SUBWAY Franchise Complaints

January 24, 2012

Subway franchise owners are invited to share their complaints and frustrations, as well as advice for prospective Subway franchise owners, below.

Anonymous comments are encouraged, and all email addresses and other information is treated with strict confidentiality.

Around the Internet, complaints have arisen from many Subway franchise owners who feel that they are being victimized by their franchisor, and by founder Fred DeLuca in particular.

Ex-Subway franchisee Jim Eddie claims “whole subway system is a scam,” and called his time as a Subway franchise owner “the worse year of our life.”

Another Subway franchise owner writes “Subway use to be a great opportunity for all but now it’s like doing time each and every time I walk through my doors…”

Subway franchisee Debra claims “subway ownership is hell on earth.”

Here are some comments posted on the Complaints Board website:

doingtime wrote:

… I was told by my business consultant that all of the “twenty year” people should very worried about our stores. That Fred Deluca and his cronies want us out so they can turn the stores over to make money on the start up costs. He suggested that I start keeping a journal about my inspection experiences, which by the way have gotten horrible. They are so bad that I have started to video tape my stores after each inspection to protect myself.

I have a couple of stores that do way, way over the territory average in sales. Fred makes a lot of money off of me in royalities every year. So instead of giving me a pat on the back and a “good job” I get this… You have syrup on your trash can, the handle to your toaster oven has sauce on it, the pvc pipes under your three bain sink has dust on it, your microwave is dirty your bathroom smells, there are straw wrappers on your floors, etc… all of this during a lunch time where the customers are line up into our parking lot!!!

…It is not enough that I work all day everyday, that I have higher sales than most others in my territory, that my customers go up to this twit as he sits in my handicapp seating typing crap that he is making up half the time, telling him that my stores are the best that they have ever been to (by the way he doesn’t mention that in his report). What he does mention is that my places are dirty and marks me out of compliance. I then get a letter from the legal department threating to take my stores. I for one am sick and tired of it. I’m stressed all the time.

Way back when Subway use to be a great opportunity for all but now it’s like doing time each and every time I walk through my doors…

debra wrote:

Owning a subway. They don’t even use the Vaseline when they screw you. They do want to ditch u at 20 years. They are killing me literally health wise. U can never keep them (subway world headquarters) happy… Subway world headquarters in Milford conneticut owned by Fred Deluca, makes it impossible for Subway owners to even break even with THE $5 ft. Sub, let alone certificates & coupons added on it.

…owners work 7 days a week, r exhausted n r constantly harassed by Subway, they r punished to the point where we either die of subway-itis or they take everything we worked for away.

… So if u now made the mistake of buying into ” the #1 Franchise” I also advice, get a good attorney on retainer to read the phone books of information u r required to read. Get a good doctor, because they run u to the ground until u r dead or take that store away, n give u nothing for it while they resell it for $250, 000.00 Minimum. You DAI & Fred Deluca r the ones making money.

I wish I never got into Subway, I hate this company, I don’t have long to live according to my Doctors, thanks directly to the stress subway world headquarters, their arbitrators, their inspectors n their little spools that come in at busy lunch time with their laptops, praise u verbally, but are required to write you out of compliance. That is a fact… They r trained to do that…set u up. Just ask any ex-inspector.

…They have ruined my family life my health and are destroying, annihilating my stores knowing im to weak to fight back, so, here it is. No retirement, no health insurance because we are self employed & due to the stress from Subway the doctors concur i have less then 1 year to life.

So hey Fred, see u in hell, u cant n wont take it with you, you lousy ba$tard. Your no italian, your a pig! Keep having your little spies do their thing, your gonna rit in he’ll for what you have done to franchisees and the deception to the customers. Hey, why don’t you shove one of those $5.00 subs up your arse.

Also those defending Subway. They are liars. They are totally lying. In the name of God & all that is Holy, they are lying. subway ownership is hell on earth. No wonder we look like nazi concentration camp survivors, Mussolini is back & his name is Fred Deluca.

Dr. Gus wrote

Our DA Office has clearly demonstrated unethical behavior for years.

