Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Subpar Subway

Last night we had preview tickets to see Guilt Trip.  My wife and I decided to have a quick dinner before heading off to the theatre for the preview. 

We visited Subway (1567 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa) to grab some of favourite sandwiches.  Normally, as I've written before, I like to visit Subway for the "No fuss no muss, just the way I like to get my fast food" type of deal. Get in, get the food I'm expecting, pay and get out. 

I entered the location, within the Alta Vista Plaza, and got in line for a somewhat busy Subway location.  Things moved well at the start with the first of two employees in green garb retrieving the bread and starting the orders.  Next there was a gap, the second employee was focusing on ringing up the purchases while other customers waited in the middle portion where the lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables are normally added. It was like the location could easily have added a third employee or preferably a manager just to keep things moving when things get busy.  Optically it looked like the two could get things started and ring up the sale but couldn't keep things going in the middle to move customers along in progressive nature.  It was a little frustrating really. 

After two minutes in line I was asked what I would like to order. 

The Order: Two Footlong subs on 9 Grain Wheat, 1 a Meatball Marinara and 1 a Cold Cut Combo.

After placing the order, exactly as noted above, the first employee went over to the area where the different sub breads are stored.  He opened the door, turned around and inquired which bread I would like again.  Apparently he hadn't listened the first time so I repeated it slowly and he grabbed the right ones. 

He cut both breads and layed the meat for the Cold Cut Combo.  He inquired again what the second sub was.  I politly let him know that it was a Meatball Marinara. He opened the meatball container and scooped out some meatballs.

Next he inquired about the cheese, I looked at the options on the sticker on the glass: Yellow Chedder, White Cheddar and Swiss.  I chose swiss.  We don't have any swiss cheese came the reply.  So I went with white cheddar.

Since I was the last one currently in line the first employee decided to continue with adding the vegetables instead of leaving me in veggie purgatory waiting for the second employee to pick up where the first left off.

For some reason this location is missing the sticker for the vegetables that are available to choose from for your sub.  It is a wonder if this location is not stocking one vegetable and thus do not have the sticker in order to hide it or whether they were missed and thus were unable install this one.

I worked my through the veggies trying to stay ahead of him as after the tomoatoes two other customers walked in the door.  Thankfully he did everything plus the sauces and wrapping before handing me off to the second employee.  

The second employee did the usual Subway upsell of "would you like to make it a combo?" As I noted before the combos really aren't worth it.  I paid and left. 

The subs were delicious and not out of the ordinary.  Which for this location is a step up as normally the Meatball Marinara meatballs can just start to be crusty at times.  This is either from the meatballs sitting for so long or being overcooked.  Not sure which is the case but both are unacceptable. 

Halfway through my Cold Cut Combo Sub I reached for the plastic subway bag that the subs came in.  The bag was empty.  Great, they forgot the napkins. At other Subway locations in Richmond Hill and Aurora they provide ample napkins for whiping off the mayonaise or whatever sauce from your chin or hands. Not so at the 1567 Alta Vista location in Ottawa. 

Another issue that I pleasntly didn't have to deal with on this visit but have before is the store size itself. The store itself needs a renovation as the counter runs front to back with the cash in the back of the store. After the customer has paid for their meal they then have to return to the front of the store if they wish to leave. This can be challenging on some occasions as there is seating on the aisle opposite the cash that restricts room to move especially when this location is busy. The restaurant could easily be more spacious and easier to navigate if these seats were removed.

Overall, the service at this Subway location is spotty at best. Between not having certain items to having crusty meatballs the customer is just not served correctly. A renovation or relocation is dearly  needed. Since the CIBC bank branch has left the plaza, Subway could easily renovate the old bank space and put in a slightly larger restaurant that would better serve the customer.  Sadly, like the crusty meatballs and missing Swiss Cheese, this Subway location is probably not interested in properly serving the customer a renovated updated location. Sadly, until then this Subway will be Subpar.

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