One of the newer franchises in Thailand is Subway, with
five stores as you read this. By the time you have finished reading the
article, it probably will be six, being one of the fastest growing franchise
opportunities in the world!
To see just what was the reason was for this store’s
popularity for ourselves, the Dining Out Team visited the new Subway outlet
in the recently opened Carrefour shopping center.
Subway has some well known neighbours, with KFC on one side and Black Canyon
on the other (enter Carrefour from Pattaya Klang and the outlets are readily
visible directly opposite the entrance). There is a sit-down section in
front of the store - and they do have a high chair - a boon for hungry Mums
in the shopping center.
Normally you expect the kitchen/preparation areas in food
outlets to be large. This is not the case with this Subway, as they get
their new supplies daily, rather than stockpile. This is part of the
rationale behind the Subway branding, to maintain freshness of ingredients,
and the Pattaya Subway has to pass regular reviews by the ‘head office’
standards inspector. Even the suppliers themselves have to gain status as
‘Subway approved’ before they can deliver to the stores.
Like all sandwiches (or ‘subs’) the basic building
block is the bread, and I did not realize there was so much in it, till I
was taken through the steps by Andy Fricker, one of the owners. There is
over 10 hours of preparation of the dough before it goes to the final oven.
The dough takes some making, before it makes you any dough, I presume.
The “assembly” station where the young ladies
actually “build” your sandwich to your order is also refrigerated to
maintain the freshness in the salads in particular and the hygienic purity
of the meats. The Subway store even has a thermocouple probe to ensure that
minimum temperatures are not exceeded. So much for safety, purity and
hygiene. I was impressed. Now let’s get down to the serious business of
getting a sandwich.
The ‘menu’ is on the signboard on the wall, or you
can read one of the flyers before walking up to place your order. There are
choices in the type of bread and the size of your submarine sandwich (6
inches or 12 inches - the “Footlong”). Then you choose the category you
want the ingredients to come from - put in two groups - Classics or Basics.
Classics include steak and cheese, Subway melt (chicken), tuna, chicken
teriyaki and others, while the Basics includes chicken breast, ham, roast
beef and even a ‘Veggie Delite’. You now add in the cheese and
vegetables you would like, select the sauce to be added and it is yours. The
cost of most of these ranges between B. 89, through to B. 129, for the six
inch selections, through to B. 149-199 for the ‘Footlongs’.
We chose a BMT and a Subway Melt, thinking we would
share, but Andy returned after a couple of minutes with two 12 inch long
monsters! These were well filled, the vegetables crisp and the bread roll
was very, very soft and tasty. We were both delighted.
To be perfectly honest, I went to the Subway in
Carrefour, prepared to write it off as just another sandwich store, but came
back to the office totally impressed. Owner Andy Fricker said that his
product would stand or fall on “freshness and taste”. Let me assure you
(and him) that our food was indeed tasty and the ingredients were also
fresh. I can also assure you that unless you have a big appetite, stick with
the six inch version. The ‘Foot long’ is huge. Madame (of the large
appetite) did manage to get through the whole twelve inches, but Miss Terry
ground to a halt after nine!
Subway, Carrefour shopping center, 333 M9, Pattaya Klang, Central
Pattaya, telephone and fax 038 360 083. Secure parking under the Carrefour
building. Open 10 a.m. till 11 p.m. every day. Delivery in the
Pattaya-Jomtien areas is B. 30 with a minimum order of B. 200 (orders over
B. 400 get free delivery).