What has been demonstrated so far to our local area franchisees, is that the DA Office and Subway Corporate are the “same entitiy”.

Some franchisees value integrity and honesty far above money. Those few will not stay once they experience the unethical behavior.

The rest who compromise their values for the money, will stay, and will stay quiet about it.

This is just a microcosm of what America at large has come to recently exceedingly suffer from. Excessive greed, above all else.

Jim Eddie  wrote:

My wife and I owned a Subway in 1993. Once a week we still talk about the misery we suffered. It sounds like things got even worse since then. I always had a feeling the success of the company was on the back of the hard work of store owners. We only owned the store for less than a year and it was the worse year of our life. I do feel the whole subway system is a scam and if you already own one, it’s too late but if you are thinking of buying one speak to current owners. If they are honest, they will talk you out of it.

What do you think? Are the accolades of Subway as a top franchise deserved?

Does Subway franchise provide the training, support, marketing and systems it promises?

Are Subway and founder Fred DeLuca genuinely dedicated to the success of their franchise owners?

Please share a comment, opinion or insight below.

Also read:  SUBWAY: What Do Franchisees Make on $5 Footlongs?

Are SUBWAY Franchise Owners Happy?

SUBWAY: Send Jared to Gitmo! Parody Press Release


To contact the site admin, email UnhappyFranchisee[at]



55 Responses to “SUBWAY Franchise Complaints”

  1. Rose May says:

    I was at Subway on Market Street and we ordered food to eat there and charge our phones and a man walked up and told us we could not sit there.The next time we went in he came up with another man and said we had to leave and nothing happened.This man was only looking for trouble for no reason.There is another woman who comes in and she reads her newspaper and no one says anything to her.We are a mixed married couple and these things do happen and I am sick of it that is why I posted this .I have spent money three to four days out of the week and now I go elsewhere to spend money and hope and pray that no one else goes through what we did just beware!

  2. R M says:

    Subway/Deluca and his people don’t care at all about the well being of franchisees. They keep opening more stores in competition to the old ones. Franchisees make less money after 20 years, and do more work. Their solution to dropping sales is to make franchisees spend more money to make stores look good. If Subway could treat their franchisees with respect, sales will go up.

  3. Rasheed says:

    I wrote to subway in UAE about the manager of store number 45719_0 .i passed by the store to find out weather the manager had changed her behaviors but I was told that she is worse now she changed their offs they are now working 12hours not sure weather they will be paid overtime
    I have been eating in this subway for so long I like the food ,the sandwich artists but of recently they have changed their faces they are no longer happy like before,they feel mistreated pls pls pls pls USA help my friends the so called manager is mistreating them pls pls pls pls pls help them,I think you should change her she is not fit to lead she has no even one leading skills pls pls help them I like my sandwich artists

  4. Jim Bryant says:

    I was a D.A. for 10 years with Subway. I also owned 3 stores. In the beginning all was good. I was expanding my territory and getting a lot of awards for it. Then when I wanted to sell, they all of a sudden turned against me.

    One of the reasons I wanted out was the district supervisor they put in place who was as corrupt an individual as I’d ever seen. Met my franchisees behind my back to try and start trouble. Was trying to get kickbacks from the suppliers, and the list goes on. So, although I had offers from others for my business, I sold it to someone Subway approved of for a lot less money.

    Then Subway terminated my contract halfway through the sale process, and demanded the new buyers send the money to Subway HQ, not to me. I had to take them to arbitration in NYC for relief but it turns out they have been bought off by Subway, so even though I had an open and shut case, they allowed Subway to keep the money. The arbitrator in the case, at the end of the hearing said it was open and shut and he would render his decision within 30 days. It was over a year before he finally rendered his decision. Plenty of time to be “persuaded” by Subway to rule in their favor.

    The whole organization is corrupt from top to bottom. Each and ever witness they brought to the arbitration committed perjury and they got off without so much as a warning.

  5. quest says:

    Subway is in deep trouble mainly due to the poor quality of their food.