Quiznos Manual: An Answer For Everything

Browsing through the Quiznos operation manual last night, it was interesting, though not surprising, to see codified instructions for every possible employee action.

The time standard for the Baser, Finisher and Wrapper positions is 20 seconds or less at each station per sub. After you slice your onions, you must verify that the lengths of the onions are no longer than 2 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Bacon should never be broken or cut in half. Never let the phone ring more than once. Don’t shout across the restaurant with the phone line still open. In the event hostage taking, do not attempt to capture the abductor or free the victim.

The manual says this is to ensure the delivery of a product that confirms to official standards. Undoubtedly, it does, as well as reducing costs and making it easier for the average person to open up a Quiznos.

But maybe there’s something else….

(Photo: Media Guru)


Maybe by having a numbered headline for every single movement, an answer for every decision, it makes it that much easier for the corporation to ensure the franchises’ obedience. Like only buying from approved vendors selling at a markup, which are owned by The Quizno’s Master LLC, as several franchise owner’s lawsuits allege.

Even when Quiznos franchise owner Bhupinder Baber shot himself three times inside a Quiznos, he did it in the bathroom, away from the customers, in an easily moppable area. — BEN POPKEN

Quiznos Manual: Natural Disasters Are Good PR Opps
How A Quiznos Owner Shot Himself 3 Times In The Chest
We Have A Quiznos University Training Kit


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    In what section do they cover propoer suicide techniques?

  2. acambras says:


    Aw, ya beat me to it!

  3. B says:

    Section 86, of course.

  4. Morton Fox says:

    Ah, but did the gun have to come from an approved manufacturer? :)

  5. pdxguy says:

    Umm, Quinzos? I think you meant Quiznos. A subtle but important spelling difference.

  6. chimmike says:

    I find it humorous that this isn’t considered a universal thing………specific instructions and timing for all……….you can bet every corporately run or franchised restaurant does exactly the same thing.

    I was a server at an unnamed restaurant. About halfway through my employment there, the corporate offices cracked down on ‘portioning’ and actually purchased ‘portion limiters’ to give to every store, essentially perfectly sized cup with the specific portion for each thing in every meal, as well as an entire manual for each employee on how to follow it, what goes with what and how much.

    It’s all in cost cutting and standardizing.

  7. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’m sure most franchises follow the rules for like the first couple months. And then soon after, they start cutting corners in order to maximize profit. The Quiznos and Subway near my office are real stingy when it comes to the sandwich meat. You basically wind up getting a veggie salad sandwich, with a hint of meat.

  8. Scazza says:

    Pfft, either way, Quiznos still destroys all other sub makers on the planet. Best tasting “fast food” anywhere. And I have *ahem*, been around.

  9. chickymama says:

    I used to work at Subway many years ago and they had the same type of manual. Only two slices of tomato for a six-inch, 4 slices for a 12 inch. A six inch sandwich had to be made in 30 seconds, and a 12 inch in a minute. I remeber I had to study a manual on exactly what made a cold cut trio etc.

  10. royal72 says:

    “In the event hostage taking, do not attempt to capture the abductor or free the victim.”

    gimmie a prime rib sandwich or lil johnny here gets it!… and no fucking soggy-ass lettuce! DO YOU HERE ME? NO FUCKING LETTUCE!

  11. Chairman-Meow says:

    Does the manual tell you why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near ?

  12. revmatty says:

    I’ve worked fast food. The portioning and timed activities and approved vendors and etc etc have been standard since at least the late 80’s when I was doing my time in the trenches.

  13. WindowSeat says:

    Apart from Franchise Fees and Royalties, a huge portion of a Franchisor’s revenue comes from either providing approved product themselves or through kickbacks from approved vendors. Many franchisees see their profits disappear when they are forced to buy products from these sources at a premium when a similar or identical product is available from another source. When the Franchisor rolls out new product, the franchisee is forced to buy new equipment and packaging and bear the brunt of the costs when Corporate decides to sell the item for less than it costs to produce as a promotion.

  14. Michael Bauser says:

    During college, I worked at a Big Boy’s that had a ridiculous manual like that. (They also had some ridiculous training films demonstrating how to chop vegetables.) Unfortunately, they made me give the manual back when I resigned, otherwise I might be able to share some quote.

