had "been receiving feedback from our franchise owner community about the campaign".
Instead, Mr Churchmichael said Subway would cancel the giveaway but would maintain its donation of 50 cents from each sandwich sold to Foodbank Australia.
A Subway spokeswoman justified the change by saying more than one in five Australians face food insecurity and "it's this growing rate of hunger that is the focus of Subway's World Sandwich Day campaign this year".
"Rather than providing both a free meal for guests and a meal to charity, we're investing all our efforts into raising funds for Foodbank," she said.
"World Sandwich Day is a great way to invite Australians to take a fresh look at the exciting changes we're making at Subway while at the same time supporting franchise owner profitability and local communities."
She added, "Subway remains committed to franchise owner profitability and serving up great-quality fresh food to Australians - every day of the year."
Subway describes each 50 cent donation as a "meal". The spokeswoman said Subway donated more than 340,000 meals to Foodbank in last year's promotion, which would put the donation at $170,000.
"Subway's 2019 World Sandwich Day celebration is underway, and guests are invited to visit Subway for a 'good deed feed' today," the spokeswoman said.
"By buying their favourite sub, not only will guests enjoy their own great feed, but they're also supporting Aussies in need."
One franchisee told The Sydney Morning Herald an "overwhelming" number didn't want to do the free sandwich giveaway but "were bullied into it".
"Franchisees pay for the food and it is a huge cost in terms of staffing and supplies," they said. "Each year it cost franchisees over $1 million in food for Subway to donate $68,000 to the food bank. It's comical if you look at it."