Takeaway Truth: Subway’s Three Pepper Chicken

Takeaway Truth is a new occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: Subway’s Three Pepper Chicken sub.

Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we’ve decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

Subway is no stranger to controversial advertising — the restaurant chain was recently sued for claiming its sandwiches were a foot long when they actually measured 11 inches. “We have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve,” the company later grovelled.

You’d therefore assume that Subway would take extra care to ensure its promotional images looked as close to reality as possible. Enter the Three Pepper Chicken:

If your taste buds need a little spice in their lives or if that tongue of yours is getting bored with the daily grind then shake a little excitement into things with the new Three Pepper Chicken sub from Subway Restaurants. Are you drooling at your screen yet?

Hmm. A more pertinent question would be — will you still be drooling in real life? In an attempt to find out, we snapped up a foot long Three Pepper Chicken sub for dinner last night. To make the comparison as fair as possible, I asked the Subway “sandwich artist” to use the same salad ingredients as shown on the poster. (I also attempted to frame my photo similarly to the Subway image.)

Below is the Three Pepper Chicken sub, as seen in Subway’s advertising:

And here’s what I actually got served:

The likeness isn’t particularly striking is it? As you can see, the chicken is soggier looking, the salad is barely visible and the bun looks like it was sat on by a pre-Subway Jared. It would be unreasonable to expect the real sandwich to resemble an identical twin, but this thing looks more like a disfigured half-brother that’s kept locked in the basement. (On the plus side, at least the length measured up.)

    Truth Rating: 5/10

Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.

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