    So, of course, we also had an uptight manager who insisted that we follow every single rule every single time about what to say, and what to do, including rules for upselling side-dishes, and handling robberies.

    So, of course, our running joke it the kitchen was to tell new employees “Remember, if we’re robbed, just give him the money. And don’t foget to ask if he wants fries with that.”

    • ShizaMinelli says:

      So…doing things the way an employer (who one CHOOSES to work for) expects them to be done makes someone uptight? Wow…

  15. LTS! says:

    When you begin operations as a publicly traded company you then start seeing more items like this. The plain reason is that they must provide monetary amounts for their inventory based on standards so they can provide accurate reports to the shareholders.

    So your onion use has to be precisely this much so that the estimates they use on the financial sheets are accurate. Failure to be accurate and you are looking at accusations of corporate fraud. It’s not Enron, but they all have the same rules to follow.

    Other items, such as the kidnapping/hostage scenario are there to reduce corporate liability. If you were to act outside of the corporate guidelines they could state that you were trained to act a certain way and failed to do so thus causing harm to yourself and reducing their liability when you sue them.

  16. Buran says:


    And how much did they waste on making the gadgets, printing the manuals, and wasting your time teaching you how to use the stuff? That’s time lost from actual work, and costs them quite a bit.

  17. manevitch says:

    “Apart from Franchise Fees and Royalties, a huge portion of a Franchisor’s revenue comes from either providing approved product themselves or through kickbacks from approved vendors.”

    That’s a pretty general statement that covers a lot of different industries. While I agree with you that it’s probably the case with most (all?) food-service franchises, I can tell you that I work for a sign franchisor and other than a 20-year licensing fee and our royalty stream, we don’t make a penny from our franchise members.

  18. Crissy in Honolulu says:

    The best is when they tell you how many NAPKINS you can hand out to your customers. They cracked down on that when I was working at Burger King one summer: two napkins per entree. Yeah, like that’s gonna work when the people have kids!

  19. MrPeepers says:

    Why don’t they just go for the tried and true? Brainwashing! Repeat after me “The leader is good. The leader is great. We give up our will as of this date. The leader is good…”

  20. B says:

    @MrPeepers: Or, if that doesn’t work, try “Nanananananananah Leader!” (repeat as necessary)

  21. Bye says:

    I’ll 2nd that Quizno’s has a might fine-tasting veggie sandwich, but I have not been back (and will not go back) until they publish factual nutritional information.

    Who knows what goes into a secret sandwich that makes it taste good?

  22. WindowSeat says:

    @manevitch: I should clarify that I’m talking about food franchises. In your business I would guess the process is pretty straight forward, approved vinyl, maybe proprietary software and cutting machinery, right? In the food business there’s so many sources and so many opportunities for abuse. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve been offered kickbacks for using a vendor and I’ve seen checks from vendors for returns that never occured come into places I’ve worked at, but somehow they never make it into the books. The economies of scale work with graft as well.

  23. Wally East says:

    @Rey: The secret is meat.

  24. Even when Quiznos franchise owner Bhupinder Baber shot himself three times inside a Quiznos, he did it in the bathroom, away from the customers, in an easily moppable area. – BEN POPKEN

    Fuck Ben–I’m disturbed that I laughed so much at this statement. I know I shouldnt be laughing about somebody committing suicide but the image that you painted was just so comical.

  25. @Crissy in Honolulu: That napkin rule is probably because of assholes like me who snag as many napkins as we can from restaurants and keep them in our glove compartments! You know, for road emergencies.

  26. benjaminellison says:

    It’s also very difficult to improve a process (think 6-Sigma, etc) if the process isn’t well defined. I’m sure the very-granular current operating procedures are several revisions old — and for organizations interested in continual process improvement (er… and profit) they probably come out with updates on a somewhat regular basis. The portion limiter comment by chimmike above is a perfect example. It may sound a bit ridiculous, but from the corporate perspective, it’s legit.
    But can you imagine being the person who makes the “cost-cutting yields profit” versus “happy customers yield profit” decisions?
    “Let them eat cake! — but only one layer, frosted only on the top, and served with cheap plastic sporks.”