We like the toast

I'm not just writing about Quiznos because Google, in their infinite wisdom, sends lots of searchers to my earlier post about the Spongmonkeys (or is it Spongemonkeys ?).

I'm also writing because Quiznos just opened a sub shop near me. The guy behind the counter at my local Subway clued me in to the appeal: he loves Quiznos more because they toast the subs. Ingredients-wise, he says, Subway has the edge. But the toasting puts Quiznos on top.

But he added, "Right now, Subway is field-testing toasted bread in one of their stores -- we might have it here soon."

Ah, field-testing a toaster. Someday, maybe that technology will filter down to the masses. I'm all for field-testing new flavors or sandwiches -- Lord knows McDonald's wouldn't have gambled on McGriddles if focus groups didn't love 'em -- but the toaster seems like a proven fan favorite already.

The counter guy explained the testing: if Subways just started adopting toasters willy-nilly, the lines at lunch would go nuts. I imagine employees need to be trained, certain subs should be classified as toast-eligible, protocols must be worked out...

But the Subway I frequent is struggling, customer-wise. They've tried every discount they can think of, but the place is often deserted (poor parking situation, apparently). In short, toasting wouldn't cause long lines here, it might bring more people in, and it cuts into the up-and-coming Quiznos Spongmonkey juggernaut (those teeth aren't just for singing).

I suspect toasting is not allowed because of some kind of corporate uniformity clause. Subway owners can have some freedom and flexibility with the drinks and decor, but messing with the food might cause the "brand" and "experience" to be less uniform. Chaos.

Some people think that corporations are lean, fast-adapting animals. Subway is apparently a well-regarded company... but this toaster situation just makes me sad inside.