I could get a cow to successfully navigate the Subway ordering procedure in less than three electric shocks.
I know that some people don’t have Subway restaurants (though they have 2(!) in Afghanistan and 6 in Zambia and 16 in Qatar. Qatar is lousy with Subways.). but they must have lines, yes? Everybody has lines. And the notion of some sort of protocol in a fast food place, right?
I lived in Mexico for 6 months and I didn’t walk into taco shops, stride past the line and ask if to be helped.
Mexi-Himbo: Do you have pie here?
Taco Shop Worker: <dead eyed silence>
Mexi-Himbo: No pies?
Taco Shop Worker: <dead eyed silence>
Mexi-Himbo: At all? Well then what are all these people waiting for?
Taco Shop Worker: <shrugs>
Mexi-Himbo: Do you take euros?
No you walk into any fast food restaurant ever and you should be able to pick up the local custom after about two minutes of observation. Wait in line. When it’s your turn, order. Do your best not to be confusing. Wait for your order to be called. Pick it up.
Sometimes there’s a curveball and they give you a number. That means sit at your table and wait. They will eventually send a person out with your order.
You cry “But, but, Himbo how will they ever find us?”
And I say to you: Be vigilant. The food runner will have a number with the order. And that number will match the one you were issued. It’s an intricate service ballet if I ever fucking saw one.
Yet not at goddamned Subway. I can’t remember a time when someone wasn’t utterly confused or oblivious to the Subway ordering MO.
Of course people would have to start in the correct area to begin with which is never the slam dunk you think it would be. I watched a little old woman walk directly up to the register and try to order as the artist rung out another person. Failing there she followed another artist who was in the middle of assembling a B.M.T. Eventually she figured out where the line was an inserted herself midway into it right in front of me.
Maybe it’s seeing your food made that throws people off. Which is counter-intuitive. Subway, like no other fast food place, is setup to make it easy for people who don’t speak the language or can’t speak period to order.
You could walk up and just point and grunt and still come away with a personalized meatball sammy. No cheese? Grunt and slide finger across your neck like you’re going to slit the sandwich artist’s throat. Extra sauce? Make a scooping motion and grunt repeatedly.
But maybe the personalization is the problem. I watched a guy today ask for 5 more black olives. She dumped the corporate dictated per person serving of olives on to his sandwich and, I non-shit you, he said “Gimme like 5 more olives.”
Yeah, you don’t want to skimp on black olives. You’ll end up snacking all afternoon.
Five olive man was followed in line by a guy who had apparently spent the afternoon watching the Food Network and fancied himself as something of a cheesemonger.
“You guys have Stilton?”
(I can’t tell you much I wish I had the ability to shit myself at the drop of a hat. I would have stood next to this guy and shat fiercely. And then stared at him. Alas I just sighed. Like a bitch.)
“No? How about Gouda? Like a smoky Gouda? That’d be good.”
What the fuck are you talking about?
“Oh. I just figured since you guys have a lot of cheeses out that you might have Gouda. It’s pretty popular you know.”
I just, I don’t know. Is there some confusion about what is served at fast food places? Are we so dumb that we don’t realize that a fast food place is not a restaurant? The personalizing begins and ends with no onions or no mustard or double meat. That’s it. It’s Subway. Everything they have is literally right in front of you.
You think the sandwich artist is going to run back to garde manger and see what the cheese of the day is?
“You guys should really think about adding it.”
Oh god. Yes, the schmuck making $9.25 an hour will definitely fly that one up the chain of command. The franchise manager will pass it along to the district manager. Finally it will make its way to corporate where an expanded cheese initiative will be proposed.
“I think we should consider expanding our hard dairy offerings. Customer feedback in Unit #13,498 indicates that Gouda is hot right now.”
Please everyone, I beg of you: lower your standards at fast food joints. Place your order. Don’t ask questions. Take what you get. Move along.
And if you are confused about how the ordering system works, just go get some gas station food. They’ll let you do pretty much anything at a gas station.