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SUBWAY Franchise Complaints

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 logoSubway 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]


86 thoughts on “SUBWAY Franchise Complaints

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Rasheed

    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

  • Jim Bryant

    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.

  • quest

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

  • Subway is a total Scam. Unfortunately I have been a Franchisee for about 3 years.

    Subway is the most extreme horrible work experience. I had many jobs before and I can tell you every single comment about Subway on this website is on point.

    Subway is a business that wan entirely based on scam and will go down every year that passes by as people are getting smarter and have more access to read materials that are posted by people in the filed.

    Subway is NOT a healthy choose at all, i is a scam that is being advertise by Italian maffia (doctor associate)

    As a store owner I am ashamed to be a part of this worldwide scam. Subway HQ is franchisee’s worse enemy and completion.

    Their only objective is to ROB their own franchisee’s and give free food from our pocket.

    It is the most discouraging environment that you can imagine.The DA is your worse enemy after Subway HQ. DA objective is to rob EVERY PENNY LEFT IN THEIR OWN FRANCHISEE’S POCKET AND THEY WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET IT.

    Yoga mat glow in the bread is only one of the 1000 things that are wronge with this food that you are injecting in your body. SAVE YOUR SELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES FROM THIS NIGHTMARE.

  • Tired of rude people

    I went to the Subway on University Ave in Urbana Illinois . The staff including the district manager were rude, unprofessional and violent. One staff was throwing food, slamming oven doors and started yelling at my 12 year old daughter because he messed up her sandwich . After 3 days of trying to get corprate to do something about it, they told me there was nothing they can do. After I tracked the owner down, Bernadette Leach, she showed no empathy, condoned the behavior (after she said she viewed the video) and was not concerned at all. She then proceeded to tell me to go somewhere else to eat . Very rude and unprofessional. I hope the franchise has and will do something about it !

  • HI all, im sorry to say this but i used to have people i knew in subway from Worthing west Sussex to Brighton..The best by far is Gareths run subway in Durrington.. There was a black guy who was really nice and he left for many reasons which was a shame as now not 1 person in subway apart from Durrington and the Manager of Worthing is able to understand English.

    i am trying to be polite but when the manners and the lack of respect esp in Brighton and esp which for me as disabled proves a big problem in language barrier! as i like a sub to look like a sub not a skinny thing with a baby size portion of filling “as they have now shrunk the rolls them by 10mm width… I have to be forceful in what i want!! apart from Worthing,s Manager a Indian chap who really respects his customers and knows people like a SUB TO BE A SUB..IN SHORT……i now do not go there as i dislike the attitude i get and dont know what day he is in for the service we should get when we go there which as a polite customer i should get the same in return…..

    now Nero Worthing and Brighton different ball game the staff all pay attention and are polite to me……sorry subway but being HONEST YOU GONE TO SHIT! I HAVE GONE to Gregs at least i get a smile and a thanks

  • debra

    What these people are saying is very correct. In the end after living the nightmare of being a franchisee of several stores (25 years) of my life wasted then they dis-enfranchise.

    In the beginning it was hell, but we had the highest sales ever. there were rules where you could not open a store closer then 3 miles to the next store. we were promised we would be the only franchisee in the small county we were in. its been about 2 years now that this happened, but all the rules changed. the DA (development agent of SC) Screwed us over, he started opening stores with new franchisees in our area. He out and out lied.

    Mean time he makes over 37 million a year off all of the franchisees in market 37 of South Carolina and the Subway world headquarters does nothing but lie. They cheat you. They send surprise inspections while you are serving lunch to a whole bunch of customers and would write us up for things like finger prints on the entrance door or the table had food on it ( the customers hadn’t even left yet and we were slammed with customers. that is the reason for the finger prints on glass doors or a table none of us could get to fast enough, I mean our stores were the cleanest store’s ever.

    I’d say to the inspector, could you come back here and help us? the line of customers is out the door and these customers only have anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes for lunch. I was a good business woman. I’d give cookies hot out of the oven for free. You know why? because they would always come back and they’d bring their friends. I’d cut the bread they way they wanted. That was another way for Subway to write me up. We had to cut the bread then in the U shaped gouge. Then they wanted it straight across.

