Subway might be the McDonald’s of the sandwich world but goddam it’s a tasy treat once in a while. Yours? Probably a footlong meatball sub. Mine? Well chicken tikka six inch thanks for asking. Delicious.
But one part of the Subway experience is the instinctive reaction to that question: “cheese and toasted?”
Like breathing, you immediately utter “yes please” – sometimes you don’t even know you’ve said it; it’s just stored in your subconscious alongside the answers to questions such as ‘do you want fries with that?’ (yes) and ‘what is love?’ (baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more).
But soon this will be a question that you will have to drag to the forefront of your minds: because Subway is trialling the shocking development of charging to have your sandwich toasted.
Back in 2012, the famous ‘pasty tax’ came in, which saw the government wanting to charge 20% VAT on hot takeaway food. This died a death after the pasty riots, but they did eventually bring in a 20% tax for hot sandwiches.
Until now, Subway has absorbed the cost – so they’ve been making more money on their cold sandwiches than their hot ones – but now they’ve decided to test passing the cost onto customers.
The extra charges are being trialled in their West Midlands stores. Currently, a six-inch sub costs £3.49, but the additional tax could push that up to £4.18.
A statement issued by Subway said:
"Since changes to VAT in 2012 (the pasty tax) Subway has repeatedly tried to challenge the law in order to protect the customer. Subway franchisees have been absorbing the VAT cost, charging a single price for food, whether hot or cold or eat-in or take-away.
"The dual-pricing menu is similar to what customers see on other high-street chain menus, which ensures that customers pay the lowest price for products which do not attract VAT. Subway stores are individually owned and operated, store owners set their own prices and they may vary."
Unsurprisingly, the move has met with fury on social media:
if subway try charging me 20% tax JUST TO HAVE MY SANDWICH TOASTED I SWEAR TO GOD— mince pie connoisseur (@DannyFJay) August 10, 2017
Can't believe subway now charge an extra quid to get your food toasted— Sam Jennings (@samj_1109) August 10, 2017
Is nothing sacred.