Subway's Old Sandwich-Slicing Method Had Bread Bowl Energy

CORRECTION 3/30/23: A previous version of this article stated Subway Sandwich Artists currently use a horizontal cut for its sandwiches. The cut is on a slight angle.

To be a "Sandwich Artist" at Subway is no easy task — it requires a cheery personality to greet guests, food preparation and sandwich-making skills, food safety standards, completion of University of Subway courses as needed, and meat-slicing capabilities. Since subway sandwiches are also made-to-order in front of customers, there's the added pressure of live performance, and also pressure from customers if there are ever changes to how the sandwiches are made.

One such change is the way in which Subway's 'Artists' cut the bread. Though no doubt there have been many changes to how sandwiches are made in a chain that began over 50 years ago in 1965, sometime around the early 2000s the Internet first began complaining about a noticeable change in the bread cuts. Subway patrons today will see a Sandwich Artist slice their bread in half, but Subway patrons of yesteryear will remember a very specific U-gouge cut that was employed to make their sandwiches.

U-gouge cut didn't allow toppings to fall out

Though it's unclear when exactly Subway began to roll out the more simple cut it uses today, Internet denizens have continued to lament the phasing out of the very specific bread-slicing technique. One ardent blogger, RetroJunk, even penned a post dedicated to this issue, citing this change as Subway's apparent downfall. The U-gouge technique, demonstrated on YouTube by a former Sandwich Artist, cut out a U-shaped slice from the top of the bread, and in the remaining bread-bowl-like space, the ingredients were piled in before the U-shaped bread piece was placed back on top.

Subway defended its decision in 2016 with a concise tweet: "Our current cut is better for allowing you to pile on the ingredients you want." Certain Subway fans, however, disagree: "Lies. The U-gouge cut didn't allow ingredients to fall out, it kept everything in place." The U-gouge cut has been long gone, but in recent years a search of the term on Twitter will still lead to people talking about the U-gouge cut. (Some contend that in the official manual, it was called the "trough cut.") If you happen upon the right Sandwich Artist, they may still oblige you with a U-gouge cut even today.