Subway Franchisees Find Themselves Short on Meat

A plant shutdown due to Avian Flu has led to limits on turkey, leading some to buy it on their own. Ham and roast beef are limited, too, and costs have run higher than expected.


By Jonathan Maze, Restaurant Business  

May 06, 2022


Subway franchisees have found themselves short on an item of particular importance to their businesses: sandwich meat.


In particular, many operators were scrambling to source turkey meat after one of the company’s processors had to close a plant due the Avian Flu, which has struck turkeys in the Midwest this spring. Subway’s 6-inch turkey is the nation’s top-selling sub sandwich.


But operators also say they’ve been short on roast beef, which they blamed in part on the company’s decision to move away from the product during the pandemic, only to bring it back last year during its menu refresh. And some say they’ve been limited in the amount of ham they can purchase. Some operators say they were told to source their meats from Costco or other places.


These limits are coming up against strong sales for the company, whose unit volumes have improved since its menu refresh last year and as consumers have shifted into more normal patterns.


In a statement from a company spokesperson, Subway said...