The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Subway™ to Test Market Falafel throughout Illinois after Successful Chicago Test

Posted on April 27, 2011 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

April 15, 2011 – Begun in April 2010 at approximately fifty Subway™ Chicago locations, the successful falafel test menu item will be offered "in a few weeks" at all Illinois Subway™ stores according to the Subway™ regional office in Chicago. Falafel is a Middle Eastern food made principally with garbanzo beans.

According to the regional Subway™ office in Chicago, the falafel patty itself is all-vegetable. As is customary, it may be ordered on any bread product offered at Subway™.

The all-vegetable falafel "puck," identified as such by Zaibak Brothers and Company™, the family-owned Chicago manufacturer of the falafel test item, arrives "flash frozen and 80% cooked" at Subway™ locations according to the regional Chicago Subway™ office. The cooking process is completed in a TurboChef™ oven separate from all egg and meat products. Pucks are placed on specially designed paper intended for one-time use and heated until crispy on the outside and "fluffy and moist" on the inside. Three pucks come on a six-inch sub; six on a foot-long. Now, in Chicago stores, a foot-long falafel sub is offered for $5.00.

The falafel sandwich is served with a cucumber sauce that contains dairy. Patrons may request the Fat Free Sweet Onion Sauce that is an all-vegetable sauce available at Subway™. Tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and olive oil are standard at all Subway™ stores and may be selected as condiments for the falafel menu item.

The VRG is very pleased that Subway™, which now is the leader among all restaurant chains, including McDonald's™, in terms of number of store locations, offers a "non-traditional" menu item that is a favorite among many vegetarians and vegans. This is not surprising for Subway™ given its non-traditional tendencies. In fact, according to a March 2011 Wall Street Journal article, Subway™ regularly opens outlets in non-traditional locations such as an automobile showroom in California; an appliance store in Brazil; a ferry terminal in Seattle; a riverboat in Germany; and a Goodwill store in South Carolina. Currently, approximately one-fourth of Subway locations are in non-traditional locations.

Mr. Don Fertman, Subway’s™ Chief Development Officer, stated, “The non-traditional is becoming traditional.” With the falafel sandwich, Subway™ is non-traditional in a fast food/quick service chain food sense, too. With time and customer support, the "non-traditional' falafel can become "traditional" fast food/quick service chain fare.
To show support for this sandwich, and to encourage Subway™ to adopt is as part of its standard menu, purchase this item when in an Illinois Subway™ and encourage your Midwest friends and family to do so. Become a friend of Subway™ falafel on Facebook and post a favorable comment requesting that it become a permanent menu item: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=144712849001&v=wall#!/group.php?gid=144712849001&v=info

For more information on quick service chains, see

http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.htm#subway_article
http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.htm
http://www.vrg.org/vote/

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