Subway is struggling to sell its footlongs.
According to Business Insider, the restaurant chain is having a difficult time living up to its title of world’s largest restaurant chain. With new restaurants popping up daily to offer customers increasingly health options, the competition is stiff.
Numbers provided by a representative show that the popular chain has lost 909 (3 percent) of its locations over the years. There are 25,835 active chains in the US, down from 26, 744 at the end of 2016, according to a company rep.
Three franchisees told Business Insider that the wave of closures may only be just only just beginning. According to sales numbers, an estimated one-third of Subway’s locations aren’t profiting.
Last week, news broke that over 400 franchisees signed a petition against the corporation in protest of the company’s decision to bring back the “$5 Footlong” deal beginning in January. Although it is slated to be a temporary deal, franchise owners happy to take a hit on their already reduced profit margins, reported the New York Post.
“The national promotional focus over the past five years … has decimated [us] and left many franchisees unprofitable and even insolvent,” said in the petition sent to Subway and led by Virginia franchisee Mitesh Raval.
Traffic to restaurants has dropped 25 percent since 2012, reported the NY Post. According to the corporation, Subway fears customers don’t see it as competition for McDonald’s oftentimes cheap fare.
The slew of public relations nightmares they’ve faced over the year have also greatly affected public opinion. Jared Fogle, who was the face of the company for years, was sentenced to nearly two decades in prison for possession of child porn. Additionally, the chain was sued for not truly having 12-inch sandwiches, and they had to issue a lawsuit of their own against a network that alleged their chicken was really filled with soy — while also being accused of filling their bread with yoga-mat chemicals.