The Subway Drive Thru – A Love/Hate Relationship

I’ve mentioned before that St. Louis has a drive thru Subway and I love it.


I think it’s only been open a few months and I’ve probably been ten times. The location at Jefferson and Lafayette is so convenient for me at lunch or on my way home. Plus, in addition to the fun factor of typing your order on a screen, there’s also the added bonus of the computer looking up previous orders based on the debit/credit card you swipe, making it a really simple process.

You would think.

I always get the same thing–footlong veggie, extra cheese, not toasted, extra pickles and spinach and regular amounts of most of the other veggies. And plain Lay’s chips, one of my favorite things in life that I can’t keep in our house because I have no chip self-control.

In the past I’ve had a couple snafus–one time they toasted it; one time they put it on white bread instead of wheat. Neither of those were too much cause for concern; actually, I ended up liking both sandwiches.

Tonight I was not so patient. I left work late, at 7, and hadn’t eaten since probably 4 or so, a pretty long gap for me. So I was already about to eat anything that crossed my path. I ordered my sandwich and when I pulled around it was ready in only a minute or so. They’re so fast! I thanked the guy and pulled into a parking space to inspect my sandwich. The bag was warm, so I already knew I was going to have to deal with that, but by this point the bag and napkins were looking pretty appetizing so a hot sandwich was a cross I was willing to bear.

Something I was not willing to deal with, however, was the lack of cheese on my sandwich. At first I thought there was none at all (hot veggies on bread with no cheese??) but then I spotted a tiny bit. Apparently my request for extra cheese was interpreted as half cheese. Given the fact that extra cheese costs $0.60 on a footlong, I knew I was going to have to pull thru the drive through again. Why me? I just wanted to eat my sandwich in a Subway parking lot like a normal person!

I knew from previous experience there’s a button you can press on the screen to talk to a person. (I’ve seen people who don’t know how to use the screen use the button.) I figured I’d just press the button, explain the cheese and temperature issues, and pull around and receive a new sandwich. Maybe I’d even get to keep the mistake sandwich. I didn’t want to pay for it but I’d surely eat it for free. And maybe I’d even test my theory that I could consume two footlongs in one sitting.

My two sandwich dreams were dashed when I realized no one was answering my button pressing. I tried about five times before gracefully backing out of the drive through and parking in front of the store to go in. (You didn’t think I’d let this die, did you? $0.60 for less than the normal amount of cheese!)

I go in, hot sandwich bag in hand, and am immediately swarmed by four employees. The drive through guy stormed in from the back, the cashier was already standing there but took a break from staring into space to stare at me, and two other sandwich artists tore themselves away from their palettes to join the party at the register. It was hilarious–seconds before I couldn’t get one person to answer me on the screen and now they’re all over me like white on rice.

I explained my problem to the drive thru sandwich artist and he darted away to make a new sandwich. (Sadly, he took my old one.) While I was waiting two cars pulled in the drive through and three people came in. My timing was good, but all I could focus on was how ridiculous it was that I was standing there waiting when the best feature of this Subway is not going inside. Well, I was thinking of that and hoping the cashier would give me a cookie, which she did. 🙂

The double chocolate chip cookie was good, but didn’t ease all my pain. Devouring my correctly made sandwich did.

I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect this Subway to be both super fast (which it always is) and 100% correct all the time. After all, I’ve seen sandwich artists at walk in Subways try to put black olives (what are you doing!?!) on my sandwich a number of times, and the only thing that prevented that was me watching like a hawk. I have to go on faith at this Subway.

I’d like to say I won’t be back, but I have an unnatural love for both Subway and avoiding human interaction, so this is a match made in heaven. But I think I’ll skip the extra cheese next time–an occasional hot sub is a price I’m willing to pay; $0.60 for a questionable amount of cheese is not.


4 responses to “The Subway Drive Thru – A Love/Hate Relationship

  1. $0.60 cents for “extra” cheese?!? Get real Subway. I’d just order it with the normal amount and throw on more when I got home….but seeing as you eat in the parking lot, with the temps being what they are, I bet you could stash some in your glove box and it would be just fine.

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