Subway Expands Gluten Free Test Market
Subway has been testing gluten free, deli style rolls and brownies in about 700 locations in the Dallas and Tyler, Texas areas since January. Those items are now being offered in about 100 Portland, Oregon locations, with company plans to get the entire 500-plus-unit market in trial within the next month, according to QSR.com.
Executives at the chain claim to understand the tricky issues of cross contamination and insist they are not adding gluten free options to boost their bottom line.
“(Gluten intolerance) doesn’t impact a large mass of people. We’re not judging these tests on sales, but instead on what we’re able to do for a handful of our customers and their feedback,” Kevin Kane, manager of public relations for Subway said. “It’s not a money making thing; it’s just the right thing to do.”
According to Alicia Kelso, to help avoid cross contamination: “once a gluten-free roll or brownie is ordered, the line staff is required to wipe down the entire counter and get rid of any crumbs in the vicinity. They’re then to wash their hands and change their gloves. The gluten-free rolls and brownies are pre-packaged on fresh deli paper, and a single-use, pre-packaged knife is used for cutting.”
“The gluten-free sandwich is taken from order to point-of-sale by the same person, as opposed to being passed down the line in the traditional Subway format. Customers are able to watch the creation from start to finish.”
“If they don’t like what they see, they can start it over. It’s important that our customers feel comfortable and safe,” Christiano said. “Nobody is going to die from this, but people get very sick if it’s not done right. We want to provide them with a place to eat where they don’t have to worry about that.”
The company has not revealed the supplier of the buns and brownies, but they are rumored to be provided by Rich’s Foodservice out of New York (Their gluten-free products are certified by the GFCO as gluten, dairy, lactose and casein free.)
Have you tried one of the Subway gluten free products? What did you think? Leave a comment below.