    The inspector was their and wrote me up for doing what the customer wanted. I mean. that is what business is about. providing a service to a customer, giving them what they want and making their 30 minutes from work a good and happy experience with the best service and food. Then they wanted the sandwiches done in under a minutes. well the customer may take a little longer. I mean we moved along, but when its slow I’d always do my best with customer service. after all they were paying my paycheck. right? no customer, no income. but subway world headquarters and the local market 37 DA made our lives hell.

    I wish I never ever got involved with that horrible franchise and yes people love the sandwiches but the truth is, there is nothing healthy about Subway. I had to fight for years to bring milk in or juices and coffee. I’d get written up for that. Because it was then not allowed. But not everyone likes soda or drinking another bottle of water. Just petty stuff.

    Yet, the Subway stores that are owned by the company are the filthiest stores I’ve ever seen. I would not let my dog eat the food. People not washing there hands, they have dirty rags on the sandwich bin. It’s gross. Yet, they don’t close down the stores. The ceilings falling in, broken glass between you and the food. I took pictures of how horrible the company owned stores are. I don’t understand how Subway has gotten away with this.

    The food they buy and us sell got worse and worse. I use to buy fresh produce from the farms where we lived and Subway didn’t allow it, because they couldn’t count the tomato inventory. i was like, hey, I’m paying you your 14 cents on every dollar i make. they knew exactly how many breads you have to order from them through US food. I wanted to support local farmers with really fresh veggies, but then they made it where we have to buy this pre-sliced in a plastic bag lettuce that smells of a chemical to preserve it. It actually would make me so sick. The cold cuts are just Louis Rich with Subway slapped on the boxes. I mean, come on! its all nitrates in that meat.

    Now imagine you take the crap for 25 years and they say, bye bye, your dis-enfranchised. No pension, no IRA’s no health care, nothing to even buy from them for us and all the employees. nothing. I really would like all the franchisee’s to get involved with a class action suit. Maybe I should start one of those petitions on line then post it so people will it. I truly believed I’m owed money for the waste of the best years of my life. A slave to Subway with no way out until they say get out and take your business and sell it for 1/2 of what it’s worth, then they resold it for a handsome profit.

    Eff you Subway. If there is a hell you won’t be going for the good company.

  • 43 Market Street
    LE1 6DN

    I went in here after a night out with friends, only to be locked in by the staff working behind the counter. I waited for around 5 minutes to be served by the staff (my sub having been made 10 mins previously) before i left the correct change on the counter and went to the exit, only to find the door was locked. no-one let me out for 5 minutes which is absolutely disgraceful behaviour. there was no safe exit in case of an incident (i am fully aware of the HSWA 1974). finally i was let out of the premises having overpaid (leaving my change on the counter) just to get out. I did not receive my change i merely accepted this as a bad experience and went home. locking paying customers in the premises is disgraceful and this is the last time i go to a subway. awful experience.

  • Maria chamorro

    Una tienda espantosamente sucia., una sola persona trabajando, cobra los sandwiches., tocando el dinero y va con el siguiente cliente a preparar el siguiente, no se LAVA LAS MANOS. Y le dije y se fué a la parte trasera de la tienda, nunca se lavó las MANOS en el sink.. El pan over proof… El thé uncovered.. To-do sucio.. Está ubicado en 69-040 Ramon Rd., NEC. RAMON & DATE PALM..

  • today i was at subway on straits turnpike ,watertown connecticut about 6:30 p.m. and recieved a substandard sandwich.the hospitality was a minus and they made me feel like i should just turn around and go home.i travel for a living and eat subway 2-3 times a week ,and if this is the direction your quality control is going .QUIZNOS here i come! Thank-You
    Howard True

  • Melissa Brown

    I go to the Subway around the corner from my job 1712 L Street,N.W the Chinese man is very disrespectful everyday.

