Jay Leno was spotted
hauling some subs out of an LA Subway recently. It’s nice to see the
late night superstar and I have at least one thing in common.
Like Jay Leno, I am a sub shop customer. In my town we have a mixed
bag of sandwich shops, from the biggies (you know: Subway, Quiznos,
Jimmy John’s) to unique locals, like the Blue Ox (one of my faves).
This variety is good because I tend to get bored easily. It’s nice
to be able to shop around. Which makes me wonder, what keeps people
(like Leno) coming back to certain sub shops? Why did he grace Subway
with his presence? Why not a place with some local flavor? Why not
Jimmy John’s or Quizno’s? What do customers look for that attracts them
again and again, especially with all the choices they have?
So I did some research. (I talked to some people and went online – not at all scientific.) Here’s what I discovered.
The main attractions that draw people to (or pushed them away from)
a specific sub shop seem to be: location, brand, food (menu &
quality), price and experience. (These are not listed in any order.
They’re just the reasons I heard most from people.)
The best responses are when people talk about their experience as a reason for choosing or avoiding a sub shop. For example:
The sub was good, but nothing I
haven’t had anywhere else. But I cannot recall being made to feel so
unwelcome in an otherwise empty sandwich shop. Maybe they were
robbers, and the real owners were bound and gagged in the back? Anyway,
I won’t be back. I’ll go to shops that appreciate my money.
At the other end of the experience scale is Lenny’s Sub Shop (a
small chain in and around Houston, TX). Again and again their customer
rave about how friendly the people at Lenny’s are. Here’s a typical
This place has the best sandwiches and service. They are very friendly. Prices are a little high, but worth it.
I’ll go to the Blue Ox if I have time or if I’m meeting someone. If
I’m more in a rush or craving their cookies, I’ll go to Subway. But
that’s when I’m in my home town. Things are different when I travel.
If I’m away from home and I decide to eat at a sub shop, I always
pick Subway or Jimmy John’s. I like Subway because it’s consistent and
clean. I know I will always get what I expect no matter which Subway
I’m in. On the other hand Jimmy John’s has a specific sub I can’t get
anywhere else. And I like the attention I get at Jimmy John’s. They
never fail to shout out a greeting when I arrive and a farewell when I
leave. (I know they’re trained to do that and so it’s not 100% genuine.
But it feels good.)
So why does Jay Leno like Subway?