Jersey Mike's employee speaking with caption 'Donnie what do you think of Subway's automatic slicers?' (l) Subway building with sign (c) Jersey Mike's employee speaking and slicing meat with caption 'but we've been doing fresh slice up since 56 baby' (r)

Ian Dewar Photography/Shutterstock @thatcrazysubguy/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘They just added another robot to their staff’: Jersey Mike’s worker rails against Subway’s new automatic slicers

'We’ve been doing fresh-sliced subs since ’56, baby.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Jul 21, 2023   Updated on Jul 20, 2023, 1:25 pm CDT

We’ve got ourselves a sandwich beef.

TikTok creator Donnie Otero, aka That Crazy Sub Guy (@thatcrazysubguy), gained a robust social media following thanks to his behind-the-counter content working at Jersey Mike’s Subs. On Wednesday, he posted a video with some choice words for the brand’s competitor, Subway. The video has almost 137,000 views and more than 7,000 likes.

@thatcrazysubguy That Crazy Sub Guy reaction to Subway’s automatic slicers 👀 #CapCut #jerseymikes #subway #freshslice #sandwichtiktok #italiansub #dmv #dmvfoodie #fyp #viralvideo #share ♬ original sound – Donnie Otero

In the video, Otero expertly cuts meat on a commercial-grade slicer while he talks to the camera about Subway’s new automatic slicers.

“Automatic slicers? This is a joke. This is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time,” Otero said in the video.

He theorized that Subway’s slicers are a response to Jersey Mike’s human-operated slicers—”They know we’re up and coming,” he said. “We’re booming right now. But we’ve been doing fresh-sliced subs since ’56, baby.”

“They just added another robot to their staff,” Otero said.

He added that Jersey Mike’s experience still brings customers human interaction and sandwiches made with love. “Where’s the love in an automatic slicer?” he said.

In the comments, Otero explained that he’s an area manager for franchisees who helps open up Jersey Mike’s stores. He’s based in the Virginia and Maryland area, according to his Instagram bio.

In the comments section of the TikTok video, people also had surprisingly strong sandwich opinions.

“Subway don’t charge 20$ for a sandwich though,” one comment read.

A different comment read, “another reason why jersey mikes> subway.”

One viewer wrote, “not everyone likes a conversation with everyone at every restaurant they go to.”

“Subway lost all respect when footlongs were no longer $5,” a commenter added.

“Imitation is the highest form a flattery.. and they cannot match!” another person wrote.

According to an article from industry publication Restaurant Business, Subway last year announced plans to introduce automatic meat slicers made by a German company in all of its restaurants. Restaurant Business framed the move as a response to fend off competitors like Jersey Mike’s, much like Subway’s addition of toasters in a bid to counter Quiznos.

“Subway will slice meat in the mornings and in the afternoons, rather than slice the meat to order like fast-growing rival Jersey Mike’s. Restaurants may also slice meat again as needed later in the day. Unused meat can be used again the next day,” according to Restaurant Business.

Jersey Mike’s has long touted its quality-focused approach to the sub shop business. “Slicing meats and cheeses right in front of you is not only the tastiest way to make a sub sandwich – it’s the only authentic way,” the company’s website reads.

The Daily Dot reached out to Otero via Instagram direct message, as well as Subway and Jersey Mike’s via email.

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*First Published: Jul 21, 2023, 5:00 am CDT