  • Rochester NY

    My 5 yrs experience in subway restaurant as an owner is absolutely horrible and nightmare. I have 3 store in town and I am counting every single day to sell my store as soon as possible. The whole subway system is created so that they definitely make money (12.5 % royalty + advertisement fee) but not the owners. They will send you the most nasty unprofessional people they call “field consultants” to harass you every month, no matter how hard you try to keep the store in compliance they will wait until you make some mistake and write yo up and harass you . The head quarter will send you termination letter time to time threatening to take your store. DO NOT do subway franchise. This is not designed in honest.

  • I have just been to a store in Shirley’s I am absolutely disgusted in the way I was to spoken to by a member of your staff . As A customer I expect the staff to be welcoming not rude (very) and sarcastic . One of the staff members called Julia needs a lot more training her attuide is awful . I asked to be served by the manger who they were speaking to each other in there language which is rude in its self . The manger did not appoliasige for her staff member being so rude as she was rude in her self . I would never use this store again and would like a apalagie from subway .

  • Christina

    My only complaint is there’s not very many options for VEGAN’S your veggie patty contains Egg’s & Milks which is not vegan my only option when I go in is Veggie Delight and you can only eat that so many times without getting bored of it thank you for your time

  • J. Clayton

    Subway in Exmore Va.
    Staff could care less and were twerking in the side room where we could see them. But, worst of all, as we sat and ate our food, a cockroach crawled along the wall near the table where we were sitting.

  • Emma Jimenez

    I called subway and asked if my friend had left her car keys there and she responded in a very rude tone “I said we don’t have them okay? Don’t call back again!” Which was very rude and made me not want to go to that subway again.

  • Jo franklin

    I feel I have to raise a complaint with your shop in leamington spa.
    I went in at 9.55 today 29 March 2017.
    I had to wait 20 mins , the staff were disorganised , no one asked if I wanted butter , the filling was sparse and the two foot long and one 6″ were dry.
    Had that been my first visit , it would have been my last . They did not hand out your voucher booklets .
    I would appreciate a response on my complaint , very disappointed .

    Sent from my iPhone

  • Faye Longobucco

    I’m emailing about the subway on tuckahoe rd in Yonkers NY . The staff was very rude and kept
    Rushing me. The sandwiches were made so sloppy . I will not be returning to this subway

  • Eileen Cannon

    I went in for a sandwich for lunch on this hot day (it is 90 degrees today) and as I was checking out I asked for a cup of tap water. I was told that they “don’t do that”. I believe this is against regulation especially in NYC where we are all walking everywhere.

  • John Dineen

    I stopped at the subway on Burnett Road in Chicopee MA on 5/24/17. My son ordered a tuna grinder with only cheese, a bag of chips, and a soda. I was shocked when it came to $11.01. For a take out sandwich, that is a huge price. I could get 2 meals at mcdonalds or a grinder at the local pizza shop for $7 with fresh ingredients. I will not be returning to a Subway anytime soon. Too many alternatives available in the market at less cost.

  • Alice Boyd

    The last two times I deigned to eat a sandwich at this place, the idiot that was making sandwiches didn’t even know what a Reuben Sandwich was. I had to walk her thru it and she still left off the dressing, but charged me a fortune. I see on the commercials we are with the “Reubens” again. I’d rather go throw up on the sidewalks outside the store. Idiots. And these were the Subways at Maysville MO and Gallatin MO. Idiots. Pure idiots that run those places. And still charge a fortune for crap.

  • Cherryl Meshell

    Last two times I’ve been to many Louisiana subway
    I’ve had a lady that’s very rude, threw my change back to me and belittling coworkers
    I will not be back here if she is working

  • Nichole White

    I visited subway this morning (21 w. Broad st ) On my way to work and the lady was very rude didn’t smile and didn’t give me my change . I doesn’t make any since how people treat others all because they dont like there job . Then there’s never a manager there to report your problems too . Smh yeah I’ll never visit that subway again .

  • I stopped by subway for lunch today down on 21 w. Broad st and my bread was very hard after they tried serving me a f.l flat bread with mold on it . (they were busy so I trued giving the benefit of the doubt ) This store is very nasty and unprofessional I called asked for a manager and a lady just rudely hung up on me . It’s very unacceptable how customers have to get treating coming into this place and from the looks seem like no one care cause there never any management team or anyone to take charge in these wrongful asks.

