For a quarter of a century, people have been walking through the doors of Subway restaurants in the Tri-Cities to get their hands on footlong subs served on fresh-baked bread and made just the way they want it.
Russell Cazier has owned Subway restaurants in the Mid-Columbia since 1990. He now owns 10 stores in the Tri-Cities and 26 throughout the region.
When it comes to making fresh sandwiches for customers, much has changed in the sandwich-making arena since the 1990s.
When Cazier first started with Subway, the restaurant only offered two kinds of bread, and many of the classic sandwiches were already set up when customers came through the door, he said.
That means the meat was already stacked for popular combinations, so when a particular sandwich was ordered, the ham and turkey were already where they needed to be.
“Now every sandwich is made in front of our customer,” Cazier said.
Subway now offers five different bread options, a hinge-cut sandwich instead of the classic U-shaped cut and other options ranging from flatbreads to chopped salads.
The restaurants have also managed to stay on top of ever-evolving technology. Cazier said his stores offer online ordering, including catering orders, as well as touchscreen ordering in some of their drive-throughs.
But for Cazier, what makes Subway unique has always been its commitment to health and customer service. He likes how the company was thinking about healthy choices long before it became a nationwide trend.
“Everything they do is about health,” he said.
Doyle Luttrell is the regional manager of Spokane-based Conversion Concepts, which owns five Subways in the area.
Luttrell, who has been with the company since 1995, said Subway’s fast, fresh and clean atmosphere is what makes the sandwich chain so successful.
“Subway has very clean stores, fresh ingredients and happy, peppy people,” he said.
Employees are a key component of the restaurants. “Our fast, friendly people keep people coming back,” he said.