| Consul-general of USA in Calcutta Henry V. Jardine and actress Koneenica Banerjee share a sandwich at the first Subway outlet in town, launched on Wednesday. Picture by Rashbehari Das
Turkey Breast and Smoked Chicken Ham, Roasted Chicken Breast, Vegetarian Shammi, Aloo Patty, Chicken Kali Mirch' ek sandwich mein sab kuch (everything in one sandwich)!
Subway, the American sandwich chain, opened its first outlet in Calcutta on Wednesday afternoon. The address is 234/3A AJC Bose Road, but the entrance is from the Woodburn Road side.
The chain, founded in 1965, has 23,851 outlets in 84 countries. The first Indian Subway sandwich stop came up in Delhi in 2001. The Calcutta franchisee marks a half-century for the brand in India.
“Subway has the maximum number of outlets in the world. For a brand which started only 40 years ago, having more than 20,000 outlets all over the world is a job well executed,” says Manpreet Gulri, area development manager, Subway (India).
Gulri highlights “simple logistics planning” as a major factor behind the growth. “From sourcing ingredients, storage and operations, everything is kept simple. The outlets are kept small so that they do not hamper the business of other Subway outlets in the vicinity,” adds Gulri.
The Calcutta outlet is spread over 600 sq ft with a seating capacity of 20. “A Subway outlet has to be more than 500 sq ft and less than 750 sq ft. That is one of the most important criteria, if you are applying for a Subway franchise,” says Rishi Bajoria, area development manager (Calcutta).
Henry V. Jardine, consul- general of USA in Calcutta, and actress Koneenica Banerjee inaugurated the sandwich stop. “Back in America, Subway is one of the most famous quick bite options. The Local Sub section would be the most interesting part here,” said the consul-general.
In Calcutta, the consul-general has been on a good diet of “dal, bhat and machh bhaja”. “It is mostly my Bengali colleagues who have been treating me to authentic Bengali food. I have also attended a lot of parties where they have treated me to Bengali cuisine. Amongst the sweets, I particularly like those sweet, round, spongy balls with lots of syrup (read: rasogolla),” said Jardine.
Back at Subway, a set standard for making sandwiches is followed in all outlets, all over the world. The sandwiches come in two sizes of six inches and 12 inches, which are then stuffed, with choices of vegetables and meat, depending on what the customer wants.
Onions, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and capsicum ' a Subway Submarine only contains these five vegetables. The choice of meat includes turkey, chicken, lamb and tuna. Subway Club (sliced turkey breast, smoked chicken ham and lamb pepperoni) and Subway Melt (turkey, smoked chicken, bacon, mayonnaise and mustard) are the must- haves from the standard menu.
But if you crave for your paneer and seekh kebabs, dig into Paneer Tikka (barbecue paneer tikka with mint mayonnaise) and Chicken Tikka (barbecue chicken tikka with mint mayonnaise).
And the sandwiches are not exactly exorbitantly priced. “These are not your local sandwiches which hardly have any stuffing. For office-goers and students, it can serve as a full-fledged meal,” says Bajoria.
The international cold favourites are priced between Rs 79 and Rs 129. The international hot favourites are priced between Rs 79 and Rs 119. The Local Subs would come between Rs 59 and Rs 69.
And why did Ranchi get its Subway before Calcutta did' “There is no reason as such. The entire Subway business revolves around its area development managers (franchisee). We got one in Ranchi before we did in Calcutta,” explains Gulri.