Why Is Subway So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

Subway is easily one of the most recognizable and iconic fast-food restaurants in the world. However, unlike fast-food chains with low prices, such as McDonald’s, Subway’s prices are a little higher.

So, you might be wondering why Subway is expensive. I’ve done some research, and here’s what I’ve found out!

Why Is Subway So Expensive In 2022?

Factors like the cost of fresh ingredients and the amount of time it takes to prepare food are reasons Subway is more expensive than other fast-food chains as of 2022. Overall, the price of fast-food is increasing because of the rise in the minimum wage. Therefore, Subway must increase costs, so employees, managers, and the franchisee make money.

Keep reading to learn more reasons why Subway’s prices are a little higher than other fast-food chains across the nation!

1. The Cost Of Fast Food Is Increasing Rapidly

Across the entire fast-food industry, fast-food items are gradually increasing in price. As a result, higher prices are affecting all fast-food chains, including Subway.

A key difference with today’s fast-food climate is that healthier food is becoming more highly sought after.

Therefore, Subway is capitalizing on this and increasing the price due to the change in the market.

However, the need for fast-food over the years has never diminished; it’s a convenience that outweighs the option of cooking at home for many people.

Because the demand is still increasing, the fast-food companies will gradually up their prices with this being the case.

2. The Increase Of Minimum Wage Has Increased Labor Cost

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 in the United States.

However, the recent increase in minimum wage dramatically affects businesses, as labor costs are one of the biggest expenses for a business.

The cost of labor expenses is going up, so the price of the products must go up to avoid loss of profit.

So, for Subway to treat its employees fairly and still offer fresh veggies and meats, the cost of subs can get a little pricey.

3. The Subway Store Owners Need To Make A Profit

Subway store owners don’t make nearly as much money as you think, and they often own at least three Subway stores to make a decent living.

Additionally, the purchase price and the cost of running the restaurant are incredibly high.

Also, most store owners work all day shifts at their stores to ensure they are running smoothly and increase prices when necessary.

4. The Quality Of The Ingredients

The Quality Of The Ingredients

It was often a worry that the quality of Subway’s ingredients was not at an acceptable level.

That said, Subway owners realized the quality of the food had to get better.

In response, they started buying fresh, good-quality ingredients. As you can imagine, this increased the cost of the products.

Subway is aware that people will pay more for higher quality ingredients (take Five Guys as an example), so this decision was a no-brainer for it.

5. Subway Uses A Lot Of Fresh Ingredients

Subway has always used fresh vegetables for its sandwiches. When you get fresh produce, you can expect the price to be higher.

Fresh produce is more expensive because it has to be prepared (washed, chopped) and has a very short shelf-life, and the price must incorporate potential waste.

Also, the produce has to be high quality to look and taste good, hence the higher price.

6. It Will Cost More Money to Make Your Subway Order At Home

Making your preferred Subway order at home will cost you more than it will to buy it from Subway.

For example, you’ll need to buy bread, meat, vegetables, cheese, and sauce. Considering you’d be buying enough food to make more than one sub, this will definitely cost you more money.

Therefore, you could be spending around $20 to make your order. Subway is aware of this fact and thus charges a fair premium.

7. The Portion Sizes At Subway Are Very Generous

When you consider the amount of food you get in a Subway sandwich, the price might not seem that high.

For example, you get bread, protein, cheese, as many toppings as you want, and as many sauces as you wish.

Considering that the price for a six-inch sub with one topping and a six-inch sub with 20 toppings are the same, it makes perfect sense that the overall cost is higher.

8. The Massive Cost To Run A Subway Restaurant

The cost of owning a Subway restaurant can be extremely high, as there are the purchase cost, rent, and building fees to consider.

Also, the day-to-day costs are expensive. The electricity bill alone can be massive due to the stores staying open for most of the day.

Additionally, the cost of maintaining and cleaning the restaurant is something to consider.

9. Subway Is Very Convenient

Subway strives to be convenient for the customer. That said, the vast number of proteins, vegetables, breads, and sauces means that it will likely have what you want.

The convenience of choice and the quick time it takes to get the food means that Subway charges a bit more than other fast-food chains.

10. Subway Sandwiches Are Well Prepared And High Quality

A big complaint about a lot of fast food products is that they’re rarely at a consistent level of quality.

However, Subway is often very consistent with the quality of its food because Subway sandwiches are made fresh, toasted upon order, and topped with fresh toppings.

Therefore, Subway is aware of its level of consistency and thus charges slightly more to keep delivering it.

11. There Is A Lot More Prep Time Than Other Fast-Food Chains

A big reason for the high cost of Subway sandwiches is the prep time.

For example, bread needs baking, vegetables require chopping, sauces need bottling, and all the ingredients need to be arranged for sale.

That said, the time it takes for prep is added to the cost of the product.

To know more, you can also read our posts on who owns Subway, why is Subway called Subway, and if Subway has vegan options.

Conclusion

There are several reasons why Subway is expensive, including maintenance costs, labor costs, good quality ingredients, prep time, and more.

Subway is aware that people will happily pay more for a consistently good quality product, so it makes sense that its prices reflect that notion.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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