  • Beverly Cotton

    It is 127 Yard Sales in Lawrenceburg KY. You have 1 (one) employee working this busy location.

  • I love Subway, however, today I ordered 2 kids meals advertised as $4.50 each plus tax. I asked the gentleman what comes with the kids meal, he said a bag of chips and any drink in the drink case or a fountain drink. To my surprise the order came to $10.16. I asked why was the total more than $9 plus tax.

    The male cashier said…”that’s what came up in the computer”. Surprised at his answer I told him “if we would use common sense, we would know that too much tax was added, especially since I got the kids meal. There was an extra .50 ($9.50) on the total.

    If there was an up charge, just let me know but to say “I don’t know why the extra .50 is there, that’s what came up in the computer” is unacceptable. Especially since I asked “does that drink come with a kids meal”? And you said YES. We got two kids ham sandwiches, a kids fruit punch and he said a small fountain drink with two bags of chips.

    This occurred on 8/2/218 at 11:53am at 532 Cassat Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32254; Host Order ID: SPM20180802115113. The ticket says Brittany served me but a guy ran the register. A young lady looked on as I asked the questions but the guy, who was probably the manager was very evasive with his answers. Just tell the truth, let customers know if there’s an up charge but don’t say “that’s what came up in the computer”…..Managers should be educated to give correct responses so their staff can be well informed. Thomas Fickert is listed as the Store Manager. Thank you

  • Shawn Rogge

    I was at subway 1200 n van Buren Milwaukee wi
    I ordered $499.00 footlong
    Half blt and half spicy Italian which are both on 499.00$ menu. I ordered on the same bread.
    1 footlong with the ingredients different on each side. The employee who not only looked stoned was rude and tried charging me for 2 6 inch subs. That’s rediculous. I order this way all the time and have never been gouged this way

  • I go to subway regularly for a salad box on my way to work, I am just on my way to do a night shift and my guy in subway muller rd Bristol was very rude only a little tuna left low on stock only gave me 3 cucumber and tomatoe I asked for extra and he argued that the fact he isn’t allowed. What a joke so u pay for a salad box full of lettuce. I won’t be going there again.

  • As i was ordering i asked them to toast my sandwich so they proceed to toast it and leave it in the toaster until the bread meat and cheese was burned and disgusting i was not able to eat my sandwich and had to throw it away when i left

  • Valentina Violeta Mehedinta

    Hello , i am working in Subway for the moment because this is my last week , the owner of the store is the bad boss that i ever have . New London Road 112 , Chelmsford, Essex, Uk
    He lie me that i am gonna be the team leader, i never been.
    He lie me that i am gonna be the next manager , i never been one.
    He never give us the employee book until now when we have problems in the store .
    He take me £20 from salary the reason was that i take 1 £20 fake note , i ask for prove but he didn’t give it to me nothing .
    We have a very old pen to check the money that is not working ( i have proof on my phone) and we suppose to check the money with that.
    I give my notice now for 1 week and manager said that is ok . After 3 days they said that i need to stay 2 weekends, on the contract is 1 month but i say that i need to go in 1 week they understand me first days after they said that is not ok …
    What I suppose to do ????????

  • W. Wilson

    I thought slavery has ended a long time ago in USA but being subway owner is another slavery, we don’t know when the corporate send the “termination letter” based on the compliance, and the local field consultant and development agents do not help you at all to fix the issues, don’t even reply your call/emails, we constantly live in fear. It is pathetic that there is no organization to listen our voices what subway does to its franchisees. If anyone know please let us know.

  • April wallace

    Okay the new cheesy garlic bread -ok so I understand there’s an upcharge-but what i do NOT understand is WHY do I NOT get the cheese my sandwich would normally come with -so basically it’s an up-Charge JUsT for the margarine and garlic. That is complete bullshit !!! Thanks

  • Kiki Otitoloju

    I ordered a sandwich online 3 times and the website kept saying error. On my card it says it declined the card but it took the money out of it and I didn’t get my sandwich. I paid for a sandwich I didn’t get and I still haven’t gotten my money back.

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