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Hundreds of Southern California Subways launch $4.99 footlong deal despite protests by some franchisees

By in Press Enterprise on January 2, 2018

By Nancy Luna The $4.99 12-inch sandwich promotion launched Monday, Jan. 1 at participating Subway restaurants across the nation including roughly 785 Subway restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County. (Courtesy Subway)

Hundreds of Southern California Subway restaurants have launched a controversial $4.99 footlong deal despite protests from some franchisees.

The promotion launched Monday, Jan. 1 at participating restaurants across the nation including roughly 785 Subway restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County. The deal, which first emerged during the Great Recession, was last seen on menus in 2012. The latest bargain shaves the cost of some sandwiches by as much as $1.80 — a drastic drop that struggling restaurants can ill-afford.

Bob Grewal, who owns the master development rights for more than 2,000 Subway restaurants across the country, said franchises who dislike the deal do not have to participate. He said roughly 90 percent of his franchise stores in Orange County and the greater Los Angeles area, are selling the discounted subs.

“That’s quite a bit,” he said.

Some operators, especially shops in locations where the rent is high, have chosen not to participate.

“There are franchisees upset about the deal. And, they have a right to be,” said Grewal, whose company is the largest Subway franchisor in the world. “We can’t by law force anybody to do the $4.99.”

He said the deal was brought back to increase foot traffic in restaurants at a time when fast food rivals are pushing value meals. McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Del Taco, for example, recently announced tweaks to their value menus for 2018.

“Everybody in QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry is launching price point promotions. We wanted to bring back a real value to customers,” he said.

Grewal said franchise representatives must approve all chain-wide promotions. Despite protests from some franchise groups, the $4.99 footlong deal was approved twice by […]    

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