Subway® is bringing its restaurants into the technology age with a new Fresh Forward design at 24 locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Highlights of the redesign include self-order kiosks, digital menu boards, a designated pickup area for digital orders, charging ports at tables and gluten-free sub bread, or as the company refers to it, “made-without-gluten” bread.
About the bread
The bread’s name is a safety precaution created by the company, alerting diners to the danger of cross-contamination with gluten. In other words, the bread starts out gluten free, but they can’t guarantee it will stay that way. The sub bread is roughly the size of a 6-inch sub, costs an extra $1 and tests at under 20 parts per million of gluten, but the manufacturer is not being disclosed. Although the bread is currently rolling out only to pilot locations, we learned that franchisees can choose to offer it in their respective restaurant at any time.
The made-without-gluten bread arrives frozen, pre-sliced and individually wrapped. It is kept in the freezer then thawed in the cooler for 12 hours before serving. The bread contains:
egg whites, cornstarch, modified cornstarch, tapioca starch, palm oil, sugar, distilled monoglycerides, and less than 2% of the following: yeast, rice bran and germ, salt, natural flavor, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, carbohydrate gum, guar gum and enzyme.
Subway® is not a gluten-free environment, but safe-handling procedures are in place. Sandwich Artists™ are directed to do the following when creating a sandwich on this bread:
- Wash their hands and put on a new pair of gloves
- Do not remove the bread from its wrapping until the sandwich is being prepared
- Use clean oven baskets and clean scoops/utensils for any products
- Only one Sandwich Artist™ builds the sandwich from start to finish
- Don’t toast the bread
This isn’t an ideal situation for creating gluten-free sandwiches because the ingredients on the line are subject to cross-contamination from wheat sandwich making. Every gloved hand and utensil transfers gluten back to the container. The only way to ensure no cross-contamination is to have a separate area and ingredients for gluten-free sandwich preparation, which, with space being at a premium, isn’t a possibility for the sandwich chain.
The Fresh Forward Subway® design launched in July at the following locations: Tamarac, FL; Orlando, FL (2 locations); Winter Park, FL; Chula Vista, CA; Knoxville, TN; Palmview, TX; Hillsboro, OR; Vancouver, WA; Beauport, QC; Granby, QC; and Manchester, U.K.
Will you support Subway’s gluten-free endeavor?
News Editor Jennifer Harris is a gluten-free consultant and blogs at gfgotoguide.com.