After decades of practice, they're still pumping out unqualified operators from their corporate training center. Their 2 week crash course prepares the owners for making baloney sandwiches and filling out the weekly sales report. The rest is left to figure out on the job at the customer's expense. Like how to find and hire quality staff. Or how to provide effective training and motivation.
For example, the last store I visited, I met "Meg". She was typical of subway "sandwich artists" I've met over the years. I ordered my standard 6 inch tuna, the 675th tuna sub I've ordered to date. During the four minutes I was Meg's customer, I learned she was recently divorced, worked nights even though the daycare costs ate up half her take home pay; the owner didn't care that she worked alone and could be robbed and shot leaving her little girl to that petifile ex-husband; she had a rash that was getting worst because she can't stop scratching it; and her car keeps breaking down every time she gets called in early so her car must hate her boss as much as she does. Wow. TMI girl, get a grip.
I look around while she cuts the 12" bread roll into a 5" and a 7" snack. Damn, I got the 5" end again. The walkin cooler is covered with a sloppy array of notes and posters scotch taped to the door. Two catch my attention. One is a poster of the heimlich maneuver illustrated with stick people. Yea, like Beth is going to save me if I choke. More likely she'll use New York CPR and yell "Get UP, you're gonna die!" The other is a notice from the owner: The next shift that is short more than $10 will result in your immediate termination! NO EXCEPTIONS! I'm tired of this crapt!"
McDonalds with a full time manager starts looking good to me right now. Meg asks what I want on my tuna. I answer "lettuce, tomato, pickes, olives, mayo, salt & pepper, plus oil. She responds "lettuce tomato and what? I respond "pickles, olives, mayo, salt & pepper, plus oil. She puts the pickles and olives on and says "salt, pepper, and vinegar?" No, mayo, salt & pepper, plus oil. So she pours on mayo, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. Well, at least it was close.
I follow Meg to the "pay now" sign where she starts hammering on the cash register touch screen. I mention that I want a drink and ships with my sub. "That makes it a meal deal. I'll have to void the ring up and re-ring it." She continues to pound the touch screen. "That's $6.74" she proclaims. So why does the sign say all 6 inch meal deals are $5.29 Meg? "I don't know, I'm pretty sure I rang it up right, it should be $5.29." More hammering on the touch screen.
Finally Meg agrees the total is $5.29. So I hand her a $10 bill, a quarter and a nickel. She stares at the money in her hand, then says "is this exact change?". No I said, "you owe me a $5 bill and a penny." She stands there for the longest time, then grabs a calculator and starts hammering on it for awhile. Finally she gives up and say "how much do I owe you? I don't want to give you too much money back because my boss will take it out of my paycheck."
I try to explain it again then give up. Meg has other things on her mind. She thanked me for my visit then resumed scratching the rash on her arms and other places I shouldn't mention. I realize that the big box places have the same labor issues, but at least there is always a manager on duty that you can gripe to and get coupons for free food. Oh well, they fill a nitch. Lowest cost restaurant franchise, lowest quality service seem to go together.
If you find a good store, stick with it. Don't expect other stores to provide good service. There's no consistency. The bad ones should be retrained or shut down.