Quiznos recently did a “Million Sub Giveaway.” As someone who likes subs, I decided to get a coupon and stop by the Quiznos that I normally pass on my Saturday errands. I don’t frequent Quiznos (or any sub store), but I remember enjoying the last time I’d been to one.
When using coupons, I’m always nervous that they won’t be accepted, so when I got there the first thing I did was ask whether or not they were taking the coupon. The man at the register, who appeared to be the manager or even franchisee said, “Nope.” So I smiled and left. Not worth my time or energy to argue over something free.
Reading over the stories and comments on the Consumerist, I learned that I’m not alone. But more disturbing was the news that Quiznos was expecting the franchise owners to eat 100% of the cost. Franchise owners were in no way reimbursed for the cost of honoring the coupon. That’s almost like my declaring that my neighbor’s stuff is free for the taking.
Frankly, that’s ridiculous.
I can also see why some franchises felt they couldn’t honor the coupon…if they’re barely breaking even due to the economy, this could be the final straw. The bad thing is that this only punishes failing franchises further. I doubt I’ll go back to that Quiznos. I don’t really hold it against them, but I am in no way motivated to return, as I might have been if I’d really enjoyed my lunch.
Would eating the cost pay off for franchise holders in the long run? I think that depends entirely on the franchise and that’s what’s so wrong about Quiznos corporate headquarters making a nationwide promotion that other people would have to offer. Some franchises will take a chance and it’ll probably pay off for some of them. Other franchises will be in good shape and it may pay off even better for them. But the ones who are doing the worst are the ones that’ll come out of this even worse.
This whole situation has offered an interesting perspective on the responsibilities of holding a franchise and how you’re still not your own boss. It’s also put me off Quiznos. I’ve written to corporate HQ about my disappointment with their unwillingness to honor any part of the coupons and putting some of their franchisees in an untenable situation.
Did you get your sub?