Is Subway Considered Fast Food? (IMPORTANT)

Subway cannot be considered fast food as it has a lot of healthy customizations available and can be decently nutritious with the right combination of meats and veggies.

Traditionally, a fast food joint is a place where you can get inexpensive food served quickly. Burgers, fries, and pizza are some items synonymous with a fast food restaurant.

Sure, you can get your order quickly at Subway, and its products are inexpensive. Unlike other fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King, Subway offers its patrons the option to customize their food.

So, while Subway is a fast food joint, it also has aspects that make it much more. For example, sandwiches and salads are generally not considered fast food – items that Subway specializes in.

In this article, we will cover some elements of Subway, especially the nutritional value of its menu.

Is Subway Fast Food Or Fast Casual?

subway sandwich

Subway is more of a fast-casual joint while still having elements of a fast food joint. While the service is quick and the food is inexpensive, some menu items are relatively high quality to be considered fast food.

The critical difference between fast food and a fast-casual joint is that the former focuses on serving quick, inexpensive food. The latter offers a higher quality product in a casual setting.

Fast casual restaurants often offer a more comprehensive range of food items and use more healthy materials. The food quality is much closer to a proper restaurant but focuses on quick and efficient service.

Subway certainly has this going for it. Its salads and sandwiches, for example, are customizable and healthier than burgers or pizza.

This health factor and the customizability make it a fast-casual joint and a fast food one.

Subway has successfully managed to capture two critical aspects of the food industry, and its growth rate hardly comes as a surprise.

Is Subway Healthier Than Other Fast Food Restaurants?

Subway is healthier than its counterparts, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, but not as drastically as one would expect.

The American chain markets itself as a healthy and “fresh” food joint. There’s, however, very little difference between Subway and its competitors.

Customers walk into a Subway joint, perceiving that they will consume healthy food. Most people consider it a healthier alternative to McDonald’s, Burger King, or Pizza Hut.

People also expect the food to be “more hygienic” and “fresher.” Let’s compare Subway to McDonald’s and see how it stacks up.

RestaurantCalories (Meal)Carbs (g)Sugars (g)Protein (g)Sodium (Meal) in mg.

Studies have found that an average Subway sandwich roughly has the same calories as a Mcdonald’s burger.

Independent researchers also found the number of carbs in both chains’ food comparable—102 g for Subway and 128 g for McDonald’s.

The “healthy” factor of Subway comes from its higher protein content and lower sugar content. Its average meal serves 41 g of protein compared to McDonald’s 32 g.

The sugar content is lower than McDonald’s – 36 g vs. 54 g. Subway also contains more dietary fibers.

What truly contributes to the image of Subway being a healthy choice is the customizability aspect. When an employee makes your sandwich in front of you, packed with lettuce and other veggies, it gives an illusion of health.

Objectively speaking, Subway is barely healthier than its counterparts. The calories consumed are still high, which is only slightly offset by the high protein and fiber content.

Are Sandwiches At Subway Also Fast Food?

Subway sandwiches blur the line between fast food and fast casual. Purely based on the healthy customizations available; they can be considered fast casual. However, Subway sandwiches are priced like fast food items only.

That said, it’d be unfair to label it as fast food just because of the price factor. Other aspects separate a fast food restaurant from a fast-casual one.

One of these is customizability. One of Subway’s most significant selling points is that you, as a customer, can pick and choose what goes into your sandwich. Everything is up for grabs, from the veggies to the meats and sauce.

They even offer different bread varieties, ranging from multigrain and Italian to gluten-free and malted rye. This element of the Subway sandwich is indeed fast casual.

A third aspect that differentiates fast food from fast casual is the quality of food items. This includes the standard of raw materials and how healthy they are.

Subway’s most raw materials are processed and pre-made, but it is still healthier as compared to its counterparts like Burger King.

This sandwich is packed with calories with your choices of veggies, meat, or sauce. It can be decently healthy to not at all healthy.

In general, price is often the deciding factor in fast food. And Subway sandwiches fall in the affordable category.

Final Remarks

Subway is one of the world’s largest food chains and is only growing. A critical factor in this is their ability to cover both the fast food and food casual markets of the industry.

Regarding the pricing and time taken to serve, Subway is undoubtedly a fast food joint. Quite a successful one at that, too.

However, the health aspect and the massive scope for customizability make Subway a fast-casual joint with offers that cannot be ignored.