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Subway and Potbelly, Two of America’s Favorite Mediocre Sandwich Chains, Are at Risk

Plus, Alison Roman is on temporary leave from the New York Times, and more news to start your day

Subway sandwich shop exterior

Both Subway and Potbelly are hard-hit by the pandemic

The pandemic is coming for that bread smell. Subway has laid off more than 150 people, including 100 from its corporate offices, in what a PR rep says is an “[acceleration of] a restructuring plan for which we had been preparing” due to COVID-19. Subway had already laid off 300 people in February, but the pandemic is making things worse. Traffic has fallen at stores every year since 2013, and even the chain’s pivot to selling groceries out of certain locations isn’t helping.

It’s not like Subway is the only place to get an under-stuffed turkey and cheese sub, but Potbelly is also struggling, saying it may be forced to close 100 stores, and informing investors that it could permanently close before the end of the year. According to a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission, the potential closure is the result of “probable inability of the Company to meet its current covenant requirements.”

We could be staring down a future of no chain hoagies, but let’s be real: What we’d really mourn is both Subway and Potbelly’s eerily good cookies.

And in other news...

  • This guy thought filming a Costco employee asking him to wear a mask while shopping would make Costco look bad. His plan drastically backfired. [Newsweek]
  • Orange juice sales are up as people try to “boost” their immunity. [FoodDive]
  • Alison Roman’s recipe column is on temporary hiatus from the New York Times, after she received backlash for criticizing Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo. [Daily Beast]
  • McDonald’s has been hit by two class-action lawsuits accusing the chain of unsafe working conditions, and failing to adequately adhere to governmental guidance about COVID-19. [NYPost]
  • Craig Fite, the guy who made Michael Jordan’s pizza the night before the “Flu Game,” said he’s a Bulls fan and would never have messed with Jordan’s food. [CNN]
  • China fears food shortages due to COVID-19. [CNBC]
  • Illinois residents are heading to Wisconsin because its restaurants are open. [Washington Post]
  • Ok but what if it’s all a psyop?

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