Why'd Subway change how it cut the bread?

Now, I realize this isn’t a major question of the universe, though I suppose some of us may think so, but since I’m kinda hoping a person in the know will actually be able to provide a concrete answer I’m putting it here. As always I’m at the mercy of the mods.

Here goes. Some of you older folks may recall that when Subway first made its way into every suburban strip mall they had a different way of cutting the fresh baked bread prior to filling than they do now. At least I’m going to assume you all know this since every store I ever went to as a teen cut it the same way, and now every store cuts it a different, but same, way. Follow?

Specifically, back in the day they used to cut a wedge out of the top of the bun. Sliding the knife in parallel to the length of the bun at about a 30 degree angle from straight up and down. They’d then cut down the length, turning 180 degrees at the end and going back down the other side. Then, they’d tear out the wedge from the top of the bun, leaving you with a bread boat of sorts to fill with goodies.

Nowadays, they simply slide the knife in parallel to the countertop and cut a long cut along the axis of the bread, and folding it in half like a giant hot dog bun.

Why’d they change it? It certainly seems to be a institutional thing since I noticed it gradually happening at one, then another, then another store over a fairly short span of time about 5 years ago. I liked the old way better since it seemed to hold in the toppings better and allowed you to not leave half the sandwich piled in your wrapper.

Whats the deal? Any ex-employees out there that can enlighten me?

They still do the wedge described here in Denver, and it seems like a good thing, although in certain areas, perhaps it exceeded the grasp of their “Sandwhich Artistes”

This site is a secondhand account of why.

Personally, I wonder if the difficulty of the cut vs. the expanding of the Subway chain (now the biggest—ahead of McDonald’s) was a major factor.

Hit ‘Post’ too soon—and, for a while there, there was a prominently posted placard stating that while the slice was the default cut, the U-gouge was available upon request.

Since I didn’t see this card when I went a month ago, I can only assume that the chance of getting a U-gouge depends on the skill of Le Sub-omane as well as his allegiance to the stricter, more—how 'you say—piddely-dink portions of company policy.

I can only assume it was changed because the vut takes twice as long, and is annoying as hell for the customer (well, for everyone I know who ate at Subway, anyway).

vut = cut, of course. And I even checked it first :smack:

I’ve never had a prob requesting the “old cut”. It definitely holds everything in better.

Interesting, I just got my lunch from Subway and was thinking the same thing. I thought it was because the method hadn’t translated when it crossed the Atlantic. Clearly not.

It depends upon the individual Subway. Oddly enough, it seems that the ones still using the V cut seem to make the sandwiches better, too.

Like Mr Jim, I too have never had a problem going up to the Subway counter and asking my sub to be cut ‘old school.’

I was a “Sandwich Artist” (for 5 weeks, 11 years ago) and I was told via a orientation video that Subway had actually put a patent on the “U-Groove” that they cut into the bread.

I loved it, because all your fix’ins never “slip” out like they do now.


My understanding of the change was customer complaints, after people caught on to the fact that by using the “u-cut”, subway was able to use much less filling in their subs than other sub shops. The “u-cut” made the sandwich appear to be overstuffed with filling, but in reality, it was mostly a bread sandwich with a niggardly amount of filling scooped into the gouge.

Wow, I must’ve been eating at sub-standard Subways then, since everyone else likes the V-cut. By the time they got done mashing the two pieces of bread back together it was basically a flat sandwich with only half of the top bun. With the toppings I usually got it made for some messy eating.

I agree that getting your bread cut a certain way depends on which Subway you go to. I have been to Subways where they ask ahead of time how you like it cut and I have been to Subways where the teenagers working were too new to even know what I was talking about. I find this rather hard to believe, and I assume that they didn’t want to cut it the old way because it was too difficult for them.

The new cut sucks because everything falls out of the sandwich. Not only that, but another problem is that the cut of the meat is too wide to fit on just one half of the bread. Ideally, with the new cut, the sandwich should be made by laying the meat and cheese and veggies on one half, then folding the other half over on top. Instead, the meat covers all of one half and about a quarter of the other half (make sense?). Thus, when the half that should have nothing on it is folder over, the meat that was overlapping it is doubled up, and at the same time it pushes half the veggies out the other side. Most workers I have seen compensate for this by wrapping it really fast to either hide/minimize the amount that falls out. The end result is a sub that consists of a big thick bunch of meat down one side and a barely contained bunch of veggies on the other.

I emailed Subway corporate headquarters last year about the new cut and how terrible it is. There was a field on the form asking at which Subway I encountered a problem, so I listed the one at frequented most, and by coincidence or not, there was a sign posted after about a week stating that customers could get their bread cut either the new way or the old way.

As you can see, I take my Subway very seriously!

From my point of view, the old U cut would only work properly if after cutting you hollowed out some of the bread from the bottom half.

Actually if the sandwich “Artist” cuts the U (not “v”) shaped gouge correctly, there is MORE surface area/volume for putting the ingredients inside the sandwich. I as a Subway employee (before the sandwich Artist days*) always cut the sandwich with as much of the hole removed to make it hold as much as possible. I could also cut the lid off in less time than it takes them to cut this dumb method now. Next time you go to a Subway shop, ask them to cut it “Olde Style” and see what happens.
*I called myself a SALAD artist. I think they stole the name from me.

If the fillings are falling out of the hoagie cut, that just indicates that the assembler doesn’t know how to put the fillings in. You cut it, fold it open, and lay everything flat in the middle. Then, when you fold it back together, everything stays in. It’s not at all difficult.

My ex-girlfriend worked at a Subway when they made the switch. She was told that too many employees were cutting themselves doing the “U cut,” so the higher-ups decided to make the switch to a less accident-prone cutting method.

This post by lightingtool - your source for second-hand, un-cited matieral.

Have they changed how they cut the cheese?

They cut the cheese after sliding the meat in between the buns.
And then they squirt “sauce” all over the place.
i’m so sorry